Gorman Arts Centre

 

The screen prints and video in NEWSCRAP record the artist’s obsession with collecting, and sometimes commenting on, political reportage from major newspapers in both Australia and the USA. Partly born from anger, sometimes from the confusion of dejá vu, but rarely from any sense of carefree mirth, Alison Alder highlights the absurdity of modern politics, and her fascination with print as a political act, as the presses roll day after day.

Image: Alison Alder Still from Newscrap 2018, HD video

 

The music of multi-instrumental sound artist ASUNA has reshaped multiple facets of the experimental music scene of Japan, from ambient and drone to improvisation. His landmark work 100 Keyboards is a site-specific listening experience in which one hundred cheap plastic keyboards play the same key, generating an undulating sonic harmony both mesmerising and mysterious. The crowd of sounds comes to take on its own kind of mass, while subtle acoustic variations emerge, hover and retreat.

Since the late 90s, ASUNA has created experimental sound works that vault genre divides, crossing from hip-hop to hardcore punk to freak folk noise and lo-fi pop. His performances might feature sound sources as diverse as popping candy, wind-up toys and kazoos, but the playfulness of his compositions belie the profound sensibilities of a true avant-garde artist.

In collaboration with hellosQuare, this event is presented with the support of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, The SUBSTATION and Liveworks 2018 / Performance Space.

Special Performance on Sunday 21 October 2018, 4pm
Tickets $10 at the door
Please note this is an unreserved standing-room only event.
For further details check out the Facebook event page.

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE
Gorman Arts Centre
55 Ainslie Avenue Braddon 2612

 

The closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro paid tribute to lace makers and their importance in the complex cultural fabric of North Eastern Brazil. Singers dressed in pristine white lace and dancers robed in symbolic costume were absorbed by an expanding pattern of light that reflected the designs and significance of lace making to the economy and culture of the nation.

Labirinto, the title of Christus Nóbrega’s exhibition, refers to a technique of lace making traditionally practised by the women of his home state, Paraíba. The exhibition reflects both his heritage and the enduring role of cotton in an economy with roots in the 16th century. It is an exhibition that reveals the story of Ingá, a small town in the district of Chã dos Pereiras and the tragedy of Nóbrega’s widowed grandmother, who losing all financial support, was forced to relinquish her six children to the care of distant relatives and religious institutions. Her only means of survival was to make and sell the characteristic lace of an area whose culture is to some extent defined by the labyrinthine complexity and beauty of its crafts. Labirinto is the result of three years of research in which Nóbrega explored his ancestral homelands, gathering images and testimonials from artisans and relatives for a series of ‘banners’ that would incorporate poignant images from his family’s album. Positioned away from the gallery walls, Nóbrega’s emblematic works cast deep shadows that evoke the experience of discovering laces stretched in the narrow streets of the settlements of Chã dos Pereiras; drying under the intense sunlight of Brazil’s north east.

Professor Christus Nóbrega is an artist and lecturer at the University of Brasilia (UnB). He has a PH.D in Contemporary Art and is lecturer and coordinator for the Post Graduate courses at the Arts Institute of UnB. He has regularly participated in national and international exhibitions in spaces such as Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre, Rio Art Museum, Palace of the Arts, Belo Horizonte, Elefante Cultural Centre, Brasilia, Correios Cultural Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, and FIESP Cultural Centre, Sao Paulo. His works can be found in public and private collections; The Cartier Foundation in Paris, Rio art Museum (MAR) and the Brasilia National Museum, the collection of Itamaraty and in the central Academy of fine Arts. He has also written several books and scientific articles on arts and education. Christus was nominated for the Pipa Prize, has received awards from the Cultural program Petrobas in 2004/2011 whilst also receiving an award in 2004 from the Museu da Casa Brasileira. In 2015 he represented Brazil in China through the Artistic Residency Program run by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His artwork was displayed at the Central Chinese University; Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Beijing.

Labirinto, Christus Nóbrega is supported by the Embassy of Brazil in Canberra

 

Choose Your Own Adventure

Don your safari suit and blast the Indiana Jones theme because this year’s CCAS members’ show wants you to embrace your inner-Irwin and choose your own adventure! We’re encouraging you to go off road, off the grid, off chops, off to bed or off on the path less traveled (but please come back with your artwork and submit it for the show).

