Solid Light: Josef Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski / Pia Van Gelder 1 April – 14 July 2019
Image: Josef Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski, Nymphex 1966, gelatin silver photograph from electronic image, 50.6 x 60.8 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Gift of Dr George Berger 1978. Image courtesy the Art Gallery of New South Wales, reproduced with kind permission of the Estate of J S Ostoja-Kotkowski.
Solid Light: Josef Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski
1 April – 14 July 2019
Born in Poland in 1922, Josef Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski moved to Australia in 1949 and became pivotal in development of Australian experimental and new media art. Pioneering electronic art, he made innovations in computer and laser technology, including kinetics and sound, which he applied to visual art, music and theatre. He was the first artist in Australia to use television as an artistic medium, and arguably the first in the world to use lasers in a stage production. His radical approach to marrying art and technology drew much criticism from critics and peers, yet his work gathered much interest in international experimental art circles.
In addition to Ostoja’s interest in the symbiosis of art and science, his work also constitutes a unique response to the Australian landscape. Inspired by the dazzling desert colours of central Australia, light became for him the ultimate medium and he followed its potential in far-reaching directions. While decidedly forward-looking, he also incorporated cultural influences from his homeland, such as the craft of wycinanki, or Polish paper-cutting.
Marking 25 years since the artist’s death in 1994, Solid Light will be the first major survey of Ostoja-Kotkowski’s diverse and future-oriented practice. The exhibition will bring together craft, drawings, paintings, optical collages, electronic images, photographs, kinetic sculpture and archival material from McClelland’s collection and major public institutions across Australia. The exhibition is accompanied by a significant catalogue, the first major publication on Ostoja-Kotkowski’s work. This project is generously supported by The Gordon Darling Foundation.
Pia van Gelder: Psychic Synth II / Apparition Apparatus
1 April – 14 July 2019
Solid Light will be accompanied by an interactive installation by Sydney-based multimedia artist Pia van Gelder, whose multimedia practice uses electronics to develop interactive installations and performances. Her Psychic Synth II and Apparition Apparatus continue Ostoja-Kotkowski’s innovative experimentation with contemporary technology. Psychic Synth II uses electroencephalograph headsets with video and sound synthesisers to create a feedback loop between the human brain and technology, translating the participant’s brain waves into colourful abstract projections and sounds. This work offers an environment where humans and technology become complementary and continuous, influencing and responding to each other’s signals.
Apparition Apparatus is an autonomous audiovisual setup featuring an early digital video mixer. The audio and video outputs of this device are plugged into their corresponding inputs, to produce an internal signal loop that emits a constant stream of abstract electronic phenomena. Van Gelder bypasses the unit’s intended use to reveal its inherent creative potential, allowing it to ‘perform’ and communicate in its own language.
Download the catalogue essay here
Pia Van Gelder, Psychic Synth II 2019, still detail. Courtesy the artist.
Splash McClelland Contemporary Watercolour Award 2018 26 November 2018 – 17 March 2019
To be held every three years, the Splash McClelland Contemporary Watercolour Award was established in 2018 to showcase contemporary Australian watercolour practice. It is an acquisitive award enabled by the Fornari Bequest, by the Will of the late Lena May Fornari, and is a legacy of her support of the arts in Victoria. Lena May was an ardent collector of watercolours and the first acquisitions through this Bequest were significant watercolour paintings. Continuing this tradition, Splash presents the work of contemporary Australian artists who use this medium in highly accomplished and innovative ways:
Lee Bethel, Kate Beynon, Jacquie Blight, James Boissett, Mitchel Brannan, Leah Bullen, Chris Casali, Michelle Cawthorn, Carla Cescon, Glen Clarke, Greg Creek, Du Chonggang, Anne Edmonds, Belinda Fox, Rosi Griffin, David Hurwitz, Dee Jackson, GG Jolliffe, Sonja Karl, Dominika Keller, Waratah Lahy, Duncan Lannan, Tania Mason, Maxine Leigh McKee, Fiona McMonagle, Jennifer Mills, Claudia Nicholson, Hubert Pareroultja, John Pastoriza-Piñol, Jan Pittman, Rebeccah Power, Annette Raff, Annika Romeyn, Steve Salo, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Andrew Seward, Nicola Smith, Tang Ying, Ebony Truscott, Michelle Ussher, Elke Varga.
Artist Jennifer Mills was awarded the $30,000 award for her work, In the echo chamber (WARNING NUEAO, Brendan 1976-78)2018, judged by Linda Michael, independent curator and editor. Fiona McMonagle’s animated video work, The park at the end of my road 2016, was selected for the $10,000 highly commended work, judged by Samantha Comte, Curator, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne.
Image: Splash McClelland Contemporary Watercolour Award 2018, installation view. Photograph Christian Capurro.
Annette Warner Atlas of Memory: (re)visualising Gordon Ford’s natural Australian garden 29 July – 11 November 2018
This exhibition of research by Annette Warner, School of Ecosystems & Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne presented diverse archival material relating to the influential practice of mid‐to late 20th Century landscape designer Gordon Ford. Ford was recently recognised as a person of National Significance for his contribution to an Australian naturalistic approach to landscape design. Historically he is linked to the development of the Eltham creative movement and significant figures such as the architect Alistair Knox, photographer Sue Ford and other well‐known artists, writers and designers of this time. See the exhibition catalogue here.
Installation view. Photography Christian Capurro.
Sanné Mestrom: Black Paintings 29 July - 11 November 2018
Sanné Mestrom’s Black Paintings, made from undyed spun wool mounted on steel frames, derive from a series of minimal abstract paintings by the American painter Frank Stella from the 1960s. Flat, imposing, and with a masculine edge, Stella’s works exemplify the influential theory of modernism proposed by American critic Clement Greenberg – that painting was progressively refined to its surface qualities. Conversely, Mestrom’s series celebrates the rough texture and comforting qualities of wool and the associated notions of weaving as a feminine craft. Stella’s canvases are re-posed as endearing sculptural objects and installations, complemented by a series of gouache paintings.
