Filomena Coppola's lyrical and exquisite drawings are a response to her being born into an Italian immigrant family in a large rural Australian town. Her work explores the complexities of duality and what it is to navigate a journey between two cultures. Her delicate pastels capture these moments of belonging to two worlds - of being herself a hybrid mix of Italian/Australian cultures. This is represented in her work through dialectic ideas of presence/absence, plant/animal, and internal/external.
Her recent work incorporates carefully observed segments of native Australian orchids; intentionally taken out of context, each section is enlarged and drawn so that the texture of the petals resembles animal fur. These sensuous new flora/fauna figures are depicted in the foreground of William Morris wallpaper designs - Filomena's well-used reference to the migration of her parents from Italy to an English colony.
Filomena's poetic and slightly surreal narrative explores what it means to be caught in between. Together, the elements of plant material and animal fur subvert their original forms and create a new context which suggests a further possibility of nature morphed, changing and mutating.
Filomena Coppola has exhibited widely in Australia over the past ten years and has been included in several drawing exhibitions including JADA Drawing Award, The Robert Jacks Drawing Award, the City of Banyule Drawing Award and The Hutchins Drawing Prize, where she was awarded a Judges Selection in 2001.
She was awarded The City of Hobart Art Prize in 1994 and has been the recipient of several awards and residencies including Regional Arts Victoria Funding in 2012, the Vermont Studio Centre Residency and Part Fellowship, Vermont, USA in 2004, the Ian Potter Foundation Individual Grant in 2001, Arts Tasmania Development Grant in 1999 and the Rosamond McCulloch Scholarship to the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris in 1997.
Her work is represented in major public collections including Artbank, Parliament House Collection, Canberra Australia, Print Council of Australia, University of Tasmania, Launceston and Hobart, Mornington Peninsula Gallery, The Hutchins School, Banyule City Council and the Devonport Art Gallery.