Gorman Arts Centre

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)


Please note: the location of this exhibition is ANU School of Art and Design Gallery, cnr Liversidge St and Ellery Cres, Acton

Christopher Ulutupu says, “Postcolonialism is not a subject I have chosen to explore, rather, it is a reality that I have been born into. As a Samoan New Zealander I find myself automatically designated the position of ‘other’, and my image perpetually projected through the lens of the dominant culture.” Using his formidable skills as a video artist and set designer Ulutupu’s work attempts to negotiate space between cultures that avoids the exotic stereotypes attributed to the descendants of migrants from across Oceania. Tulisi or tourist, is the story of a visitor to the country he was born and raised in. Ulutupu’s perceptive, poignant and amusing digital video works challenge the romantic misconceptions that have developed around Pacific cultures, ironically, as a way of integrating them into New Zealand’s cultural landscape.

Reception 6pm Thursday 24 May 2018

Exhibition Friday 25 May - Friday 15 June 2018

Location ANU School of Art and Design Gallery

A CCAS/ANU School of Art and Design Gallery collaboration

Image: Christopher Ulutupu Into the Arms of My Colonizer (2016) 16 min 22 sec video still. Courtesy of the artist.


Obsessive Compulsion curated by David Broker, featuring Jodie Cunningham, Michele England, U.K. Frederick, Ann McMahon, Suzanne Moss

Impulsion is a driving force; the impetus, the motive or influence behind an action or process. Obsessive Impulsion is an exhibition that focuses on desire as it is revealed through the methodologies of five diverse artists. In both concept and technique, each practice reflects an obsessive flamboyance that drives the artists to produce work with an appearance of excess and yet, such are the skills at large, there is no sense of overreach. Jodie Cunningham confesses to being a “chromophile” with an obsession for colour, circles, pattern and “the delights of Perspex”. U.K. Frederick delights in the tensions created between flannel shirts that might have been worn by Kurt Cobain and the abstracted light passing through the fabric in her evocative series of photograms. In the dextrous hands of Ann McMahon, recycled bread bags index domestic ritual through complex colour field weaves that mirror the grid of a thirty-one day calendar. Alarmed at inexorable environmental degradation, Michele England blends activism with domesticity in eccentric works where kitsch household objects carry the “great moral challenge” that faces the planet. Suzanne Moss’s commanding paintings examine colour through its absence and presence. Exploring the ways that colours interact she experiments with a saturated palette of colours that reverberate throughout the gallery – as if in conversation with works by other artists. Obsessive Impulsion is an exhibition in which each of the artists presents work based on personal obsessions and we, the audience, are able to follow the lengthy, painstaking processes through which they come to realise their ideas.

Image: UK Frederick CMYKurt #4, 61 x 50.8 cm, C-Type print (photogram of Seattle-sourced flannel shirt)


Expanding on her installation work currently on exhibition at CCAS, Shoeb Ahmad leads her broken-binary-brown collaborators through a series of improvised pieces that reflect the various musical and textural themes written for this work.

Ahmad's broken-binary-brown installation, along with exhibitions At Home He's A Tourist by Derek O'Connor and Domino Gold by Dionisia Salas, will close on Saturday 10th February - so come early and have a drink whilst taking one last chance to see the works on show!

Shoeb Ahmad / Themes on broken-binary-brown
performed by:
s.i.a. - voice, guitar, organ, melodica
Rhys Butler - saxophones
Hannah De Feyter - violin, pedals
Evan Dorrian - cymbals, percussion
Tom Fell - saxophones
Kellie Lloyd - electric guitar
Ben Marston - trumpet, laptop

Friday 9 February, 6:30pm
$10 entry at the door

Canberra Contemporary Art Space
Gorman Arts Centre
55 Ainslie Avenue Braddon A.C.T.


Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s annual emerging art exhibition, BLAZE, is one of the local art community’s most anticipated events. Held in CCAS’s flagship space at Gorman Arts Centre, the exhibition showcases Canberra based artists at the outset of their careers. This year’s edition, BLAZE TWELVE is curated by Alexander Boynes and features the work of five new contemporary artists working across video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance art practices; Luke Aleksandrow, Riley Beaumont, Rowan Kane, Sanne Koelemij and Mei-Lynn Wilkinson. Like the previous 11 instalments, BLAZE TWELVE includes ambitious and challenging works – it is a celebration of the here and now, the up and coming.

Image: Sanne Koelemij Worthless Matter and Useful Objects #2 2018, acrylic paint on acrylic


Every year Canberra Contemporary Art Space celebrates the career of an artist working in the ACT who has a long history of achievement, and in 2017 its Derek O’Connor. Born in the United Kingdom O’Connor moved to Adelaide in the 1960s and has been settled in Canberra for many years, where he has developed a unique style of dynamic abstract painting. He has exhibited work at CCAS in various exhibitions since SHIT with Vivienne Binns in 2003. In the catalogue essay for Horizontal at Karen Woodbury Gallery in Melbourne 2009 Paul Uhlmann noted that O’Connor, “…brings … an intense physical and mental awareness to the rhythms of his own movements, his own body. At such moments time seems to expand – to become infinite.” O’Connor is currently represented by Nancy Sever Gallery, Canberra and Watters Gallery in Sydney. His work is held in major public galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery.

A review by Canberra Times Art Critic Peter Haynes can be seen here.

Image: Derek O'Connor Elevator 2017, oil on book covers, 87cm x 49cm


Following from the success of last year’s unique fundraiser, Canberra Contemporary Art Space invites you to get involved in the fun. Quick Draw is a novel idea where the punter’s names are drawn from a hat and randomly matched with an artwork. There is a small gamble involved, as the price of a ticket buys a work, but no one knows what they will receive until their name is drawn.

All funds raised will go directly to artists exhibiting at Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s Gorman Arts Centre gallery. Artists’ fees have always been a high priority for CCAS, and Quick Draw 2017 will ensure that these fees continue into the future. Comprised by 50 of Canberra's hottest artists in varying stages of their careers Quick Draw is a fantastic way to get involved and support the Capitals vibrant cotemporary art scene. The event will start at 7pm on Friday 17th of November and CCAS will provide entertainment and food. However, due to Quick Draw being a fundraising event there will be a cash bar. The 'Winners Ticket' ensures an artwork but if you wish to bring a guest they can purchase a 'Guest Ticket'.

Get your tickets via Eventbrite HERE!

Image; Millan Pintos-Lopez 'A moment with the green eyed girl 1', 2016


In a busy year of musical exploits, Shoeb Ahmad returns to her sound art roots to deliver broken-binary-brown, an installation work that explores themes of gender identity and breaks down the preconceptions placed on her by society. As a journey that never ends, she uses an electro-acoustic sound world - part minimalist wonderland, part chamber opera - and abstracted imagery to take us through darkness, insecurity, light and hope to reveal the inner being of a person in gender flux, both uneasy within, and at peace with themselves.

A review by Canberra Times Art Critic Peter Haynes can be seen here.

Image: Shoeb Ahmad broken-binary-brown (installation photograph) 2017, dual HD video with stereo sound, 60'00'' duration