Dancing up Country: The Art of Dorothy Napangardi
Dorothy Napangardi enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence in the early years of the century. Despite this, a major exhibition of her large paintings which reflect her life and people in the central desert had not been shown in Australia or internationally and so it was seen as an opportune time to develop a solo exhibition of her work.
Curator: Vivienne Webb
Artist: Dorothy Napangardi
Partner: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Tour: Sydney, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur (2003-2004)
Time out of Joint
Time out of Joint explored themes of dislocation, broken narratives and the meanings and impact of memories. The Australian Embassy, Vietnam, commented ‘the distribution of catalogues and the media release resulted in excellent media coverage with nine articles in Vietnamese and English language print and coverage on Hanoi Television.’
Curator: Carmen Grostal
Artists: Helga Groves, Caroline Ho-Bich-Tuyen Dang, Nelia Justo, Hanh Ngo, Trinh Vu
Partner: Footscray Community Art Centre, Melbourne
Tour: Hanoi, Melbourne (2003)
Un Wrapped: Australian Fashion and Textile Design
Unwrapped: Australian Fashion and Textiles Design was an exhibition featuring contemporary fashion and textile works by over 20 contemporary designers from across Australia. Unwrapped included a wide range of media including wild kangaroo fur, hand-printed textiles and clothing, wool creations and collaborative artwork combining printed Aboriginal designs with hand quilting. Visitor comments from the exhibition in Singapore included ‘I feel so inspired! Thanks!!’ and ‘Wonderful pieces of work, flabbergasted.’
Curator: Meredith Rowe
Artists: Margaret Ainscow, Breathlesselfh, Billabong, Beauty of Nature, Sarah Crowest, Ernabella Arts Inc, Andrea Geisler, Lorinda Grant, Gwendolynne, Akira Isogawa, Easton Pearson, Julie Ryder, Sara Lindsay, Rosemary O’Rouke, Kerry Pryor, S!X, Tiwi Design and Stewart Russell, Utopia/Brahma Tirta Sari Studio, Vixen Australia, Ilka White, Liz Williamson, Zimmermann
Partner: Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
Tour: Bendigo, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, Singapore (2003-2005)
When the first Europeans came to Australia they were struck by the unusual variety of its flora and fauna. The title alludes to this fact and suggests a potent 'biodiversity' in photographic practice in Australia today, stemming from a rich multiculturalism unfettered by the weight of history.
Curator: Alasdair Foster
Artists: Pat Brassington, Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Brenda L Croft, Max
Doyle, Rose Farrell and George Parkin, Joachim Froese, Philip George, Deborah Paauwe, Polixeni Papapetrou, Scott Redford, Michael Riley, Glenn Sloggett, Darren Sylvester, Martin Walch, Anne Zahalka
Tour: Bangkok, Singapore, Dhaka, Taipei (2003-2004).
The first part of the exhibition includes the work of six photographic artists. Collectively they reflect something of the diversity of ideas, styles and methodologies current in Australia today. Phillip George uses digital manipulation to create a large panoramic image of a fictional coastline strewn with the remnants of ancient civilisations whose descendants came only recently to Australia. Meanwhile Martin Walch challenges the easy romanticism of popular ecology with a series of seductive stereo images of open cut mining in Tasmania. By contrast, Scott Redford finds a sumptuous aesthetic in the surface of public urinals, whilst hinting at a sexual significance they may hold for a gay man.
Deborah Paauwe presents an image of herself hovering in the ambiguous space between childhood innocence and sexual maturity. Joachim Froese creates idiosyncratic still lifes in which dead insects enact allegorical parodies of the human condition.
Finally, Max Doyle, one of a new generation of photographers who are bringing the visual language of postmodern art photography to the worlds of fashion and lifestyle publishing, presents an installation of a teenage boy's bedroom in which all the pictures on the wall and the fanzines by the bed have been replaced by the artist's work. In this way he seeks to break away from the classic modernist practice of setting art in a 'neutral' space.
