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Labouring the Point.

Article by Annie Stevens 

Sydney Morning Herald, Entertainment.July 30 2010.

A work of digital Art full of ballet images and symbolism goes to the point of what women have endured.





Catch The Show Before The Show


Behind Ballet


Black Box, White Cube is a lively exhibition, with a strong video component and vivid, striking images, as you’d expect from a show that explores the intersections between theatricality and art. For the ballet lover, there’s plenty to enjoy.

Magda Matwiejew’s Pretty Ballerina (2010) builds an elaborate edifice of Romantic images laced with darkness. The Titian-haired heroine of her video piece finds some scarlet pointe shoes at a féte galante (complete with the coquette from Fragonard’s The Swing) and bourrées off into a dreamy world of flowers, clouds, snowflakes and falling clocks, ending up on a toy stage as the prima ballerina. But like Victoria Page in The Red Shoes, she’ll pay for her fame … Accompanying still images show the dancer in luscious set pieces involving music boxes, mirrors and masks.





Ashley Crawford, Reviews, Art Link , Vol 30 no 4, December 2010


Matwiejew’s work apart from many working in the digital realm. Both in terms of composition and palette – in this particular case an extraordinary array of reds, pinks and flesh tones – her work is distinctly painterly.


However it is the digital that allows her such ease in juggling time and space. Matwiejew shifts from the baroque to the present with unnerving ease; transient clock faces indicate shifts in temporality, as though Matwiejew were commentating on the never ending battle between feminine vanity and its grueling realities.




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En Point

by Rebecca Howden 

Lip Magdazine 4/7/2010

Both the prints and the film, Pretty Ballerina, feature a beautiful, red-haired ballet dancer who is prepared to sacrifice her body and her feet to her art. It’s rich with symbolism- the idea of pointe shoes is incredibly gendered, and demonstrates the physical challenges of dancing




Tonkin, Steven.

Black Box <> White Cube . Exhibition catalogue, The Melbourne Arts Centre, 2011.  Melbourne

Pretty Ballerina is layered with complexities and contradictions, surreal imageryand art historical references (Evidence of Matwiejew's own background as a painter). There is an inevitable "dark" conclusionto the film, of art and suffering, or suffering for artwhich forcibly jerks the viewer back from their 

intoxicated seductionby the imagery (or imaginary) journey.  










Magda Matwiejew

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