Image: Sanné Mestrom, Black paintings 2014, courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney. Photography Christian Capurro.
Another Dimension 1 April – 15 July 2018
Another Dimension explored the dynamic relationship between form and content in contemporary art, by positioning sculpture as part of a broader two and three-dimensional spatial practice. The exhibition showcased six contemporary Australian artists who, working across and between media, have creatively ventured into other dimensions: Benjamin Armstrong, Sanné Mestrom, Robert Owen, Steaphan Paton, Marian Tubbs, and Michelle Ussher.
Download the catalogue for Another Dimension here
Framing Nature 26 November 2017 - 18 March 2018
Framing Nature presented McClelland’s historical collection and recent acquisitions, augmented by key loaned works, to explore diverse visual and conceptual images of nature. Previously considered a mere backdrop for human drama, the landscape became an artistic subject in its own right only recently and is often defined by notions of the picturesque and sublime. Yet in the context of escalating environmental catastrophe it has become necessary to overcome the aesthetic appreciation of nature in pictorial and subjective terms. This exhibition presented the varied representations and conceptualisations of nature that might inform such a reappraisal, preparing for a deeper understanding of our complex relationship to the natural environment.
Image: Siri Hayes, Wanderer above a sea of images 2008, chromogenic print 108.0 x 135.0cm. Courtesy the artist and Monash University Museum of Art.
The 2017 Mary & Lou Senini Student Art Award $3,000 for Sculpture 26 November 2017 – 22 January 2018
The $3,000 Mary & Lou SeniniStudent Art Award is presented annually to a Victorian tertiary art student who, in the opinion of the selection panel, is of outstanding ability and promise. Established in 1998, the award alternates between the disciplines of Sculpture, Painting/Printmaking, Ceramics and Textiles, and this year McClelland is pleased to present the award for Sculpture. The 2017 exhibiting artists were Prudence Coburn, Matt Fairbridge, Sophie Fox, Ali Griffin, Sean McDowell, Ashley Perry.
The Winner of the 2017 Senini Award for Sculpture was Ashley Perry for his work Garabu Ganyabara (One For Holding) 2017.
Tina Haim – Tina Haim-Wentscher – Tina Wentcher Sculptor: 1887-1974 24 July – 12 November
This exhibition celebrates the life and art of Tina Wentcher, a somewhat overlooked figure in Australian sculpture whose works elegantly unite Eastern and Western aesthetic influences. The artist was born in 1887 in Constantinople and established herself as a significant sculptor in Berlin, before travelling extensively with her husband Julius throughout South East Asia. Here they produced numerous sculptures and paintings, including portraits of the local people and landscapes. After fleeing conflicts in Europe and Asia, the Wentchers arrived in Australia in 1940 and continued to produce work that brought together varied cultural and aesthetic influences. After several years of research, renowned curator Ken Scarlett OAM has traced Wentcher’s sculptures in Germany, Greece, China, Singapore, North America and Australia, with this reseacrh and key loans to be presented with McClelland’s representative collection of works by the artist.
Image: Tina Wentcher modelling a Malayan woman’s head c1936. Photographer unknown.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation.
Stephen Haley: Out of place 24 July – 12 November
Working in painting and digital media, Stephen Haley uses 3D modelling software to explore the virtual and actual environments of contemporary experience. Where once we inhabited particular and unique places, these are increasingly replaced by generic constructed space. Haley transforms seemingly unremarkable urban surroundings into complex spatial and visual phenomena, to highlight the current conditions of rapid urbanisation, digital evolution and environmental degradation. This exhibition features a selection of Haley’s recent constructed photographs and video work, including vast aerial vistas of metropolitan spaces and driving simulations.
Stephen Haley, Simmer City 2016, digital lightjet print 125.0 x 125.0 cm. Image courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery.
Matthew Bird: Dormitorium 5 March – 9 July 2017
Dormitorium is the latest interactive sculptural project by Melbourne-based architect Matthew Bird. Acclaimed for his progressive and experimental methods, Bird draws across and unites numerous creative disciplines from architecture and interior design to installation art, photography and performance.
In the lead-up to this exhibition, Bird’s research has led to an extensive exploration in the changing traditions of bedchamber aesthetics and the potential these spaces have to profoundly affect the way we rest and rejuvenate. Bringing together these ideas, Dormitorium is presented as a communal sleep chamber and exploratory environment that encourages audiences to engage with a complexity of sensory propositions, from textures and materials to the immersive effects of moving light and sound technologies.
Dormitorium has been created in collaboration with Respiratory & Sleep Disorders Physician Dr Marcus McMahon from Austin Health and Professor Shantha Rajaratnam and Professor Sean Drummond from Monash University’s Sleep Program, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences. With contributions from architect and designer Caitlyn Parry, choreographer/ performance artist Phillip Adams and choreographer/ dance artist Shelley Lasica.
Matthew Bird Studiobird
Matthew BIRD, Dormitorium 2017. timber, steel, fixings, paint, electroplated zinc coated trampoline, motorised turntable, sheep skin toppers, caster wheels, projectors, animated digital projections, LED strip lighting, quilted and memory foam pillows, gutter bristles, electrical clamps. Featuring choreographer and dance artist Shelley Lasica. Photography: Peter Bennetts.
Resonance: Selected works from The McClelland Collection 5 March – 9 July 2017
McClelland’s permanent collection informs a series of presentations throughout the year that allows visitors to encounter new acquistions whilst rediscovering familiar aspects of the collection in new ways and various iterations.
Resonance is the latest exhibition drawn principally from McClelland’s collection. This exhibition highlights a range of modern and contemporary favourites that share connections either through material, process or concept whilst acknowledging ways in which artists have engaged various modes of abstraction that shift across time and location.