In the second part two artists present work which looks at Australian suburbia. Anne Zahalka's large colour photographs explore the leisure industry while Glenn Sloggett records images of dereliction, failed aspiration and abject domesticity. Both Zahalka and Sloggett locate the heart of the suburban experience in the surface of things and in the triumph of fey optimism over irony. For Zahalka it is in the fibreglass volcanoes of the theme park or the regimentation of beach culture. For Sloggett it is in the dilapidated wastelands of suburbia and a battered pink hearse bearing the cheerful slogan: Budget Burials - Cheaper & Deeper.
Artists who bring a fresh and original approach to traditional forms and ideas are showing in the third part. Pat Brassington explores and exploits the legacies of surrealism, whilst subtly subverting those (primarily masculine) traditions with a clearly feminine and feminist inflection. There is a wistful humour in these deceptively simple juxtapositions which set up strangely perverse associations that grip the imagination. For many years Rose Farrell & George Parkin have been exploring historical medical machinery. They create large complex tableaux juxtaposing papier-migures with real human beings.
The fourth part brings together work by three artists and one artistic partnership that describes two intersecting trajectories in contemporary Australian photo-media: the consumer/cultural and the personal/political. Darren Sylvester's celebration of consumer technologies contrasts with Lyndell Brown & Charles Green's trompe l'oeil works that mix painting and photographic media to address the representation of art historical imagery and its reproduction. Meanwhile Brenda L. Croft and Polixeni Papapetrou address issues of personal identity. Croft uses digital imaging to expose the injustices and hypocrisies surrounding the relationship between early colonists and Australia's first peoples, while Papapetrou works with her four year old daughter to explore childhood role-play through the game of dressing up.
Michael Riley's Cloud (2000) occupies the last part. This sequence of ten large inkjet prints reflects upon his enforced Christian upbringing and the wider impact of assimilation programs on Aboriginal communities throughout Australia. Recognising both negative and positive outcomes of his upbringing, Cloud seeks to make sense of a history that defies simple resolution. Showing with this work is Empire, Riley's acclaimed and evocative short film made in 1997 for The Festival of the Dreaming. The film was commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Company and has a soundtrack performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Foundations of Gold
Foundations of Gold celebrated the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Victoria. A cross-cultural collaborative project, it presented 10 artists from Australia and Asia with an opportunity to share the beauty, meaning and dreams associated with gold.
Artists from five Asian countries were invited to Australia and ‘twinned’ to collaborate with a Melbourne artist working in a similar field. Artists represented various disciplines – painters, glass artists and textile artists as well as gold and silversmiths. The pairs were provided with gold, donated by the Australian Gold Council, and encouraged to create new work exploring the idea of gold in any of its manifestations – physical, aesthetic and cultural.
Artists Georgia Chapman and Monika Correa delivered a lecture in Mumbai to 250 guests at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Correa was quoted in The Indian Express (15 September 2001) as saying: ‘It was really interesting and challenging collaborating with Georgia Chapman. Challenging because one had to make it work…like an arranged marriage! We both worked quite closely and yet I feel the works reflect our backgrounds well.’
Curators: Alison Carroll, Suzanne Davies, Beatrice Schlabowsky
Artists: Georgia Chapman, Eugene Chua Gin-Minn, Monika Correa, Simon Cottrell, Brenda V. Fajardo, Kim Ki-Ra, Makiko Mitsunari, Pamela Stadus, Blanche Tilden, Caroline Williams
Partners: City of Melbourne, Melbourne / RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
Tour: Melbourne, Mumbai, Manila, Seoul, Osaka, Singapore (2001-2003)
Peter Callas: Anti-Terrain
Peter Callas is a pioneer of video art and one of the Australia's most celebrated artists. This exhibition provides an overview of the technology and diverse cultural subject matter in Callas' work since 1986.
CURATOR: Stuart Koop
ARTIST: Peter Callas
TOUR: Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Mumbai, Seoul (2002-2003)
Colin Khoo from The Star described Anti-Terrain as exploring "…themes as diverse as the globalisation of the media, technological development, nationalism and international cultural relations inspired from his travels in countries and cultures as diverse as Japan and Brazil." Originally not intended for tour to India, the requests from that country made in response to Callas’ experience of working there, led to the honour of a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, where, it was said, the previous solo exhibition had been by Picasso.