About the exhibition
Being Tiwi brings together prints and paintings by nine artists from Australia’s Tiwi Islands. Located to the north of Darwin in the Northern Territory at the juncture of the Arafura and Timor seas, Bathurst and Melville islands are home to the Tiwi people – the fiercely independent, culturally unique, traditional owners of the land. ‘Tiwi’ loosely translates as ‘one people’, and island culture is characterised by a shared belief in the need to keep Tiwi customs alive.
The artworks in Being Tiwi highlight how contemporary ideas and visual forms connect to and express transformations in culture. Tiwi motifs and designs (known as Jilamara) draw on a range of influences, the most important being the body painting which accompanies two significant Tiwi ceremonies: Kulama, which celebrates life, and Pukumani, a complex funereal ritual.
Bridging the past and the present, Being Tiwi includes the first prints produced on the islands in 1969 along with work recently acquired for the MCA Collection and new work commissioned specifically for the show. From the intricate to the gestural, and using yellow, red and white ochres sourced from the islands’ environs, these artworks highlight the distinctiveness of Tiwi iconography.
Natasha Bullock, Senior Curator and Keith Munro, Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
Artspace Mackay, Queensland
March 18 – May 8 2016
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, South Australia
November 18 2016 – January 22 2017
Moree Plains Gallery, New South Wales
February 10 – March 26 2017
Murray Art Museum Albury
April 28 – June 25 2017
Glasshouse Port Macquarie, New South Wales
July 7 – September 3 2017
Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Western Australia
October 7 – December 16 2017
Born 1982, Sydney. Lives and works Sydney.
Teena’s Bathtime, 2015
3-channel video, sound, synthetic fur, vinyl, scent, bubbles, rubber flooring, cardboard, wood, foam, wire, found objects. MCA Jackson Bella Room Commission.
About the exhibition
Teena’s Bathtime is a playful artwork that invites audiences to assist in giving the artist’s sausage dog a bath. Drawing on animal assisted therapies, the installation encourages physical participation and exploration using multiple senses.
David Capra worked with filmmaker and artist Kate Blackmore to produce a 3-channel video, combining dreamlike, action-based sequences with documentary footage. In one segment, Teena and David visit the home of Dawn-joy Leong, who has autism, and her service greyhound Lucy. Through these episodic adventures, Capra explores issues of anxiety and care, as well as the experience of living with a disability.
Capra describes himself as an ‘intercessory artist’, whose work takes the form of interventions into physical and social space designed to initiate healing. He works primarily in performance, relying on the public to contribute, direct and bring meaning to his projects.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW
February 4 2017 – May 28 2017
Lean More About Teena’s Bathtime
The MCA Bella program was established in 1993 through the generosity of MCA patrons Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM, and the Jackson family in memory of their late daughter and sister Belinda.
About the exhibition
Australian artists David Haines and Joyce Hinterding live and work in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Their collaborative practice incorporates experimental and traditional media to investigate Hinterding’s fascination with energetic forces and Haines’ attraction to the intersection of hallucination and the environment. Both artists are captivated by the unseen energies that surround us and seek to reveal them to audiences through their work. Science, the occult and philosophy are important elements of their research-based practice.
Haines and Hinterding’s art traverses many different areas and incorporates sound, installation, video, performance, sculpture, photography and drawing. This exhibition was the first comprehensive survey of their work and included a number of key collaborative projects, solo works by both artists, and a newly commissioned work.
A number of Haines and Hinterding’s recent works utilise computer game technologies. In these works they create immersive 3D environments for visitors to explore using simple bodily gestures as navigation. Geology (2015) commissioned by the MCA especially for this exhibition, expanded on these earlier works to create what the artists describe as ‘a virtual world that examines how culture interacts with chaotic forces’. Inspired by a research trip to the badly-damaged Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in New Zealand after the devastating earthquake of February 2011, Geology had three distinct levels for visitors to discover. Haines & Hinterding describe Geology as a ‘speculative geography’ where ‘the imaginary is placed on the same footing with information from day to day reality’.
Curated by Anna Davis
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, New Zealand
November 25 2016 – March 5 2017
This exhibition is the first major museum survey of Australian painter Louise Hearman, featuring painting and drawings from across her more than 25-year practice.
The Melbourne-based artist is best known for her dark dream-like paintings where things are never quite as they seem. It is up to us to imagine what is glimmering in the half-light or lurking deep in the shadows, as the artist offers no written clues to the evocative contents of her works, which are nearly always left untitled.
Contemplative and obsessive in her approach, Hearman returns repeatedly to a number of motifs in her work – a child’s radiant face, the back of someone’s head, a glowing orb, a deserted road, an aeroplane gliding through a liquid sky, a phosphorescent sunset, a melancholic cloud, dogs, flowers, birds, cats and, perhaps most bizarrely, rows of shining teeth smiling at us. The luminous subjects of her portraits tend to float in a sea of blackness or abstract fields of colour, while her landscapes are often set at the edges of bush and suburbia, captured at twilight or dawn, their uncertain light spawning otherworldly forms and imbuing them with a supernatural quality.
Curated by Anna Davis
TarraWarra Museum of Art
February 18 – May 14 2017
QUT Art Museum
June 3 2017 – August 6 2017
Primavera at 25 celebrates the silver jubilee of the MCA’s annual Primavera exhibition showcasing the work of young Australian artists.
An anniversary presents a moment for reflection, an opportunity in which to consider the past and contemplate the future. Taking this significant milestone as a departure point, Primavera at 25 brings together works by Primavera alumni artists that explore concepts of transformation, time and history.
A number of works in the exhibition, including artworks by Nell, Rebecca Baumann and Ross Manning, appear to transform in front of our eyes, spinning and turning, shimmering and sparkling, or shape shifting to create new forms.
Time is explored in artworks by Tim Silver and Emma White that mark set intervals or deliberately age. While artists including Sangeeta Sandrasegar and Heather Douglas draw upon personal and social memories in their works.
Elsewhere artists such as Pedro Wonaeamirri and Constanze Zikos consider our relationship to the past through works that employ motifs from the past, reflect on our cultural histories or reinterpret traditional designs using contemporary materials.
Curated by Megan Robson
Murray Art Museum Albury, NSW
April 28 – June 25, 2017
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, QLD
July 14 – September 3, 2017
Artspace Mackay, QLD
February 16 – May 13, 2018
Glasshouse Port Macquarie, NSW
June 15 – August 19, 2018
Western Plains Cultural Centre, NSW
August 31 – December 9, 2018
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
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