“Leaning into the still life genre and inspired by the Dutch master oil painters I have created a series of still-life vignettes in my underwater studio.
My execution contradicts the idea of the ‘still life’ by animating the scene, encouraging some of my objects to take flight so as to appear to defy the rules of gravity. In doing so they take on a life of their own.”
-Tamara Dean, 2023
“It’s one thing to launch a book – but it is quite another to launch a book in the context of an exhibition of artists from the pages. In the spirit of celebration of the genre – this exhibition brings together a diverse collection of artists who are unified by their ardent and unwavering commitment to abstraction. Artists from around Australia – who might otherwise never exhibit together as they are represented by various commercial galleries, will come together for this event – providing visitors the opportunity to see and experience the works up close and personal. Nothing compares with experiencing the scale, colour, texture and brushstrokes of an artwork before you in real life.”
– Amber Creswell Bell
Michael Reid Art Bar is thrilled to present ‘One Day at a Time’, the first joint exhibition of Marc Etherington and Chris Dolman.
Loaded with self-deprecating humour and sharp observations mostly drawn on personal experiences, this exhibition will present a new series of ceramics by Chris Dolman and new paintings by Etherington.
“I first included the works of Chris Dolman in Painting Now in September 2022 and we began the conversation then for Marc and Chris to create this exhibition.
Marc and Chris are long time friends and this is the first time that they have both exhibited together in a ‘duo’ show.
Although both artists work across various mediums Chris’s suite of ceramics in One Day at a Time present a unique, distinctive perspective where his painting ability is strongly visible.
The everyday is seen through the artist’s viewpoint exploring the ‘ups and downs’ of middle age. Joyful, melancholic and often awkward, the autobiographical nature of the works form a wonderful narrative that often has concurrent threads.”
– Dean Andersen, Michael Reid Art Bar Gallery Manager
Art Bar is thrilled to present ‘Voyage’ an exhibition investigating and reimagining the tradition of Oceanic art.
Introducing Greg Semu, the renowned New Zealand born artist of Samoan descent, to the Michael Reid audience, 8 of his photographic works will hang alongside oceanic artworks, such as large carvings, dance helmets and beautiful stone prehistoric axe-heads.
Oceanic art is seductive; it has that connection with the spirits and ritual that the modern world has lost; yet it is the root of all our contemporary art.
Oceanic, more so than the other tribal arts, is full of colour and eccentricity; there are over 800 language groups just in Papua New Guinea, signifying 800 different cultures that each interpret and create artworks in such diverse ways.
In an age of endless self-imaging, my wider photographic practice explores the expanded potentials for self-representation that emerge on the stage of the digital image.
Where the camera is conventionally claimed to possess a unique capacity for revealing something of a subject to its viewer, in my own practice, I instead perform acts of queer photographic dis/appearance.
My figure is buried beneath elaborate costumes that mutually entice yet resist the viewer’s examination while the image itself is polished and manicured, taking on an implausible synthetic glow that renders the image’s graphic, shallow, cartoonish.
This double bind of a figure both conspicuously produced for the lens while remaining nowhere to be seen — hiding in plain sight — reflects my interest in the potentials for queer representational in/visibility in which subjects pass before the camera un/seen.
The photographic works within the series Mustang — presented for the first time alongside both moving image and textile-based artworks — form part of an imaginary queer blockbuster. Cinematic stills in which a single faceless hero-cum-heartthrob shifts through a wardrobe of camp costumes and stages a series of cinematic clichés.
As a collection of images, the works are deliberately non-linear and devoid of a coherent through line. Mustang instead offers a cyclical and unruly queer narrative, freeze-frames of filmic tropes that can be reassembled in endless ways without ever offering a clear, cohesive or happy ending.
INK+: a celebration of Lunar New Year 2023 brings together works created by fourteen artists, emerging and established: Ah Xian, Chen Wenling, Hong Fu, Guan Wei, Guo Jian, Li Jin, Lin Chunyan, Dapeng Liu, Peng Yong, Sun Ziyao, Wang Lifeng, Wang Xin, Wang Yunyun, and Tianli Zu.
Ink painting was developed in the prosperous era of Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China. Since then, it has grown to the most popular art form in China and many other Asian countries. There have been many developments over time.
The most significant recent movement is from the 1980s. The artists reinvented traditional ink art by adopting influences and practices from the West. Chinese painters started to experiment with the media more, to embrace expressionism, conceptual and abstract art, and disrupt the traditional subject matter.
INK+ is an exhibition with focus on contemporary ink and related works by a range of artists based in Australia and China. The styles of their work have obvious or subtle connections with ink painting tradition while their expressions are no doubt contemporary.
INK+ includes works by New Ink master Li Jin, leading Chinese Australian artists Ah Xian, Hong Fu, Guan Wei, Guo Jian, as well as the rising star of new ink artist Sun Ziyao.
INK+ is to give us a taste of the diversity and development of contemporary ink, an art with evolution and revolution from Tang Dynasty.
rrambaŋi- together as equals
Yolŋu culture does not emphasise judgment or hierarchy. You can’t go up or down in material or status. Your place in the world is determined by your gurruṯu (a matrix of identity which covers everything in reality). And that is fixed and unchanging. Approximately sixteen clans in North East Arnhemland are divided in two halves and their estates spread like a tapestry over the region.
Identity is jealously guarded as is the intellectual wealth of each clan. Clan differences are strictly enforced. Only certain places and topics can be sung or painted or discussed by certain people. Who you marry or where you live is determined by these intricate patterns of interconnected identity. Two halves of the world join in balance in every marital relationship. One Yirritja and one Dhuwa. These parents have children who follow the father’s moiety. If he is Dhuwa so will they be, and vice versa. If the kids are Dhuwa they will marry Yirritja and so on.
As mainstream industrial society is increasingly obsessed with identity politics this seems to be a familiar tune. But in Yolŋu society this diversity is seen as positive and crucial. It is seen as necessary and beautiful. Without everyone expressing a different element of reality we cannot join together to manifest the wonder of the world.
All of the disparate identities of the clans are required by each other for a balance to be achieved. Nowhere is this more important than in ceremony. Whether by chance or intent Djirrirra has chosen to paint two different ceremonies which are each the embodiment of this philosophy. Buyku which joins together all the clans who live by the Gäṉgan River to hold a ceremony which celebrates those clans joining together to create a fishtrap. And Yukuwa which gathers all Yirritja clans together to cleanse and renew the land and farewell spirits onto the next stage of their journey. – Will Stubbs, Co-ordinator at Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre.