b. 1953, Port Pirie
Lives and works in Adelaide, Australia
Angela Valamanesh’s work is both familiar and mysterious: recognizable, but not immediately understood. Her drawings, ceramic objects, and watercolours are the result of an incredible depth of research, referencing complex scientific, historic, and philosophical ideas.
Valamanesh’s imagery stems from micro- and macro-biology, historic anatomical and botanical illustrations, natural history collections, and rare books. Valamanesh’s oeuvre is populated with the animal, vegetable, and mineral with glimpses of microbes, bacteria, pathogens, and spores.
Angela Valamanesh was born in Port Pirie, South Australian in 1953 and currently lives and works in Adelaide. Valamanesh holds a Diploma in Design in Ceramics from the South Australian School of Art (1977), a Master of Visual Arts from the University of South Australia (1993), and a PhD from the University of South Australia (2012).
Valamanesh has participated in many solo and group exhibitions including: Heartlands, Contemporary Art from South Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2013); and the South Australian Living Artists Festival, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide (2015). Valamanesh’s work is held in several significant collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
“The practice of building groups or arrangements has existed in my work for a number of years now and their linear qualities still remind me of the way letters form words or sentences on a page. Also in this more recent work the reference to the way specimens in collections are often presented to us is perhaps relevant.” (excerpt from artist statement, 2007)
 Kenneally, Cath. Angela Valamanesh: About being here. Wakefield Press, 2009.
ALMOST HUMAN -
‘Art, philosophy, and science each erect a plane, a sieve, over chaos, a historicotemporal and mutually referential field of inter- acting artworks, concepts, and experiments (respectively), not to order or control chaos but to contain some of its fragments in some small space (a discourse, a work of art, an experiment), to reduce it to some form that the living can utilize without being completely overwhelmed.’
- Grosz, Elizabeth, 2008, Chaos, Territory, Art. Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth, Columbia University Press, Pg 28.
The various works in Almost human began with my observations and drawings from an anatomical textbook for medical students. Later I branched off into the field of comparative anatomy and detoured into the province of early scientific illustration made using microscopes. These collected observations have become a deep pool of imagery that I can draw upon.
I like the idea of fishing in relation to making art - perhaps it’s like the sieve that Elizabeth Grosz alludes to - not knowing what fragment I’ll catch and being surprised sometimes.