Raquel Ormella (b. Sydney 1969) has a diverse practice that includes video, installation, drawings, and zines. Ormella is an artist working at the intersections of art and activism, investigating the means by which critical reflexivity in contemporary art encourages processes of self-examination regarding political consciousness and social action. Ormellaʼs practice is grounded in exploring the nature of the relationship between humans and the natural environment, with a particular focus on urban expansion and forest activism. In highlighting the connectedness between the two, Ormella attempts to show that our depictions of the natural world are not representations of true ʻwildernessʼ or a pure state, but rather are informed by human contact and reflective of human values. Ormella is interested in exploring the relation of the audience to the artwork by using multiples. For example, she produced a work for the 2008 Sydney Biennale using electronic whiteboards that print the drawings made by the artist, so that the audience may take them home.
Her solo exhibitions include Golden Soil, Milani Gallery, 2016; Birds, School of Art Gallery, ANU, Canberra, 2013; New Constellation, Milani Gallery, 2013; Feeders, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ACT, 2012. Ormella has participated in various group exhibitions including in the 2015 Artist Making Movement, Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, See you at the barricades, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, More love hours: contemporary artists and craft, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne; Basil Sellers Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, Protest Songs, Artful Actions, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, Conflict: Contemporary responses to war, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane; 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Los Angeles, Social networking, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2012, the 1st Aichi Triennial, Art and Cities, Nagoya, Japan, 2010.
Ormella was the winner of the $25,000 Sunshine Coast Art Prize in 2017 ; was one of the artists selected for the One Year Studio Artists program at Artspace, Sydney for 2016. In 2012 Ormella was awarded the prestigious Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, from the Campbelltown Art Centre, NSW, Australia; a New Work Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts and Arts ACT in 2009; Warrnambool Art Gallery’s New Social Commentaries Prize, in 2006; Western Sydney Artist Fellowship from the NSW Ministry for the Arts, 2000; and the Australia Council Studio Residency in Barcelona, Spain in 1999. In 2013 Ormella completed a PhD in Visual Arts at the Australia National University, Canberra where she now teaches in the Painting Workshop and is the Honours Convenor. She is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.