PAST EXHIBITIONS . 2019
10 AUGUST/ 8 SEPTEMBER
Our Desires Our Not Our Own
Our Desires Are Not Our Own explores the ambiguity and complexity of the emotions of female desire and pleasure once woman is no longer positioned as the ‘object’ of heterosexual male desire.
The ‘male gaze’ as coined by Laura Mulvey in 1975 speaks to the way in which women historically have been presented in visual arts and literature as objects of male pleasure and desire. In response to this, Jill Soloway in her TIFF Master Class identifies the male gaze for the way it “shames (women’s) desire (and) names only the desire that is okay with them.” She investigates the notion of the ‘female gaze’ and the idea of the ‘subjective camera’. It is this concept of subjectivity through the lens in relation to female desire Ledwich wishes to explore.
Through the mediums of photography and sculpture Ledwich seeks to open a dialogue between the viewer and the work around the complexities of this subject/object relationship. Can one, as Soloway suggests “reclaim the body...to evoke a feeling of being in feeling, rather than seeing” when for so long these images have been a channel for male desire and a tool of power? Ledwich creates images of the female body that successfully speak to how it feels to be the object of the gaze? And can these images really be separated from the power dynamic within which they were created?
Drawing influence from advertising and film these works look to straddle the line between the sensual and grotesque to create an expression that fuses mind and body into erotic scenes and objects.
10 AUGUST/ 8 SEPTEMBER
ZOË BARRY . WELFE BOWYER . ANDREI DAVIDOFF . LINSEY GOSPER . IRENE WELLM . MICHAEL NEEDHAM EMME ORBACH . MICHAEL VALE . FELIX WILSON . THE RYAN SISTERS
Feast is a winter culinary event that celebrates dystopian beauty and contemporary horror through food and art. With a four-course banquet inspired by earth, life and death by award-winning chef Emma James, eleven artists have been commissioned to create an element for this highly ornate and dark sensory experience.
Sculptures, paintings, video and sound works centred around the disturbingly absurd and darkly opulent will provide an immersive and extravagant event.
Chef: Emma James
13 JULY/4 AUGUST
Based in Melbourne, Ben Aitken is an artist whose work is influenced by text, the Internet, appropriation and humour. Aitken’s latest exhibition untitled is a show of four works, each a diptych of painting and hand-stitched tapestries. Drawing on diverse strategies, Aitken’s approach to making work straddles the border between naivety and a punk aesthetic, producing work that plays with geometric abstraction, techniques of image-making through collage and the layering of different forms.
Recent solo exhibitions include An artist of some description, ALASKA Projects, Sydney, 2018; Collaboratory (with Jon Cattapan), La Trobe Art Institute, Benidgo, 2018; and Alternative Literature is also like Alternative Literature, Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre, Melbourne, 2016. In 2018 Aitken was a finalist in the Archibald Prize and won the Tony Fini Foundation Prize for Portraiture, Art Gallery of Western Australia. His work is held in public and private collections Australia wide, including the Michael and Janet Buxton Family Collection, PriceWaterhouseCooper and Lismore Regional Gallery.
13 JULY/4 AUGUST
Tom Borgas is an Adelaide based artist working from a sculptural foundation across multiple platforms including gallery and project work, public sculpture, festival interventions and performance. Developed through an oscillation between digital and analogue processes his work is an investigation of the space between image and object, virtual and physical, maker and viewer.
First coined in 2008 by speculative philosopher Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects are ecological objects with spatial and temporal dimensions the totality of which extends far beyond the limits of human perception. Examples include global warming, the solar system, all the styrofoam ever created and the stock market. Given our perception of these things is only ever partial, it is a concept that challenges traditional ideas of thingness.
Manifesting as a white, vertical, triangulated surface attached to a complex painted wooden armature, Hyperobject (Kyneton) is part of an ongoing sculptural speculation on cloud computing as hyperobject. In contrast to the mythology that frames the storage and access to data as immaterial, the chroma-key blue back-end structure erupts as a series of conspicuous fragments across the objects and architecture of the space.
Borgas has exhibited at shows and galleries around Australia including PICA (Perth), The Jam Factory (Adelaide), Artisan (Brisbane), Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart) and as part of the 2018 Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial. Commissioning bodies include Urban Art Projects, Golden Age Group, The City of Brisbane, Rockhampton City Council, The Hilton Adelaide, Splendour in the Grass, the City of Adelaide and Renewal SA. Borgas' practice has also received support through contributions from the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts South Australia, Copyright Agency, NAVA and The Helpmann Academy.