Human/Animal/Artist: Art Inspired by Animals 20 November 2016 – 19 February 2017
Curated by Janine Burke
Human / Animal / Artist: Art Inspired by Animals showcased a diverse range of established and emerging contemporary artists who emulate, incorporate or refer to the works of animals, whether nest, web, hive, shelter, structure, design, trace, song or dance. It explored how the exquisite, elaborate and sophisticated works of certain animals can have a direct, fecund and illuminating relationship with contemporary art. By showing how the human artist has been inspired by the animal’s original design or production, the exhibition acknowledged the profound shift that has taken place regarding animals in recent decades. This shift is the result of our concerns about the natural world due to climate change and its devastating impact on the earth’s many ecosystems.
Image: Jason deCAIRES TAYLOR Vicissitudes 2011 (detail) installation view: depth 5m Grenada, West Indies
Courtesy of the artist
Sonia Payes: Parallel Futures 3 July 2016 - 6 November 2016
As the winner of the McClelland Achievement Prize in 2014, Sonia Payes has been planning her future and her new exhibition Parallel Futures. This exhibition will provide an insight into the evolution Payes’ work from photography through to sculpture, and how she has made the 2D image a 3D reality. Payes’ new work includes the Woman Series, a new body of sculptural works that extends the imagery of the four-faced goddess and incarnates her into a metallic warrior. A strong environmental narrative permeates the exhibition, and the cycle of recreation in a wildly imagined dystopian landscape is thoroughly explored.
Payes has held 12 solo exhibitions and been included in over 50 group shows and many prestigious art prizes in Australia and overseas including Shanghai, London, Auckland and Los Angeles. Her works are held in numerous public, corporate and private collections. Sonia Payes is represented by Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne.
Image: Sonia PAYES, installation of new work from the Woman Series
David Jensz: Sculpture 19 March 2016 - 19 June 2016
As one of Australia’s prominent public sculptors, Canberra-based David Jensz is well known for his inventive and sophisticated forms that are shaped by unexpected ready-made materials. Ranging from industrial plastic pipes, inflatable rubber tyre tubes through to 44 gallon drums and corrugated iron, Jensz handles and weaves these materials in ways that defy their original purpose.
Image: David JENSZ Rupture 2013
Jacqui Stockdale: Drawing the Labyrinth 19 March 2016 - 19 June 2016
Jacqui Stockdale’s Drawing the Labyrinth comprises more than one hundred metres of drawings presented in a fold-out concertina sketchbook set out on tables and configured in the form of a labyrinth. This continuous length of drawings reflects the artist’s intimate journey over a twelve month period, variously depicting moments spent travelling across Europe, incorporating a diverse array of portraits such as friends, family members, self-portraits, anonymous people on trains, teenagers in their classrooms, a live band on stage, even a woman giving birth. Making these sketches Stockdale seeks a direct connection with her subject, often drawing people she has spontaneously approached and invited to sit for her. Her mark making is a free and fluid process – embracing chance and happenstance within the overall composition – the artist comments that ‘like life, you go forward and work with the mistakes’. Stockdale’s labyrinth evokes the unfolding, serendipitous nature of experience and the ways that we share and comprehend existence as a series of intersecting observations and evolving narratives.
Image: Jacqui STOCKDALE Drawing the Labyrinth 2015
McClelland Collection 19 March 2016 - 19 June 2016
McClelland’s permanent collection consists of over 2,000 works of art encompassing sculpture, paintings, photography, works-on-paper and more. Following on from the 2006 exhibition Highlights from the McClelland Collection which presented works dating from the late 1800s to the 1950s, this exhibition brings together a selection of key contemporary works from McClelland’s collection. Both old favourites and recent acquisitions by many of Australia’s acclaimed contemporary artists working across a range of mediums and styles, will be presented in celebration of the continuing growth and significance of McClelland’s permanent collection.
Featured artists include Rick Amor, Stephen Bush, Paul Davies, Jennifer Goodman, Richard Giblett, Cherry Hood, Robert Jacks, Rosemary Laing, Christopher Langton, Ron Mueck, Jan Nelson, Jim Paterson, Patricia Piccinini, Alex Seton, Kate Spencer, Colin Suggett, Simon Terrill and Stephen Wickham.
Image: Ron MUECK Wild Man 2005/2008
Uncommon Australians: The Vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling 13 December 2015 - 21 February 2016
In the late 1980s, on the day that they decided to spend the rest of their lives together, Gordon and Marilyn Darling agreed to pursue a project: the creation of a place that would testify, through portraits, to the ingenuity, intelligence, inquisitiveness and perseverance of individuals who had made a lasting difference to Australia.
In the early 1990s they expressed their vision with an exhibition of portraits they called Uncommon Australians. Over years, their combination of idealism, practical support and persuasive lobbying for an Australian National Portrait Gallery played a crucial part in bringing the institution into being. Now, the National Portrait Gallery’s collection resides in a superb building, its spaces abounding with portraits the Darlings and subsequent benefactors have funded. Uncommon Australians: The Vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling reveals the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons as uncommon Australians of the kind they set out to celebrate from the very beginning.
Image: MONTALBETTI+CAMPBELL Andy Thomas 2002
Tim Silver: Talking to the Shadows 13 December 2015 - 21 February 2016
The observation of materials and forms in various states of change and transition has been at the heart of Tim Silver’s art for the past two decades. As one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Silver is well known for using mutable materials in the creation of his sculptures. Ranging from crayons, watercolour pigments, builder’s putty to confectionary, once cast, Silver’s sculptures begin to change. Sometimes it is simply the atmospheric effects of humidity, air and gravity that activate the works disintegration, whilst others are thrust into transition via fire or detonation resulting in the sculptures dramatic end. In this way Silver sees his sculptures as objects that ‘participate in the world, in real time’ rather than objects of permanence.
