Tai Snaith, More is More

Studio Portrait credit: Eugene Hyland

For More is More, Melbourne artist Tai Snaith presents two series of 3 separate framed collage works which playfully look at different aspects of the creative female psyche.

The first series of smaller square works is called ‘Ladies of Leisure’ and comes from Snaith thinking about free time and how we chose to spend it. In an ideal world, we would all have more time to be Ladies of Leisure, focusing on things like friendship, self-reflection and conversations. These three works act as aspirational reminders for Snaith, a kind of meditation on priorities of how her spare time might be best spent.

The second series looks at the female artist’s ‘Inner Critic.’ Through collage, Tai assembles both abstract (in watercolour and porcelain) and literal (photographic collage) signs and symbols of the way that she thinks about herself in a reflective or critical way. Often notions of confidence or boldness can be negatively misconstrued as ‘Attention Seeking’ and assertive pragmatism can often be deemed ‘cold.’ Snaith has recently been encouraged to stop calling herself a ‘hoarder’ due to the negative connotations and now tries to use the term ‘collector’. Most of us know the feeling when we are in a spiral of self-loathing and these critical labels pop into our heads. This series of collage works are a reminder to embrace the positive side of being a strong woman rather than take a negative view. As an artist I collect a broad range of things both two dimensional and 3 dimensional. Generally, I am drawn to books, both what is inside them and their covers. I also obsessively collect old glass marbles and fragments of porcelain, which end up in my sculptural assemblages. I have hundreds of books I glean for images to use in collage, which is quite a personal practice for me and which I rarely exhibit. Usually these are books on women in history, old Readers Digests, old art magazine from the 50’s-70’s and Encyclopedias on plants and the Natural World. Generally, my work from the past 5 years has revolved around books. In my large assemblage and photographic works (such as the recent commission ‘Open Book’ for the State Library of Victoria) my work uses actual open books as the base of the image. I also write and illustrate picture books, with my 5th title having just been released this year.
Tai Snaith is an artist, curator, author and broadcaster. She has written and illustrated five picture books published by Thames and Hudson and in 2017 launched the podcast ‘A World of One’s Own’, originally hosted by ACCA, with the second season funded by The Australia Council for the Arts. Each episode features Tai in conversation with women and non-binary artists. These relaxed exchanges explore shifts and similarities that artists face in their lives and artistic practices across generations and different cultural backgrounds, this information then informs Tai’s sculptural and painting practice. Tai has exhibited widely in both artist-run and commercial spaces since graduating from the VCA in 2002. She has been awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Tokyo studio residency and numerous state and federal project grants. Tai recently completed a 30 metre long commissioned artwork as part of the State Library of Victoria’s major redevelopment and in late 2018 which was then nominated for the World Illustration Awards, held in London in 2019. Tai has artwork held in the NGA works on paper collection, Artbank, Banyule City art collection and numerous private collections.

For more info on Tai’s work in More is More click here.