Observing contemporary politics and social issues, eX de Medici’s practice since the 1970s has included media as diverse as sound performance, installation, painting and photography. In the 1990s, de Medici also achieved national renown as a professional tattooist of exquisite skill and sensitivity.
De Medici’s large watercolours celebrate the minute beauty of living creatures. But they also show, in obsessive detail, signs of the destructive aspects of human society, with numerous emblems of degradation, violence and death entangled in the midst of abundant life. De Medici’s watercolour paintings are, in fact, contemporary memento mori – visual reminders of the brevity of life. Each painting is highly coded. Skulls, the swastika and other fascist motifs, sex toys and symbols of Australia’s colonial past, and yellowcake and radioactive warning signs are juxtaposed with patterning inspired by the natural world and delicate floral and still-life arrangements. Her world is abundant, even gorgeous, but it is also extremely dangerous.