For his exhibition at McClelland, Silver will present a performative video alongside a series of steel and bronze sculptures cast directly from trees ravaged by the devastating 2012–13 Dunalley bushfires in Tasmania. This new series of sculptures poignantly captures the residue of nature after a catastrophic event.
Image: Tim SILVER Untitled (monument) 3 2014
Mary & Lou Senini Student Art Award: Ceramics 13 December 2015 - 26 January 2016
Established in 1998, the Mary and Lou Senini annual $3,000 Student Art Award alternates between the disciplines of Sculpture, Painting/Printmaking, Textiles, and this year McClelland is pleased to present the award for Ceramics.
The $3,000 award is presented to a Victorian tertiary art student who, in the opinion of the selection panel, is of outstanding ability and promise. The 2015 Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award celebrates the new voices in contemporary Victorian ceramics.
Image: Carolyn HAWKINS Private Assemblage 2014
Australian Artists in Bali: 1930s to Now 20 September 2015 - 29 November 2015
The lure of the enchanted isle is the focus of this exciting survey exhibition that focuses on the response of Australian artists to Bali from the 1930s through to the present day. The exhibition includes the work of significant historical, recent and contemporary Australian artists who have lived and worked in Bali, European artists who visited there prior to coming to Australia and bringing with them a range of new motifs and ideas, and selected examples of modern and contemporary Balinese art that provide a ‘right of reply’.
Australian Artists in Bali: 1930s to Now critically examines the romantic idea of a tropical island paradise along with the antithetical notion of Bali as a gateway to the East. It includes the work of artists who celebrate the beauty of Bali and the complexities of Balinese culture as well as those who willingly engage with the negative impact of the West on the Balinese way of life. In this way the exhibition addresses the changing nature of Australia’s relationship with Bali and Indonesia over the past 80 years. Australian Artists in Bali includes paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, sculptures and video drawn from major public and private collections from throughout Australia and overseas.
Featured artists include Ian Fairweather, Tina Wentcher, Adrian Feint, Vincent Brown, Arthur Fleischmann, Guelda Pyke, Donald Friend, Brett Whiteley, Affandi, Matthew Sleeth, Deborah Williams, James Smeaton, Toni Wilkinson, I Wayan Bendi, Mary Lou Pavlovic and Ketut Suaka, Adam Rish, Lisa Roet, Rodney Glick, Ben Quilty and Laith McGregor.
Image: Mary Lou PAVLOVIC and Ketut SUAKA Flora and Patra 2012-14
Elemental 29 May 2015 - 06 September 2015
Elemental features a series of significant works that explore the patterns, forces and systems of nature, and humanity’s impact upon these. This collection of works draws inspiration from and represents the natural world in contemplative, confronting and insightful ways. Some draw from the shapes and formations of which nature is comprised, offering intuitive interpretations of the environment. Others provide abstract perspectives of expansive landscapes from viewpoints unattainable by the human eye. Many seek to alter our perceptions of our natural surrounds through documentary, scientific or surreal approaches, revealing the unsustainable impacts of contemporary societies on our ecosystems. Elemental highlights the beauty, force and fragility of the earth’s systems, encouraging a reverence of our intrinsic relationship to the environment.
This exhibition is drawn principally from the McClelland permanent collection, with the addition of several key works on private loan. Significantly, a number of works are being presented for the first time since their acquisition, each expanding upon McClelland’s core focus of art and nature.
Featured artists include Narelle Autio, Mike Brown, Andrew Browne, Augustine Dall’Ava, Peter Datjin Burarrwanga, John Davis, Juan Ford, Angelina George, John Gollings, Janet Laurence, Akio Makigawa, John Mawurndjul, Anton McMurray, Dorothy Napangardi, Jasmine Targett, Neil Taylor, Wukun Wanambi, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Timothy Wulanjbirr, Gulumbu Yunupingu.
Image: Andrew BROWNE Periphery #1 2010
Andrew Rogers A Retrospective: Maquettes 1996 - 2015 29 May 2015 - 06 September 2015
Andrew Rogers has systematically developed the main themes of his full scale bronze sculptures through an extensive series of maquettes which on a similar scale present the variety and inventiveness of his practice. This retrospective exhibition will present these maquettes and allied small works to demonstrate the evolution of his various ideas and sculptural forms.
For Rogers his quest is to create and encode sculpture with spiritual meaning – to create a metaphor for the eternal cycle of life, growth and all the attendant emotions that colour and inform the human existence. Accordingly the main philosophical concept around which these works are gathered is the idea of the rhythm of life. Formalistically this abstract theme is conveyed through a matrix of energetic lines, evolving sequence of shapes and organically styled elements – they are a coda for time, change and existence.
Image: Andrew ROGERS I Am 2012
Geoffrey Bartlett: 280205 22 February 2015 - 17 May 2015
In 1983 Geoffrey Bartlett was honoured a prestigious Harkness Fellowship and within two years graduated from Columbia University, New York with a Masters of Fine Arts (Hons). This brief but significant period was instrumental in defining the future direction of Bartlett’s sculpture. His experimental and explorative nature coupled with the maturing effects of new experiences resulted in a significant and lasting shift in his work and was the foundation of a renewed and pure independent vision.
Working predominately within the language of abstraction Bartlett’s sculptures are spatially complex; they engage with the physical qualities of tension and balance and conceptually with the interaction of opposites from the inorganic and organic, external and internal through to ideas of the physical and emotional.
Unfolding the intriguing and unique correlations that have interwoven throughout the artists 40 years of making sculpture, this exhibition and accompanying major publication reassess works created by Geoffrey Bartlett during his time in New York in light of works produced prior to his departure in 1983 through to the present.
