Raquel Ormella

Hatched Alumni: 1996

Raquel Ormella born 1969 Cronulla/Kurranulla, lives and works in Canberra/Kamberi Australia

Raquel Ormella’s practice encompasses various media and can be divided into two broad thematic streams: political language and its effects on national identity, and the complex relationship between humans and the natural environment. In 2020 her work was included in the first iteration of the landmark exhibition Australian Woman Artists 1901 to Now, as part of the National Gallery of Australia’s Know My Name program and in 2021 the TarraWarra Biennial, Slow Moving Waters. Her work has been included in many international exhibitions including the Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2015); the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, 2010 Aichi Triennial (Japan), 2008 Sydney Biennale, the 2003 Biennale of Istanbul and the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennale (Brazil), as well as many group exhibitions in Australia including The National, New Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney (2017). In 2018 Shepparton Art Museum curated a solo survey show, I hope you get this, that toured to 5 galleries and museums in the eastern States with NETS Victoria. She is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University, Canberra. She is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.


What does Hatched mean to you?’

Being included in Hatched was significant not only because it was the first nationally curated exhibition I participated in, but because it was a vote of confidence in my practice. It made me feel like I was on my way to being an artist. It kept me focused on my work in a moment when it would have been easier to get a “real job.”

Hatched was a crucial learning experience. It was my first professional experience working with art-handlers and with people I didn’t already know. It was my first trip to Perth, in what was to become a regular visit every year or two, till my most recent visit in 2007. I really liked the DIY attitude of the local art scene as it reminded me of western Sydney where socialising and exhibiting opportunities were driven by artists. Some of the people I met on this trip became core to my world for the next 10 years and remain close friends.

Since 2006, when I started teaching at the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University (SOAD, ANU), Hatched and all that it means for young artists has re-entered my life. Each year the school nominates 2 to 3 students to be considered by the Hatched selection panel, and since 2016 when I became the Honours Convenor, I have had a hand in that selection. It brings me great joy that I share these professional beginnings with my students some of whom include Cat Mueller and Madisyn Zabel (2016), Dean Cross (2018), Annette An-Jen Liu (2019), and Emma Rani Hodges (2020). I am now handing this role over to Dr Ella Barclay, who already has a story with Hatched with her Honours students Rory Gillen and Alexa Malizon being selected in 2020 and 2021.

I am really pleased that Hatched has continued. It remains an important launching pad for graduating artists. And it introduces us ‘Eastern Staters’ to the intensity, diversity and resilience of the WA arts scene.