8 JUNE /7 JULY
Ideas of Home
Born in Bombay, Rhett D’Costa migrated to Australia at an early age. His practice led research draws on his hybrid background of British, European, Australian and Indian cultures and its ongoing relationship to colonial and post-colonial theory, extending across drawing, painting and installation processes.
D'Costa's most recent pan-disciplinary projects have centred on the ‘right to belong’, exploring the role of resilience and optimism in the intersecting areas of migration, multiculturalism, identity, nationalism and belonging. His research has focused on ideas connected to culturally composite ethnicities, mixed race communities and the porosity of place, belonging and identity formation. These interests take into account shifting social and political circumstances and the tensions and consequences of mobility and migration in complex transnational environments.
The premise for this exhibition, Ideas of Home grew from an early encounter D'Costa experienced with Indian miniature painting the first time he went back to India, almost 33 years ago and 15 years after his family immigrated to Australia. During this trip, D'Costa became enamoured by the colour combinations and the pictorial spaces of Indian court paintings. These memories have informed Ideas of Home and D'Costa's relationship to place, home and belonging. Oscillating between India – his ancestral place of birth, and Australia, his adopted homeland, this exhibition explores D'Costa's circumstances of living in the world, as past experience, present engagement and future evolving deliberations.
8 JUNE /7 JULY
I've been everywhere man
Maddison Kitching’s I’ve been everywhere man is a series of work which looks at the relationship between tourism, tourism merchandise and real places. The exhibition follows on from Kitching’s previous investigations into commercial representations of Australian landscapes and observations of Australian identity.
In this body of work, Kitching focuses on Kyneton as a tourist destination and the relationship between the tourist and the town. The paintings use visual elements from tourism media and combine them with aspects of colonial architecture and glimpses of imagined local landscapes. The exhibition interrogates popular representations of place and how we connect to and consume landscape.
8 JUNE /7 JULY
Indefinite Terrains is an audio-visual essay that interprets the site of the forest plantation as a dynamic assemblage of colonialism, capitalism and country. Through the location of the plantation, the actions and effects of industry and the more-than-human world are considered through narration and the audio-visual tracing of the forest’s controlled and operationalised terrains.
Based in the semi-arid goldfields region of central Victoria, and born from six months of field research, the work reimagines the planation as a convergence of events and complexities that engage beings and bodies in lively ecologies of remembrance and relation.
Punctuated with diaristic entries by the fictitious character of the Planation Officer, acts of listening and looking become speculative forms of knowledge making as the shifting geographies and histories of the forest are explored. Drawing on both the subjective and the real, Indefinite Terrains presents a cinematic cartography that turns the seemingly factual site of the plantation into questions, uncertainties and imaginings: situating human endeavor as a momentary appearance in a complex and ever changing world.
11 May /2 June
CURATED BY YIFENG TAN
JIAN QIN . GUO JIAN . HEI TONG . YIFENG TAN . SHAOHUA NONG . MICHAEL DOWNS . DAVID JIANHAI NIU
Chopsticks, curated by Yifeng Tan, is a group exhibition that explores the symbolism and experience of chopsticks in everyday Chinese life. For the artists in the exhibition, chopsticks are a medium to explore Chinese identity and cultural distinctions.
13 APRIL/5 MAY
Andy Hutson’s practice has always focused on the uneasy relationship between humans, technology and the natural world. Since completing his Master of Fine Arts in 2008 he has worked primarily in sculpture, often tending towards self-destructive pieces and impermanent installations. His use of paper-mâché evolved from simple maquettes produced when planning large-scale artworks; now a common material in his work. Recently, he has begun producing one-off jewellery pieces from brass and silver, now also making their way into his sculptural practice.
Soft Fascination is a term used in psychology that describes the restorative powers of passive enjoyment of nature; whereby the emotional depletion from stress, mental fatigue or overstimulation is reversed through quiet observation of ‘clouds moving across the sky, leaves rustling in a breeze or water…bubbling in a stream.' For most people, their experience of nature is often mediated in some way by technology. This has caused a historical shift in the way we look at landscape – not only has nature been commodified, but social media platforms such as Instagram are used as a substitute for real, physical experiences. But our thirst for nature can also be damaging: once remote or little-known sites of natural wonder are now becoming popular photography spots, and unique ecosystems are being trodden and destroyed as increasing numbers of visitors seek out the perfect shot, with accompanying geotag and hashtags - #nature, #waterfall, #sunset, etc.