Image: Geoffrey BARTLETT 280205 2006
2014 Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award for Painting / Printmaking 6 December 2014 - 18 January 2015
Established in 1998, the Mary and Lou Senini annual $3,000 Student Art Award alternates between the disciplines of Sculpture, Ceramics and Textiles, and this year McClelland is pleased to present the award for Painting / Printmaking.
The $3,000 award is presented to a Victorian tertiary art student who, in the opinion of the selection panel, is of outstanding ability and promise. The selected finalists are included in an exhibition at the McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery from 6 December 2014 to 18 January 2015. Artists include Jinette de Gooijer, Ying Huang, Eugene Mott, Jenny Peterson, Carolyn Hawkins, Lina Buck, Domenica Vavala and Sarah Clelland.
Image: Lina BUCK Untitled Number 1 2014
2014 McClelland Sculpture Survey & Awards 23 November 2014 - 19 July 2015
Since its inception in 2003, the McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award has emerged as the most important biennial outdoor sculpture exhibition in Australia. The exhibition presents 33 works in an outdoor exhibition that highlights the diversity and invention of contemporary sculpture. The 2014 McClelland Sculpture Survey & Award will be open to the public from Sunday 23 November 2014 until Sunday 19 July 2015 at McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery.
Alex Seton: Last Resort 16 November 2014 - 08 February 2015
Alex Seton’s interest in contemporary subjects from the personal to the political continues to have a profound influence on his work. For his most recent exhibition Last Resort Seton explores notions of the utopian paradise represented through inflatable palm trees carved in Wombeyan marble that precariously rest upon their shore of remanent rubble. The association to island life, leisure and water-recreation, surfaces by extension through the rendering of a solitary oar and discarded inflatable lifeboats in suggested states of inflation and deflation.
While undeniably these works seduce and optically engage, it is the latent sense of menace that lurks beneath the surface of Last Resort’s idyllic sanctuary that unsettles. The idyll of strewn inflatable playtime objects, absent of human presence, are carved from stone, a material that is chosen for its dense and resilient virtues, rather than the buoyant qualities associated to the objects in which they refer. These objects of the ‘now’ stand as haunting reminders of the tremendous risks others face in the attempt to find solace and safety within brighter horizons.
Image: Alex SETON Durable Solutions 1 2014
Map12: Christopher Langton 16 November 2014 - 08 February 2015
In 2012 the McClelland Achievement Prize (MAP) was introduced as a third award of the McClelland Sculpture Survey, entitling the recipient to an exhibition and associated publication during the next McClelland Survey & Award. The inaugural MAP exhibition will focus on the work of Melbourne artist, Christopher Langton.
Langton is Australia’s master of plastic Pop. His metier of glitz, gloss and colour combined with humour that includes over-sized toys and cartoon icons embody the playfulness of the Pop Art aesthetic of the 20th century. His recent works however, have an unsettling edginess and sense of world-weariness that portends to a darker humour in the Post-Pop, Post-Human movements of the 21st century.
This survey exhibition includes installations of spinning gargantuan ersatz flowers, floating PVC inflatable toys and psychedelic wall bubbles that amass into exuberant colourful environments. The evolution of Langton’s art as featured in the exhibition also includes his menagerie of pixilated anime figures, and recent ‘action’ figures which have morphed through three dimensional printing from his earlier pop icons into menacing sci-fi clones, appearing as emissaries from the future.
Image: Christopher LANGTON Death Warmed Up 2011
We Don't Need a Map: a Martu Experience of the Western Desert 16 August 2014 - 2 November 2014
We don’t need a map: a Martu experience of the Western Desert is a groundbreaking exhibition that brings the remote WA desert to regional Australia. First shown at Fremantle Arts Centre in 2012, this critically acclaimed and popular show melds the traditional culture of the Martu people with cutting edge new media artists from across Australia. Featuring stunning paintings, digital animation, immersive video installations, aerial desert photography, handmade Martu objects and a public program featuring key Martu participants, We don’t need a map invites visitors to interact with the lively and enduring culture of the Western Desert.
The original We don’t need a map exhibition was the result of a partnership between Fremantle Arts Centre, Martumili Artists and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa and BHP Billiton. This national tour is made possible with the support of The Australia Council for the Arts, Martu People Limited, Western Australia’s Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.
“It is like stepping into another world. Through paint, drawing, moving image, installation and photography, audiences are teleported to and enveloped by the dusty red, demanding and mesmerising environment that is Martu country.”
Laetitia Wilson, The West Australian, January 2013
Image: Marra! (Catch It!) Kumpaya Gigirba and Ngamaru Bidu 2010 Photo: Gabrielle Sullivan
Waves & Water: Australian Beach Photographs 11 May 2014 - 3 August 2014
Iconic photographs capture Australian beach culture from the 1930s to today. Sunbathers, swimmers, surfers and surf life savers are depicted in this collection of photographs from the Australian National Maritime Museum.
The exhibition includes Max Dupain’s iconic image, the Sunbaker, Ray Leighton’s surfers posed with their longboards, images from Jeff Carter’s 1960s surfing safari, and Roger Scott’s “critical moment” photographs, taken as an individual catches a wave or dives into the ocean.
Anne Zahalka explores ideas of Australian cultural identity and stereotypes by reworking familiar images from the media and the history of art in the series Bondi: playground of the Pacific. Narelle Autio provides a different view of the ocean swimmer from beneath the surface of the waves, and Ian Lever renders the beauty and moods of Sydney’s ocean pools at dawn and dusk.
Image: Roger SCOTT Queenscliff 1975
Cream: Four Decades of Australian Art 11 May 2014 - 3 August 2014
Cream: Four Decades of Australian Art chronicles the development of modernism in Australia from 1940 to 1980. Grace Cossington Smith’s Drapery in the studio 1940 demonstrates the predominance of post-impressionism and European influences in Australian art at that time. The painting also indicates an end point for euro-centric influences and a new era of a truly ‘Australian’ style. In a post-Second World War environment themes that emerged include universal mythologies in an Australian context, a revised representation of the Australian landscape, portraiture, and social realist depictions of marginalised Australians. Artists include John Perceval, Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, John Brack, Clifton Pugh, Sam Fulbrook, Margaret Olley, and Fred Williams, are represented by paintings completed as mature artists and are synonymous with their practice.
