Claudine Marzik, Tijn Meulendijks
Seed to Seed (Gallery 1) is a collaboration by Cairns-based artists Tijn Meulendijks and Claudine Marzik which has involved them in a series of exhibitions over the past 4 years cultivating a shared interest in the natural environment and abstraction, expressed through their different mediums: primarily painting (Claudine), and ephemeral plant-based installations (Tijn). ‘Although growing up in Switzerland and the Netherlands’, the artists write, ‘we both have been living in Australia for many years and we have an extensive knowledge of plant and plant material from Australia. In Seed to Seed, we engage with the cycle of vegetation observing the rules; we aim to capture its movement and rhythm, and to give form and shape using a similar perception. Although we are using different mediums, our views have similar aesthetic values.’
Seed to Seed comprises 2- and 3-dimensional works which respond to, and reinterpret Australia’s tropical far north including a site-specific installation of Darwin plant life.
Image: 'Seed to Seed', installation view (detail), NCCA, 2015; image courtesy the artists
Claudine Marzik is a self-taught artist, primarily painter, who is influenced by mid-20th century Abstraction and Minimalism. Born in Basel, Switzerland, she migrated to Australia in 1988 and is based in Cairns. She has held around 16 solo or duo exhibitions in various cities around Australia and internationally (Japan, Switzerland), and including venues such as Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, and Kick Arts Contemporary Arts, Cairns. Claudine won the Painting Prize in the 2013 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Award (SA Museum, Adelaide), and the Primary Award in the 2012 Redlands Art Awards, Queensland. www.claudinemarzik.com
Tijn Meulendijks works with nature, and with vegetation in particular. He holds a Master of Floral Design from Hertogenbosh, The Netherlands (2004) and his lifelong interest in botany and the human perception of nature has become the greatest influence in a practice largely involving site-specific installation and works on paper. Tijn has exhibited his work throughout Queensland, and in The Netherlands, and including for key ephemeral sculpture-based events such as Floating Land, Noosa Regional Gallery, and Strand ephemera, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville. He is a past winner (2009, with Claudine Marzik) of the Port Douglas Sculpture Award. www.tijnmeulendijks.com
George Town (Gallery 2) is a kind of love letter to the vernacular architecture of this UNESCO heritage-listed city, the capital of the Malaysian island of Penang – ‘oozing’, in the artist’s words, ‘with the kind of tropical colonial stuff I love’. The exhibition furthers Darwin-based artist Chayni Henry’s interest in local built heritage, as seen with her most recent solo exhibition, Foundation – new paintings by Chayni Henry, at Outstation Gallery, Darwin (2013). George Town reflects the artist’s desire to ‘start a relationship with the architecture of SE Asia’, with the work continuing her distinctive painted cut-out, narrative forms, and drawing on a research visit to Penang earlier this year.
Chayni Henry is one of Darwin/the NT’s leading contemporary artists with a practice (since 2002) largely involving painting and printmaking. In 2012, she re-launched Red Hand Prints with fellow Darwin artist Franck Gohier. She was the overall winner of the inaugural Togart Award (2007), and was represented in the annual Primavera exhibition (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney) in 2006. Chayni has previously held 10 solo exhibitions (in Darwin, Sydney, and Hobart), and participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work is held in many notable public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Corrigan Collection, Laverty Collection, Artbank, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. www.redhandprints.com
Chayni's research trip to Penang was assisted by the NT Government through Arts NT.
33 is a dual screen installation which draws on Burton’s My Mother’s Village project which premiered at the 2012 Colombo Art Biennale. My Mother’s Village is, as the artist states, ‘a journey of inheritance’. It focuses attention on Sri Lankan communities where Burton’s parents conducted field research in the late 1970s and produced The Sri Lanka Series (1980), comprising three ethnographic documentaries. 33 years later, Burton visits the same villages/communities and the same participants from The Sri Lanka Series. His filmic treatment (gathered over 4 years [2010-14] as part of his doctoral research) pursues the original themes and issues of the former: economic conditions, colonialism, the roles and position of women, religion and ritual, and intergenerational change. The 33 installation includes excerpts from The Sri Lanka Series juxtaposed against Burton’s recent footage.