Entries due: 5pm Friday 22 June 2018

Exhibition opens: 6pm Friday 29 June 2018

Entry form is HERE (PDF, 244KB)

Not a member? You can SIGN UP ONLINE

 

Throughout her exhibition Jess Higgins invokes the hybrid concept of the ‘Black Elephant’ – a cross between a ‘black swan’ (an improbable, unexpected event with devastating ramifications) and ‘the elephant in the room’ (a problem that is obvious to everyone and yet no one is interested in acknowledging it). The three works are a timely response to the ‘black elephant’ and designed to create discomfort in her audiences. Imagine oneself inside the belly of the beast, a black room that is itself the elephant and the works representative of waves of catastrophic events.

Jess Higgins The Known Knowns #1 (detail) 2018

 

Kate StevensDrones Over Aleppo reflects her interest in how we process images of war from the domesticity of our homes today. As the title suggests, these paintings are ‘stills’ from drone footage surveying the systematic devastation created by airstrikes in which air forces including Syria, Australia, The United States and later Russia laid the city to waste. There are parallels with images of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb, and German cities such as Berlin and Dresden after World War Two. What Stevens is presenting is not new, however, her work is a chilling reminder that the annihilation of previous conflicts is scarcely a thing of the past.

Image: Kate Stevens East Aleppo 2:32 2018, oil on canvas, 100cm x 125cm

 

Janenne Eaton’s FENCES B/ORDERS WALLS – Keep Clear, presented at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, combines the original FENCES B/ORDERS WALLS (2016) installation, with a new section positioned at the heart of it. Similar to a road sign billboard, the text ‘KEEP CLEAR’ appears, a ‘split skull’ image takes up position between the two words. With its mirror-like quality, the sign presents the illusion of a potential rupture, a ‘space’, capturing the image of the audience as it merges with the work’s central narrative.

…every wall inspires its own subversion, either by infiltrators, who dare to go over, under or around them, or by artists who transform them.

Marcello di Cinto, Walls: Travels Along The Barricades, Soft Skull Press, 2013

Image: Janenne Eaton KEEP CLEAR, 2018, Acrylic on Hi Impact Styrene, wood, metal, 122cm x 530cm

 

Held nationally each year, NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held from Sunday 8 July through to Sunday 15 July. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2018 is 'Because of Her, We Can!', to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have played and continue to play significant roles in their families and communities lives at community, local, state and national levels. Further information: http://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2018-theme

Amala Groom is a Wiradjuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Not wishing to create reactionary works which tacitly allow contemporary political operatives serving the colonial ideology to set her artistic agenda, Groom seeks to create works which proactively and creatively unpack and undermine the Colonial Project, the on-going philosophy of colonialism that has imperialistically subjugated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples since 1770.

Does she know the Revolution is coming? is a multi-channel digital video work where Amala Groom performs an extended conversation between herself and the wife of a former Prime Minister in a stately Manhattan home.

Based upon an actual conversation, the installation seeks to expand upon the language of ownership and authority surrounding western perceptions of Aboriginal art and culture, unveiling the indistinct nuances of interpretation and the potentially shocking hidden truths that language can possess. Reimagining the conversation and the behaviours of both parties, Groom unpacks what was said, what was imagined to be said, and what it could have really meant.

As a bookend to the conversation, the exhibition features the painting, Awelye, 1990 – by the very subject of the conversation, Anmatyerre artist, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Image: AMALA GROOM, Does she know the Revolution is coming? 2017, production still, image credit: Hamish Ta-mé

Production credits

Commissioned by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Filming supported by CuriousWorks

Emily Kame Kngwarreye artwork loan courtesy of Simon Chan – Art Atrium

Curated by Adam Porter

Videographer: Adam McPhilbin

Editor: Elias Nohra

Hair and Make up: Shannon O'Reilly

Artist Assistant: Kristine Townsend

Production stills: Hamish Ta-mé

 

Held nationally each year, NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held from Sunday 8 July through to Sunday 15 July. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2018 is 'Because of Her, We Can!', to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have played and continue to play significant roles in their families and communities lives at community, local, state and national levels. Further information: http://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2018-theme

Artist Brenda L Croft, who has Gurindji/Malgnin/Mudburra; Anglo-Australian/Chinese/German/Irish heritage, has drawn upon this year’s theme to honour her mother Dorothy Jean Croft (1938 – 2010) on the 80th anniversary of her birth. Dorothy was a non-Indigenous woman, yet she played a significant role the artist’s family’s life - supporting the artist’s father in his search for, and reunification with, his mother after decades of separation; advocating for social equity at a local level; while also ensuring her children were proud of their Indigenous heritage.