Alongside the ‘Melbourne moderns’ Cream also emphasises the development of modernism in other Australian centres. Donald Friend, Frank Hinder, John Coburn, James Gleeson, Lloyd Rees, and David Aspden each represent a particularly Sydney alternative to modernism, through the varying pursuits of expressionism, futurism, abstraction, and surrealism. Equally, the inclusion of Brisbane artists such as Vida Lahey and Jon Molvig; and Ray Crooke and Kenneth Macqueen – effectively Queensland artists – will challenge the predominate view that the centres of Australian modernism belonged to Sydney and Melbourne. Women artists, including Judy Cassab and Constance Stokes, who have previously received less recognition for their place in Australian modern art, are also represented.
The exhibition ends at 1980 with William Robinson’s Four cows, one bulling, which surmises a new direction in Australian painting; the beginning of ‘post-modernism’. Cream also recognises the contribution of the Australia Council and the people Rockhampton in the development of the Gallery’s remarkable collection.
Image: Arthur BOYD Woman in a jinker 1976
Martin Hill: Watershed 16 February 2014 - 27 April 2014
This project was made in association with Phillipa Jones with the generous support of the Kenneth Myer Alpine Artist and Writers Retreat Programme 2012 and the Martyn and Louise Myer Foundation.
Watershed comprises a new body of photographic work by Martin Hill that explore man’s place within the natural environment. These sweeping alpine landscapes investigate the relationship between culture and nature, man and the environment through a series of captivating sculptural interventions. This exhibition poses the question of how man might learn and live in harmony with the laws of nature in the face of catastrophic climate change and ecological destruction.
Image: Martin HILL Watershed Guardian 2013
Sensory Overload: Karen Casey, George Khut, Ross Manning and Kit Webster 16 February 2014 - 27 April 2014
Sensory Overload features the work of four contemporary new media artists who create immersive spaces using hypnotic soundscapes and pulsing imagery to explore the invisible data that permeate our environment. Offering an alternate perspective of sculptural installations and spatial engagement this exhibition of light and sound works stimulate and mesmerise through an overload of bodily and meditative engagements.
Sensory Overload will bring together the work of Karen Casey, George Khut, Ross Manning and Kit Webster. The meditative qualities of Karen Casey’s installation are inspired by the interplay between mind and matter, a theme also explored by George Khut who invites participants to regulate their stress levels by visually displaying their heartbeat in an onscreen display. Ross Manning and Kit Webster explore the dynamic movement of light through suspended sculptures that are charged with projected patterns of colour and form.
This exhibition is curated by McClelland’s former Balnaves Curatorial Intern, Charlotte Carter and has been supported by NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund.
Image: Ross MANNING In Bloom 2013
Juan Ford: Lord of the Canopy 16 February 2014 - 27 April 2014
The act of reconstructing a full-sized eucalyptus tree within a gallery is an expression of both hope and futility; the tree looks and feels like a tree, but it cannot and will not ever grow again. To constrain it to the limited dimensions of a gallery space is a further attempt to subjugate a natural phenomenon to the confines of an artistic practice. But life is larger than art. It will always burst forth beyond us.
Incorporating an anamorphic possum ring and a large wall painting, visitors can look to see what the ring reflects, and ponder Ford’s amalgam of rational and irrational references to ecology, subjugation of nature, absurdist metaphysics, and art history.
Image: Juan FORD Lord of the Canopy 2012
The Mary & Lou Senini Student Award: Sculpture 1 December 2013 - 12 January 2014
Established in 1998, the Mary and Lou Senini annual $3000 Award alternates between the disciplines of Painting / Printmaking, Ceramics and textiles and this year McClelland Gallery is pleased to present the award for Sculpture.
Selected finalists are included in an exhibition at the McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery and recipient of the award announced at the exhibition opening on 1 December 2013. Artists include Natasha Avila, Scott Selkirk, Ashley Ko, Tia Mavanie, James Rolfe, Ashley Perry, Georgia Camden, Adam Stone, James Targett, Veronica Caven Aldous and Melissa Wilson.
Image: Jasmine TARGETT What the eyes do not see 2013
Made to Last: The Conservation of Art 20 October 2013 - 2 February 2014
The conservation of art is commonly associated with the restoration of seventeenth century paintings or marble sculptures from antiquity. The use of materials in contemporary art has challenged this perception and enabled a shift in the way conservators interact with artists.
The artists in Made to Last pose questions to future conservators; they have been interviewed by curator Sherryn Vardy about their intent, materials, processes and views on conservation. The exhibition also provides a behind-the-scenes look at conservation with demonstrations of how materials can behave over time and under different environments.
Works include neon and master woodblock prints by Brook Andrew, altered ceramics by Penny Byrne, paintings and anamorphic works by Juan Ford, ink on paper and unique objects such as plants on shelves by Ghostpatrol, and video work and installation using unconventional materials including strawberries and cream and raspberry lollies by Claire Anna Watson.
Image: Penny BYRNE Tea for Two in Tuvalu 2011
Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan 20 October 2013 - 2 February 2014
Shaun Gladwell’s war art focuses on ordinary soldiers in harsh landscapes, on their physique, their inner world, and the training and rituals that shape them. The subjects depicted here, whether on military bases in Afghanistan, the Middle East or Australia, lie at the centre of the artist’s meditations on the role of technology in modern war and the nature of sacrifice and death. Gladwell’s work is a significant contribution to a tradition of official war art that began during the First World War. His use of the video medium is the first in the history of the Australian War Memorial’s official war art scheme.
