‘Divided Subject’ by Sophia Whitney Hewson is the timely culmination of her years of experience, with its accretion of paintings, paste-ups, and bronze sculptures. An imagination of a post-apocalyptic time where chaos rules, the female form dominates and is intertwined through a barren forest of trees, made complete with anachronistically playful children. Large bronzes dominate – the only survivors of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. All completed during last year’s COVID lockdowns in Melbourne, the exhibition is a consideration of the explosive eruption that was 2020.
The title refers to the psychoanalytic term drawn from Sophia’s own training, in which the subject can never be anything other than divided and alienated from himself. It can never be healed, and there is no possibility of synthesis. It cannot be brought back into alignment. Although the term initially applied to the ego – the human mind – Sophia has linked it with a tumultuous year, bringing with it an unforgettable exhibition.