‘Sanctuary: Tombs of the outcasts’ now open at The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne
Sanctuary: Tombs of the outcasts
The world dramatically changed after the outbreak of WWI: Australia was not excluded. Described as the war to end all wars it would be a mere two decades before Europe was once again plagued by a major conflict. Australia has played its role in both of these wars and many other conflicts since.
Wars leave a lasting impression on those who participate, on those left behind and on future generations who look to them for remembrance, lessons and identity. However, often parts of the narrative become fractured or are simply forgotten. They remain on the periphery wanting to be heard to ensure that our history is inclusive and true.
Likewise, important reactions post war, which seem unrelated and incidental, help shape community and nations. Brook Andrew. Sanctuary: Tombs of the outcasts seeks to give voice to aspects of history which have become silent and reveals Australia as a place of sanctuary. It aims to ask questions about what we remember, personal and collective, and how we commemorate.
Saturday 18 Apr 2015 to Sunday 9 Aug 2015
The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne
Curator: Dr Vincent Alessi
Floor Talk: Tuesday 19th June, 1 – 1.30pm
Donut II has recently been installed in the atrium space of the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris.
Donut II is a floating sculpture representing the optical patterned matrix of Wiradjuri design. Used in other works such as The Cell and Jumping Castle War Memorial, the hardedge black and white matrix acts as a metaphor for seeing differently. The traditional Wiradjuri design and the contemporary optical experience reference how and what we see as an historical influence on our contemporary lives.
The spherical shape references ancient European and Indigenous depictions of time travel and healing. The Israeli physicist, Amos Ori designed a time machine in this shape and similarly the form comes from a story that speaks of Aboriginal magic trees that form circle shapes in their branches and are in fact time-travelling objects.
The Gun-metal grey series makes use of 19th Century photographs drawn from ethnographic museums and collections of orphaned (unidentified) Australian Aboriginal subjects. Directly linked to the artists own family connections through his mothers Wiradjuri country, this work intends to make note the often difficult and traumatic histories inherited by Aboriginal communities from the effects of genocide through often expedient colonial techniques to document the British frontier in Australia. The photographic remnants of documenting Aboriginal people as a ‘dying race’ further highlights the often cruel and disastrous encounters now shown here in this Gun metal grey series, but in this case Brook Andrew’s series subverts the initial photographic medium to recreate and resurrect the story to full history-painting status and size; intended also as memorials, the works increased scale re-stage representation and make history visible as a testimony to the lack of these narratives in the public international consciousness and discourse. Instigating discussion we can here re-visit these histories that clearly link and draw similarities to well documented and confronting histories internationally.
The Australian Print Workshop (APW) is embarking on a major international project titled ANTIPODES: The Expedition. The Expression. The Exhibition.
Lead by APW Director Anne Virgo OAM and her fellow curator Dr Nicholas Thomas, Director, University of Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Brook Andrew, Tom Nicholson and Caroline Rothwell will research important materials relating to Australia and the Pacific. It’s expedition of discovery; with an emphasis on the interplay of natural history, the history of science, empire, art and anthropology.
Hosted by Cambridge University, the group will have privileged behind-the-scenes access to rarely seen and highly significant collections and will meet with leading scholars and curators in Cambridge and London.
On return to Australia, each artist has been commissioned to produce a new body of work in the print medium that will form a series of solo exhibitions at Australian Print Workshop Gallery.
Here is a review as cited in the Sydney Morning Herald.
2015 marks the 50th year of independence for Singapore. Catching Breath, commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is exhibited at the the Australian High Commissioner’s Residence to celebrate Singapore’s bilateral relationship with Australia.
Catching Breath, invokes questions about the meaning of identity, culture and social values.
Bhakti Puvanenthiran’s review published in The Age is accessible here.
Catching Breath is a veiled portrait of a seemingly unknown subject. The act and presence of the veil is well known to conceal or represent faith, culture and social values. In Catching Breath the veiled subject peers through the veil with eyes clearly focused on the outside. This eye communication catches our attention, our breath as we decided whether or not to lift the subjects’ veil, to reveal the unknown.
The original portrait is from the artist Brook Andrew’s archive of rare books, postcards and paraphernalia. This archive is an active medium that is massaged into the artist museum installations and exhibitions. In this case Catching Breath is well hidden below the veil of time, though one can lift it if they dare, dare to reveal the past, the curiosity, the known and unknown, the mystery.
This design will be woven in two parts – on the left loom the tapestry will be woven, and the veil on the right loom. Both these parts will be woven with the same palette, however the veil will be a thinner shaped piece, woven with a even weave (warp and weft visible in even amounts) and in a technique similar to cloth weaving. The veil will be woven with a visible black warp specially dyed at the Workshop and silver Lurex thread will be used.
Proudly supported by the Tapestry Foundation of Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this project will be the latest addition to our Embassy Tapestry Program and will be going on loan to the Australian High Commission in Singapore.
Brook Andrew and Chris Cochius gave a talk about the making of Catching Breath on the 25th of August 2014, to watch the talk click here.
Conceived by European curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and managed by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, do it (adelaide) will be the latest incarnation of this global art project.
do it began in Paris in 1993 as a result of a discussion between Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier about how to make exhibitions flexible and open-ended. Would an artist’s work be transformed if others made the artwork?
Each do it exhibition is uniquely site-specific because it engages the local community in a dialogue that responds to and adds a new set of instructions, while it remains global in the scope of its ever-expanding repertoire. This also means that the generative and accumulative aspects of do it’s ongoing presentation are less concerned with notions of the “reproduction” or materiality of the artworks than with revealing the nuances of human interpretation in its various permutations and iterations. In this way, do it is able to bridge the gaps between the temporalities of past, present and future.
This open exhibition model has become the longest-running and most far-reaching exhibition to ever take place, giving new meaning to the concept of the “Exhibition in Progress.”
Wednesday 11th February
5.30 – 7.30 pm
Performance at 6pm sharp.
RMIT Design Hub
Level 2, Entry via the forecourt.
Luke George responds to De Anima with a performance that explores ideas for future collaborations at Design Hub.