Ten Dicta For Young Women Who Are Artists. Hazel Dooney, 2013 – 2019. Hand-painted acrylic on brick wall, approx. 3.3m high x 15.5m wide (11ft x 51ft).
Located at Royal Lane, 231 - 233 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD. Created at the invitation of Robert Doyle, The Right Honourable 103rd Lord Mayor of Melbourne (2008 to 2018) and The City of Melbourne.
The City of Melbourne also commissioned a stop-motion film documenting the installation of Ten Dicta For Young Women Who Are Artists, 19th to 27th November 2013, by Carla Gottgens. You can view the short film here.
Be a ‘bad girl’. Good girls do what they’re told. Bad girls do best what they’re told not to. Be honest in your art. Even if it hurts. Your art will be stronger. It will also be remembered. Risk everything. Better to fail and make a spectacle of yourself than to make boring art. Always be in control. Never get wasted around anyone who wants something from you. Don’t smile for photographs just because it’s expected. Actually, don’t do anything that’s expected. You can’t win as a woman in the art world. Men invented it for themselves. Subvert and destroy it. Don’t complain when the going gets tough. Get tougher. Or give up. Plenty more where you came from. Write about your art like you mean it. Leave art-speak to non-artists and wankers. Don’t let anyone exploit you. Exploit yourself and reap the rewards (and the reproof). Break the rules. Make up your own.
''I'm not trying to make slogans,'' she (Hazel Dooney) says. ''I'm trying to have a real conversation. In bite-sized pieces.'' Public spaces are dominated by advertising, she says: ''Especially ads targeted to women, which are dishonest and make women feel lonely.'' ...Her thinking is that when she was younger no one advised her on anything, least of all the challenges to women artists. And while she admires the text-art of US figureheads Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger, this is something different. ''It's not pretending to be advertising,'' she says. ''This is not to reflect something about our culture, it is to try to add to the culture. I wanted it to have humour and truth but not be a lecture. I wanted it to be broadly accessible.''
– Chris Johnston. "Women should take note - the writing's on the wall", The Sunday Age, 1 December 2013 (p. 3).
Special thanks to Robert Doyle; traditional sign-writers Martin Boyle of Flair For Signs and Bernard Heuvel; Kirsten George, artist and Project Assistant; Jane Crawley, Manager of Arts Melbourne, City of Melbourne; Shona Johnson, Team Leader, Arts Programs, Arts and Culture Branch, City of Melbourne; Sarah Ritchie, artist and Public Art Program Project Coordinator, Arts and Culture, City of Melbourne; Shelley Blake, Marketing Manager, Arts House, City of Melbourne; Brock Brocklesby, Project Manager, Megafun; and Michaela Coventry, General Manager of Megafun.
From left: Sarah Ritchie, Jane Crawley, Shelley Blake, Hazel Dooney. Kirsten George and Shona Johnson.
In memory of Bernard Heuvel, 1942 – 2016.