Inspired in part by the 19C Tasmanian Arts and Crafts movement, and drawing upon a myriad of additional sources – from bushcraft and survival manuals, preppers and paleo-lifestylers to outdoor-gear brands, extreme sports and DIY instructional videos, the works in Soft Fascination reflect on the problems that lie within our innate need for nature - and our inevitable, simultaneous destruction of it.
13 APRIL/5 MAY
PICK IT TIL IT BLEEDS
Growing up, Pip Ryan invented fictitious animals and hypothetical situations, using hybrid creatures she had imagined. Her scenarios were usually darkly comical, inserting imaginary beasts into unusual and bizarre circumstances. These days, implanting colourful beings in absurd scenarios are still very much part of her focus. Her work presents a multitude of fictional characters including animals, disembodied figures and mythical beasts that cascade down a labyrinth of disturbing and gagging imagery.
Pick it till it Bleeds is a new series of works on paper and sculptures by Ryan. Using fleshy forms and imagined creatures, the show engages ideas of humour, irony and the absurd to examine states of anxiety, itches that can’t be scratched, and wounds that are persistently interrupted by picking. Playful fluid forms and upturned heads offer titillating insights into Ryan’s psyche and her compulsion to be excited by the abject.
13 APRIL / 5 MAY
Rikki-Paul Bunder’s art practice explores the curiosity and wonder he experiences with the physical world. By subjecting simple kinetic sculptures to the external phenomena of light and gravity, Bunder seeks to create optical refractions that elicit thoughts of space, time and the universe. Using utilitarian materials and analogue techniques to create these experiences, Bunder encourages the viewer to consider the materials, the phenomena and their interaction, in relation to their own perception of the physical world.
The installation, 'Slippage' aims to create an encounter with object and light that engenders curiosity. Simple apparatuses are constructed and then activated with light, resulting in refracted projections revealing light, time, and micro and macro perspectives. The mimetic relationship, the disjunction between the banal materials and the visual properties of the immersive installation, aims to cause an uncertainty, and a slippage in the viewer’s perception: a moment that is beyond understanding.
9 MARCH / 7 APRIL
Pia Johnson presents a series of evocative photographs that explore the natural landscape around her home and regional Victoria. The exhibition is made up of photographs taken on the road in regional Victoria, many between Melbourne and Woodend. These images reflect the dynamics of movement, elements of the weather, the road and ever-shifting countryside. Intersected through the landscapes are images of young teenager Maela, whose strong gaze and place within the landscape raise questions about growing up within the regional environment.
9 MARCH / 7 APRIL
Akiko Nagino meticulously draws and hand cuts intricate shapes on paper, revealing patterns from the sky, walls, roads, leaves, vegetables and insects exposed around her. In Nagino's art practice she repetitively questions the definitions and notions of which patterns are beautiful, intimidating, absolute and distorted. The power of a pattern can draw the observer in, captivate and fascinate them.
9 FEBRUARY / 3 MARCH
How is a Window
Angela Chauvin's work sits within the traditions of observational oil painting, documenting her
experience of the physical world around her.
In this exhibition Chauvin has created a series of paintings made in artists’ studios, with a special focus on how windows exist in these spaces symbolically and experientially. Translated through a hybrid of drawn and painterly marks, her work explores the translation of perception of reality into visual and material artworks.
Based in Melbourne, Angela Chauvin recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT and her Honours at VCA. In 2018 she was one of three recipients of The Macfarlane Fund for her outstanding final year body of work.
Japanese sculptor Takahiko Sugawara has hand-built a major sculptural installation consisting of approximately 175,000 suspended matchsticks. Through the repetition and layering of this single ubiquitous material, Sugawara has created intricate geometric forms, producing a visual harmony of strong presence. Sugawara’s attention to space, form and line is deeply rooted in his teenage years where he played in Japan’s number one high school marching band. Required to make rigid lines and shapes whilst playing his instrument, these formative experiences have shaped a practice that explores ideas of layering and overlap.
Born in Milan, Takahiko Sugawara completed a MA at Touhoku University of Art and Design, Japan, and was a guest student at the Universitat der Kunste, Berlin. Sugawara was recently
included in the Biennale of Australia Art, Ballarat (2018).