Image: Shaun GLADWELL BPOV MEAO (Behind Point of View, Middle East Area of Operations) edition 1/1, 2009–10
Air Born 23 June 2013 - 6 October 2013
Air born brings together a vibrant collection of contemporary artists’ work who through their varying artistic disciplines are inspired by birds, either as subject or who emulate through their work aspects of avian habitats and rituals.
Birds have played a vivid role in the conceptual and spiritual life of many cultures. Air born inspires an exploration of these cultural traditions and symbology by unravelling varying ideas surrounding the bird and our interaction with them. The themes presented in these works traverse art and cultural history as well as ideas of adornment, volatility, migration, environment, place and identity.
This exhibition accompanies NEST: The Art of Birds to celebrate the importance of birds and revere the often overlooked marvels of their intricate and beautiful existence
Image: Maria FERNANDA CARDOSO Emu Flag + Cpat (Fluro Orange) 2008-2008
NEST: The Art of Birds 23 June 2013 - 6 October 2013
What are nests if not art created by nature? Guest curator Dr Janine Burke has devised an exhibition which explores the beauty, ingenuity and originality of birds’ nests – from magpies to honeyeaters, from chaffinches to parrots, from hummingbirds to African weavers.
Presenting over 70 nests sourced from the collection of Museum Victoria and fro the private collection of Gay Bilson, these exquisite constructions reveal the lives and habits of our closest wild neighbours. They tell the story of birds’ survival and adaptation to our ecologically fragile planet.
NEST displays the architectural skill of birds, their consummate ability to make work that is both delicate and durable, as well as the astonishing array of materials they use. This exhibition invites audiences to connect with nature in a new way – observe nests in all their resourcefulness, diversity and elegance.
Image: Striped Honeyeater nest constructed from fine dry grass, covered and decorated with Emu feathers 11.2 x 27.0 x 19.0 cm Specimen courtesy of Museum Victoria Photograph: David SHEEHY
Made in China, Australia 17 March 2013 - 09 June 2013
A Salamanca Arts Centre and CAST touring exhibition
Presenting the work of 16 Chinese Australian artists, Made in China, Australia brings into discussion ideas that surround the meeting of these different cultures and how these experiences have impacted and shaped the work of each artist.
Made in China, Australia considers the work of contemporary artists across a range of mediums and disciplines, genders and generations. Some of the artists in the exhibition were born in Australia, others have travelled here in the past and some are recent arrivals. This exhibition highlights the subtle differences that arise in each artist’s work due to their unique relationship with both cultures.
The exhibition includes the work of Tony Ayres, Shuxia Chen, Clara Chow, Lindy Lee, Kevin Leong, Owen Leong, Pamela Mei-Leng See, Chen Ping, Jane Quon, Aaron Seeto, Jason Wing, Liu Xiao Xian, Zhou Xiaoping, William Yang, John Young, TianliZu.
Curated by Greg Leong.
This exhibition is supported by the Contemporary Touring initiative, an Australian Government program, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Government and the state and territory governments. The project is also supported by the Australia Council and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.
Image: Owen LEONG Budi (from the series Birthmark) 2010
MOMENTUM 17 March 2013 - 9 June 2013
This exhibition explores the body in various states of action and transition. Caught between real and imagined worlds, figures are held aloft in a moment of time and space while others are captured in curious states of motion and play.
In the work of artists such as Rosemary Laing, surreal images of suspended figures in the landscape are photographed through dramatic site specific interventions and performance. The mysterious movement of light and shadow captivates in the imagery of Sonia Payes while Deborah Paauwe’s figures at play suggest the ambiguous world that exists between childhood and adolescence. The swarm of mass crowds in Simon Terrill and Anne Zahalka’s photographs break down the boundaries that exist between individual identities, revealing the transitory patterns of movement that take place in shared social spaces.
This exhibition is inspired by McClelland’s permanent collection and highlights some of its recent acquisitions of work by contemporary Australian artists who harness the agency of in-situ performance, photography, soundscapes and sculpture to explore the body in motion.
Artists include: Rosemary Laing, Callum Morton, Jan Nelson, Deborah Paauwe, Sonia Payes, Patricia Piccinini, Simon Terrill and Anne Zahalka
Image: Rosemary LAING bulletproofglass#8 2002
Janet Laurence: The Alchemical Garden of Desire 18 November 2012 - 03 March 2013
Janet Laurence’s art is a synthesis of nature, science and architecture and transverses between the disciplines of installation, photography, painting and sculpture. She often uses specific environmental sites as subject to explore ideas of the tangible – of nature in decline and renewal and the intangible – the inherent memories of these sites and the plants and animals that inhabit them.
In her most recent body of work, Laurence considers the process of tracing the ‘memory of nature’ through elaborate constructs of glass leaves and vitrines that contain and screen a collection of botanical images, specimens and natural curios. These works stand as a comment upon the volatility of nature whilst performing as a Museum, to protect and memorialise a plant’s history.
For her McClelland installation Laurence merges past and present, juxtaposing collected botanical curious with living samples gleaned from the ‘turn of the century’, Langwarrin garden ‘Cruden Farm’. In this installation Laurence expresses both the existence of plants and the idea of a garden as protective haven for the botanic.
Janet Laurence is a Sydney-based artist who is recognised internationally for her public commissions and installations.
Image: Janet LAURENCE The Alchemical Garden of Desire 2012
Aftermath: Landscape photographs by John Gollings from Black Saturday 18 November 2012 - 03 March 2013
The Black Saturday bushfires burnt across Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009. These fires, as many as 400 individual fires, resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire when 173 people died and 414 were injured. The fires were mainly centred around Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale regions which were all but completely destroyed.
