Erin Coates

Winner, John Stringer Prize, 2017

Erin Coates is a visual artist and creative producer working across film, sculptural installation and drawing. Coates’ practice examines our relationship with and within the spaces we build and inhabit, focusing on the limits of our bodies and physical interaction within given environments. She often sets up extreme physical actions in relation to specific spaces, filming inside of sets she builds and using herself and her friends as the performers. Her use of props, lighting and action draws on the visual language of body horror, science fiction and the abject. The female protagonists are cast as the lone-survivor, re-occupying the role of the ‘last man alive’ or the ‘monstrous creation’. Her work draws on her background as a rock climber and freediver, and her particular interests in female physicality and athleticism. Coates uses this perspective to probe our understandings of fear, horror, strength and survival and to disrupt conventional gendered roles and assumptions.

Coates’ work is shown in both galleries and film festivals and was exhibited in the 2020 Adelaide Biennial: Monster Theatres at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She was included in the significant survey exhibition The National: New Australian Art, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2017. In 2018 Coates’ work was shown at the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. She was the only Australian artist selected for inclusion in Videobrasil – 21st Contemporary Art Biennial | Imagined Communities, São Paulo, Brasil, 2019.

Coates has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University, Perth and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Main image: Erin Coates​
‘The Pact’, 2017, 2K video with stereo sound
7 minutes duration, edition of 5
Photo: Christophe Canato​

Images courtesy of the artist.

Date: June 15, 2020
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