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The second annual MAPBM members exhibition, Mapping, was opened by Cr Mick Fell on 10th August at Braemar Gallery, Springwood. Curated by Antony Bond, the exhibition featured work by 17 MAPBM member artists:
Brad Allen-Waters, Susan Andrews, Liam Benson, Louise Blyton, Sarah Breen Lovett, Vivienne Dadour, Fiona Davies, Beata Geyer, Anne Graham, Tom Loveday, Sean O’Keeffe, Naomi Oliver, Rachel Peachey and Paul Mosig, Tess Rapa, Ebony Secombe, Rebecca Waterstone.
The works are diverse but share an interest in mapping the world around us and the idea of mapping as a way of engaging the world and our environment. These artists have also embraced ideas of the history and nature of our chosen home in the mountains. Mapping is also a metaphor for paying attention to the socio-political ecology of our place - exhibition curator Antony Bond.
8 August 2019 - 1 September 2019
6 July – 25 August 2019
Being in the present moment is a fundamental challenge in contemporary society. The rituals we undertake on a daily basis can serve as a reminder to be present, to be here now. Whether making food, washing or dressing we perform multiple ordinary actions on any given day. When we pay attention to these actions we become aware of that moment. The artists in this exhibition encourage us to slow down, be still, breathe, reflect and listen. Most importantly they ask us to take our time.
The exhibition included a music video work by Katoomba High School students and featured artists Sarah Breen Lovett, Cherine Fahd, Karen Golland, Anne Graham, Rachael Wenona Guy & Leonie Van Eyk, WeiZen Ho, Peachey & Mosig, Pamela Pirovic, Julie Rrap, Honi Ryan, Abi Tariq, Marty Walker and Hayley West.
A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley.
Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the commencement of WWII, Vivienne Dadour has curated the exhibition-Resilience in Times of Adversity: Contemporary Responses to WW2and Post WW2 in the Blue Mountains that explores aspects of the personal, historical and political landscape of the Blue Mountains during, and post, WW2. Through the use of archival and historical material the exhibiting artists reflect on the many-sided nature of the tragedy of war and the resilience of the human spirit. Anne Graham pays homage to the many women and men who worked at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory; Chris Tobin (Darug) acknowledges the struggles of Aboriginal soldiers who were an occupied People, yet asked to be part of an imperialistic war; Fiona Davies responds to the resilience of returning soldiers suffering from infectious diseases who experienced medical isolation in various facilities in the Blue Mountains during WW2; Sean O’Keeffe explores the fortitude of the many soldiers and military personnel who lived at ‘Hoaxville’ in facilities that housed chemical weapons in tunnels and sidings at Marrangaroo Army base in Lithgow; Vivienne Dadour presents snapshots of life in the Blue Mountains through a collection of photographic archives contributed by Blue Mountains Historical Society collections and individuals in the local community.
National Gallery of Victoria Curator Brian Finemore saw the 1973 exhibition Object and Idea as a smaller conceptualist sequel to the 1968 exhibition The Field. But one invited artist, Ian Milliss, declined to participate having already moved on to working with trade unions and resident action groups rather than exhibitions, galleries and art audiences. At Finemore’s request Milliss wrote a catalogue essay titled New Artist explaining his thinking, the beginning of a politicised cultural activism that was really only accepted by the art world many decades later with the rise of relational aesthetics and social practice.
What are the landmark exhibitions that have shaped Australian art? From 2019 to 2020, ACCA’s Lecture Series, Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999, takes a deeper look at the moments that have shaped Australian art since 1968. In this two-year series, sixteen guest lecturers analyse the game changers in Australian art, addressing key contemporary art exhibitions staged over the last three decades of the twentieth century and reflecting on the ways these exhibitions shaped art history and contemporary Australian culture more broadly.
Ambitious, contested, polemical, genre-defining and genre-defying, contemporary art exhibitions have shaped and transformed the cultural landscape, along with our understanding of the very nature of what constitutes as art. This program traces the legacies of artists and curators, addresses the critical reception of select significant projects, and reflects on a wide range of exhibitions and formats; from artist run initiatives to institutions, as well as interventions in public space and remote communities.
Amulents and talismans are historically revealing about how individuals confronted adversity, misfortune and death. Used for thousands of years as a way to impart strength and dispel fears. In the collection of works for the exhibition Safe Passage, Peachey & Mosig have used rocks, soil and plant matter as physical expressions of different timescales and ecological systems. When feelings of dread surface in the face of individual mortality or ecological collapse from climate change, these object can act as tools to focus on things both within and beyond ourselves and our concerns. They can provide moments of stillness, however brief to consider ourselves in the vastnesses of geological time and to take faith in the inherent hopefulness and persistence of the garden. These materials not only remind us of our place in a complex system they are made up of elements that may directly effect our well being. Mycobacterium vacate is a bacteria that lives naturally in soil and is being investigated for it’s potential to increase levels of serotonin and decrease levels of anxiety. The soil talisman being a reminder of long held advice that gardening and putting your hands into the earth can ward off feelings of unease and bring a sense of contentment.
Fiona Davies undertook a series of performative lectures within her recent exhibition Cast a Cold Eye on Life, on Death: The Remake: Medicalised Death in ICU. This was Davies's examination exhibition, the culmination of four years of practice-led research into medicalised death in ICU. The exhibition involved a series of installations, object-based works, performances and interactive works. In each performative lecture, Davies led a small group of viewers through these works, involved them in activities and encouraged them (if they wished to do so) to participate in conversations about medicalised death.
'Cast a Cold eye on Life, on Death' is a quote by WB Yeats.
© Modern Art Projects Blue Mountains (MAPBM)
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