This exhibition features the work of John Gollings, a prominent Melbourne based photographer. His aerial photographs of the devastated blackened forests of the Kinglake Marysville region reveal the raw abstract patterns of the land. Stripped of vegetation there is a curious play of black and colour, of patterns and textures, that is only revealed in the destruction of the bush. His images capture and merge the ambiguous patterns of cast shadows and blackened tree trunks, while other images reveal the rolling topography of the denuded landscape, where roads and tracks and the marks of man add to the extensive geometry of the land.
Image: John GOLLINGS 877.00m E 145° 12’ 31.12’ S 037° 25’ 15.95’ 2009
The 2012 Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award 04 November 2012 - 13 January 2013
The Mary and Lou Senini Award 2012 was given to Andrew Treloar for his textile work Hnagma.
Established in 1998, the Mary and Lou Senini annual $3000 Award alternates between the disciplines of Painting / Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics and this year McClelland Gallery is pleased to present the award for Textiles.
The 2012 Mary & Lou Senini Art Award for Textiles features the work of distinguished Victorian tertiary students who have been selected for their outstanding ability within the field of textiles.
The finalist works on display encompassed a diverse range of styles and subject matter that explore the creative potential of textiles in its many forms.
2012 Finalists included:
Image: Andrew TRELOAR Hnagma 2011
Awakening Forms: Vincas Jomantas and Clifford Last 29 July 2012 - 28 October 2012
This exhibition explores the work of two pioneering Australian sculptors: Clifford Last and Vincas Jomantas. Both artists played pivotal roles as founding members of the highly influential Victorian Centre 5 group whose lasting impact on Australian sculpture can be felt in Australia’s architectural landscape to this day. With works drawn from McClelland’s own extensive collection, Awakening Forms follows the journey of these two immigrant Australian sculptors from the influence of their retrospective British and Lithuanian backgrounds to their own invigoration of Australian sculpture from the 1950s onwards. From the early compositional figurative forms to the accomplished cool geometric and machine like sculptures that would mark their later works, both artists demonstrated a lifelong experimentation and passion for sculpture.
Image: Clifford Last Supplicant 1986
Beyond the Self: Contemporary Portraiture from Asia 1 April 2012 - 15 July 2012
Through the work of artists from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand,Beyond the Self: Contemporary Portraiture from Asia examines recent directions in contemporary self portraiture in Asia. The various regions of Asia have rich and complex histories of representation to draw on. Accompanying local influences there are broader international conventions that impact on the artists’ work. The use and manipulation of the self image has afforded an avenue for many artists to interrogate their locations and aspirations in recent years. The artists in this exhibition use their objective selves – personal faces and bodies, or those of close family – to speak not only about themselves but also of larger issues and ideas.
Participating artists are interested in re-describing individual and collective viewpoints within their specific historical and cultural landscapes. Interests in redefining the local and questioning the self run parallel to changes in contemporary society and the inexorable shifts in cultures in this age of instantaneous electronic communication and a converging world economy. The contemporary worlds of the artists involve global awareness and mobility along with altered economic and technological possibilities. These redefinitions of the “personalised local” manifest in sophisticated responses to this homogenising moment in history.
The works in the exhibition do not simply mirror the artists’ contemporary worlds. Presenting enquiries that are personally significant, some artists also delve into historical complexity, nationally and internationally. The exhibition presents individually distinct projects that flow into comparable and related themes. Some artists look at different forms of representation exploring transnational histories or modes of contemporary being, while others anchor their positions in the local. Articulations of political and social concerns stand alongside metaphysical expressions of the self within larger cultural settings and adventures into expanded notions of selfhood, explored as part of familial, societal and cultural frameworks.
The artists in Beyond the Self largely operate in spaces of imaginative invention and intervention. Through their personal perspectives and redefinitions of various cultural and historical landscapes the artists attempt to alter the audiences’ customary parameters – probing, pushing and extending imaginations. They offer alternative ways of operating in and imaging our world and suggest a future of undefined possibilities. Writer Homi Bhabha, describing internationalism, suggests that ‘the … space ‘beyond’ becomes a space of intervention in the here and now’. The artists in this exhibition create work that reflects that intervention into the here and now, to explore beyond the self.
Image: Nusra Latif Qureshi Did You Come Here to Find History? 2009
The 2011 Mary and Lou Senini Student Art Award 13 November 2011 - 15 January 2012
This award was established in 1998 with the intention to provide support to Victorian art students at a tertiary level. The Award is presented by McClelland to an applicant who fulfils the required conditions and who, in the opinion of the selection panel, is of outstanding ability and promise, with the 2011 focus being on ceramics practice.
Selected finalists were included in an exhibition at McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park from November 2011 to January 2012.
Finalists included Peter Austin, Michael Barrett, Claus Bredow, Jia Jia Ji Chen, Alex Goad, Janetta Kerr-Grant, Sophie Moorhouse Morris, Marlize Myburgh, Kerry Peterson, Anna Rowbury and Ashleigh Sims.
Image: Artist Name: Kerry Peterson Weeds 1 2011
Double Vision Date: 13 November 2011 - 5 February 2012
Double Vision exuberantly explores contemporary art with ideas of portraiture and the body as the focus. Representing through a myriad of mediums what it is to be human, the exhibition charts its ways through encounters of the unexpected, psychological and humorous.
This exhibition also looks at the captivating art of Realism and the intriguing exchanges that occur between painting, photography, digital image and sculpture. Including key works from McClelland’s permanent collection augmented by private and public collection loans Double Vision includes the work of Stephen Birch, Lyndell Brown & Charles Green, Juan Ford, Petrina Hicks, Cherry Hood, Sam Jinks, Justine Khamara, Rosemary Laing, Ron Mueck, Jan Nelson, Evan Penny, Patricia Piccinini, Caroline Rothwell, Julie Rrap, Alexander Seton, Ricky Swallow, Colin Suggett, Christian Thompson and Ronnie van Hout.
Image: Jan NELSON Walking in tall grass, Lucy 2010