The artist wishes to pay her sincere respects and acknowledgements to Traditional Custodians – past, present and future - on whose lands she is privileged to live and work: the Ngambri, Ngunawal and Ngunnawal Peoples, and also those with close clan connections, the Ngarigo and Wiradjuri Peoples. Marntaj.

Family has been a consistent theme in Brenda L Croft’s work over more than 30 years. Series of work including White Wedding/Love Letters (1987), Family Album (1991), In My Father’s House and In my mother’s garden (1998) have inscribed a loving but uncompromising account of her heritage using photographs, slides, personal and public archives audio and text that referenced the frequently traumatic experiences of many Aboriginal people, which also impacted non-Indigenous family members. Croft is a member of the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples from the Northern Territory of Australia, and also has Anglo-Australian/German/Irish lineage. heart-in-hand is an exhibition imbued with an extraordinary emotional investment as it marks the 80th anniversary of her late mother’s birth, articulating her story through the objects she made, collected, and the cultural activities through which she created an enduring living portrait of her family. Part nostalgia, part Wunderkammer, heart-in-hand is a tribute to Dorothy Jean Croft (née Stone) (1938-2010). Describing her mother as “passionate archivist, … talented craft-maker, gifted amateur photographer and dedicated writer …”, Croft’s museum of motherhood records and constructs a complex characterisation of a woman who was, “witty, whip-smart and generous, she was also mercurial, known within our family for being ‘difficult’.”

Wunderkammer or cabinets of curiosities were encyclopaedic collections of objects belonging to the arts and sciences including historical/religious relics, objects from natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, as yet uncategorised. In Victorian times when the means of travel were limited, this essentially museological mode of presentation enabled audiences to have vicarious experience of worlds they could not otherwise know. The concept of Wunderkammer has been a useful tool for artists wishing to produce complex multifaceted installations that generate an atmospheric, yet concise, representation of their subject matter. Born in the final years of the Great Depression, Dorothy Croft grew up during a time in Australian history when every object pertaining to the family - particularly for families living on or below the breadline - carried great significance: while life was fleeting its broadly defined furnishings had at least an appearance of permanency. In a pre-consumer society of non-disposable ‘stuff’, it was women, housewives and mothers, who kept and maintained the family jewels, however modest.

Life the 1950s and 60s came to be viewed through a filter of Kodachrome Colour. An archivist extraordinaire, Dorothy Croft documented her life and times in the rich saturated hues of transparencies that would come to define an era. Her photographs detailing courtship with fiancé Joe Croft and later, family events evoke this period with meticulous accuracy. It was not only the slides, however, that survived to keep the memories alive. Collections of letters and telegrams, pattern books, clothes, records, baby teeth and locks of hair, crocheted crosses and coat hanger covers complete a comprehensive portrait of family life. Her photographs and a vast collection of similarly ‘melancholy objects’ live on long after her death, having gained intensity with the passing of time. heart-in-hand is not simply a portrait of Dorothy and her family but a social historical snapshot of the Canberra region that reflects the ‘new Australian’ during a period of optimism and openness. As the unforgiving days of economic depression and war began to fade into memory, Dorothy Croft and many other women of the time were the catalysts of unparalleled social change that continues to impact on our lives today. While many items in Croft’s cabinet of curiosities seem idiosyncratic, Dorothy Croft represents many mid-century Australian women whose lives bridged old and new worlds. Audiences might initially be tourists in the Crofts' reality but ultimately heart-in-hand brings them closer a common legacy passed down through our mothers and grandmothers.

Image: Brenda L Croft Dot 21 and Joe 33 Cooma 1959 (2018)

 

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