Linden EXTRA with

Hedy Ritterman

Hedy Ritterman was recently included in the 30th Birthday Celebration exhibition, a group show of new work by artists who had been awarded prizes in the Linden Postcard Show. Hedy practice brings together her study of psychology, design, photography and fine arts to create emotionally charged and personally meaningful artworks that address the human condition.

We recently caught up with Hedy in her beautiful studio to find out more about her practice and the work she has been making recently. 

My recent works have focused on ideas around memory, memorialisation, mortality and identity. My background in psychology and personal experience led me to investigate emotions around loss and its ensuing grief and to try and make that universal human condition become part of a constructive dialogue.

I see death and the passage of time as a natural part of life and want to engage in ideas about the power of loss.

The materials I am currently using, are every day objects accumulated during a lifetime, left behind after death. I make installations and photographs with these objects inspired by the fact that they have been touched by someone no longer alive - in a sense the objects become a revitalised portrait of the individual and the culture they occupied. By transforming the objects, in their new context, they become markers to be viewed anew, creating some order out of the emotional chaos and resurrecting memories.

I see my art practice as a form of therapy using my visual language to express myself.

I see the process of making work as mimicking life, one works with gravity, time, connections and each moment can produce something different. My inspiration is the real world and the every day, ordinariness of the complex human condition.

When my work goes into the wider world and someone else engages with it that’s when I think the added magic of art happens.

I am inspired by ideas and the creative process itself and spend much time looking at works and writings by diverse artists and theorists. I’m particularly drawn to artists who use their personal experience as departure points for their work such as Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Christian Boltanski and Gerhard Richter…and I also find design and architecture influential informing my ideas around space, light and time.

I have been extremely fortunate to have worked closely with a like-minded architect and builder to realise my dream home/studio. As a result, the last few years my studio, an old mechanics’ garage, has provided the space and light to spread out and work on multiple projects, day and night. While this can be distracting especially when I need to privilege the work that has a deadline, I often use the distraction of other more manual work as respite. Music is on at these times, but ambient sounds are my preferred option when I need to focus.

I move to my study in the home part of my house/studio to work on the computer part of my practice where I tend to work into the night. I would summarize my studio practice as intuitive until there are deadlines and then I need my organised director’s hat to work efficiently in collaboration with people such as my master-printer, lighting experts, framers, carpenters and the like.

My hope is that the viewer will be drawn to engage with the work and then feel something through their encounter; that they recognise something of their own life in my work and drift off into their imagination and memories and come away somehow a little changed by the experience.

I like to work independently and often outside the traditional gallery system. Creating a platform to allow this was the driving force behind my co-founding a collective, TCC, The Contemporary Collective, that enables funding and venues to showcase work in alternative spaces.

My next major exhibition, in a few months’ time, is such a site-specific installation, In My Mother’s House. I have transformed my late mother’s house into a gallery space with the principal room housing an immersive installation. On a large table I’ve randomly assembled her huge collection of glassware and through the use moving lights shadows emerge that envelop the darkened space, abstract patterns are created that glide along the walls and ceiling. A music piece accompanies this ‘dance’ adding another layer to the work. In another part of the house are photographic images of the abstracted shadows as well as a suite of symbolic still-life images of one delicate glass vessel in various states, as poetic metaphors for the way I see my mother’s life.

Invitations pending, coming out soon! (The admin part of my practice).

A project I’m involved in currently is photographing women from the South Sudanese community in their homes and specifically in their kitchen with the aim of giving them a voice that is very different form the mainstream view. This is a collaboration initiated by a community organization involving writers, chefs and another photographer.

I’m also always working in my studio on multiple personal works; ongoing works in progress, - making as therapy.

For example, my Covid experience inspired me to mark time through the collection of take away coffee cups and photographing the interior of these with its coffee residue simulating a petri dish or outer space vision. 70 cups and 70 images from the first lockdown and 116 cups and images from the second!

Another constant work is using text, writing with an electric dental drill to transcribe my countless diaries onto a large wooden tabletop that was a wedding present over 40 years ago
(I married a dentist who has since died).

Symbolic interpretations of materials and form are ever present in all my work.

creating certainty

Dr Marion Piper's essay Creating Certainty explores her response to seeing art in real life in January, when she visited the Linden Postcard Show 2020-21.
+ Read more

30th birthday artists in their studio

Stunning studio photographs by Theresa Harrison accompanied by a series of reflections from the artists, providing new insights into their practice.

Hedy Ritterman

I see death and the passage of time as a natural part of life and want to engage in ideas about the power of loss ..
+ Read more

Kenny Pittock

Often my work draws upon nostalgia to playfully engage with the mundane every day .+ Read more


My creative process becomes a meditative act in itself…drawing me into the moment of self-forgetting ...
+ Read more

Prudence Flint

I paint mainly women in interiors. I want to create a recognisable intensity and intimacy ...
+ Read more

William Eicholtz

I hope viewers experience Joy in the sensuality of the elaborate and boldly theatrical, and surprise at the allure of this artifice ...
+ Read more

the Behind the scenes
of our current shows

Ash Keating

In 2020 I decided to use the strange year and lockdowns as an opportunity to experiment with textures and mark making which I had long been hoping to find time to explore ...
+ Read more

Troy Emery

I very briefly studied fashion and considered it as a career, which certainly shaped my approach to making work ...
+ Read more

Nicholas Folland

My work responds to both the domestic and to natural environments, often looking for a point where these two areas collide or come into conflict ...
+ Read more

Love our content?

If you like what you see, we hope that you will share this with your friends, family and colleagues.
+ Share with a friend
+ Receive our Enewsletter 

What's coming
next at Linden

22 May 2021 > 22 August 2021

Ruth Höflich

To Feed your Oracle

Ruth Höflich is an artist and filmmaker, born in Munich, Germany, and currently based in Melbourne. In an installation of video, photography and site intervention, To Feed Your Oracle will explore how we might understand, or predict, things that we can’t see and how our expectations might affect how we experience the unknown.
+ Read more

Vipoo Srivalasa

Wellness Deity

Vipoo Srivilasa is a Thai-born Melbourne-based artist, curator and arts activist. This exhibition will present the Wellness Deity Project, which Srivilasa undertook in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This collaborative, community-driven project invited people to submit a drawing of their Wellness Deity, a being that has a special empowering or protective power.

+ Read more

Natasha Bieniek

Natasha Bieniek is best-known for her miniature oil paintings. Bieniek’s paintings are meticulous in their execution and demand close inspection. They link the ancient tradition of 16th century miniature painting with present-day image culture.

This exhibition brings together a suit of recent works that have not been seen together before, including Bieniek’s stand out painting, Biophilia, which was the winner of the Wynne Prize in 2015.

+ Read more


Things to explore in our Local Neighbourhood to enhance your next visit to St Kilda and the gallery.
+ Read more

Linden Contemporaries

A recap of recent Linden Contemporaries adventures exploring some of the best private art collections in Melbourne.
+ Read more

Thank you!

We look forward to welcoming you at the gallery soon to see our latest series of solo exhibitions by leading mid-career artists.
> Troy Emery's Sonder
> Nicholas Folland's Burn Down the House
> Ash Keating's Duality.

If you would like to find out more about these exceptional artists, book into a Meet the Artist session to hear from them what drives their practice and what inspires their creativity.

I would like to offer my thanks to Creative Victoria for the additional funding to support this new initiative and to the fabulous team at Linden who have worked behind the scenes to create Linden Extra.

Melinda Martin
March 2021

Q&A by Juliette Hanson | Editing: Juliette Hanson & Chloé Hazelwood | Design: Mathieu Vendeville