Image: '33', installation view (detail), NCCA, 2015; image courtesy the artist
Aaron Burton is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and visual artist. His personal storytelling approach to moving and still images traverses the boundaries of documentary, visual ethnography, and video art. In 2009 Burton was awarded the inaugural Jeremy Hynes Award by the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, for his video-based documentaries. Aaron holds a PhD in Media Arts from the University of New South Wales and is currently lecturing at Charles Darwin University, NT.
'The Sri Lanka Series', 1980, by Sharon Bell and Geoff Burton
Something is growing in the Boxset: feral, spiral, fungal … 'tis the season.
I Virii imagines growth as both voluptuous and viral, realised through the artist’s characteristic crochet of (often) tough, tensile materials.
Merran Sierakowski is a Darwin-based artist who has worked across a variety of media (mainly print, sculpture, installation) over the past two decades, and who generally deals with current issues of environmental and humanitarian concern. She exhibits regularly in solo and group shows in Darwin, nationally and overseas and, among other achievements, has been a serial finalist in the former annual Togart Contemporary Art Award exhibition (2006-13). Her most recent solo exhibition, Not Waving … Drowning (an eco-marine-themed soft sculptural installation), showed at Nomad Art, Darwin, in May 2015.
2015 Members' exhibition
Milestone is the theme for this year's 2015 Members' show, in honour of NCCA's milestone 25th year in 2015/16. NCCA first opened its doors as 24HR Art on April Fool's Day, 1990. Perhaps it seemed like a foolhardy venture back then but the gallery has gone on to prove its mettle through a diverse contemporary art program over the past few decades which has challenged and inspired audiences and represented thousands of artists and curators from Darwin, the NT, and beyond.
Work for the show can take up the milestone theme to commemorate NCCA's 25th year, or respond more broadly to the idea of milestone and what it might represent on a more personal or sociopolitical level. A first prize will be awarded by a panel of judges (tbc) to send the winner to Brisbane to see this year's Asia Pacific Triennial (APT8, 21 Nov 2015 - 10 April 2016), along with a host of other prizes.
Work can be in any medium and there are no size restrictions. You just need to be a current NCCA member at the time of submitting your work.
Deadline: Work needs to arrive at NCCA Monday 30 November or Tuesday 1 December 2015; no work will be accepted after this date; the exhibition will open Friday 4 December and run till Saturday 19 December 2015. Enquiries: t: 08 8981 5368; e: firstname.lastname@example.org
international group exhibition
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE THROUGH ART
In June/July 2015 NCCA ran its second Artists' Camp in the Top End for Indonesian artists. 5 Balinese artists and a Bali-based Javanese artist spent time in a number of Top End and Central Desert locations. They visited iconic sites such as Uluru, and were welcomed by Tiwi people on Melville Island. They made work – en plein air, in makeshift studios, on the road – and met and collaborated with other artists along the way.
The Camp was not without a few stops and starts, from visas to volcanoes. In some cases a delay meant more studio and touring time. There was a lot of travel overall – by car, plane and boat – yet the artists produced a large and diverse body of work that clearly connects with the places and people they encountered. A small selection of this work (including opposite image) formed the exhibition desert trail at NCCA (Sept/Oct 2015) focusing on two Camp firsts: its visit to the Centre, and the inclusion of female artists, Ni Nyoman Sani and Suryani. A major exhibition of Artists’ Camp 2015-related work will show at NCCA 23 January to 13 February 2016.
6 artists – Made Budhiana, Wayan Wirawan, Made Sudibia, Made Suarimbawa (Dalbo), Ni Nyoman Sani and Suryani – were led on the camp by Melbourne/NT-based artist Rupert Betheras. Other artists who joined in at various stages include Emma Stewart (Alice Springs), Lionel Possum (Alice Springs), Xiaogang (Xavier) Yu (Alice Springs/Tiwi), Tom E. Lewis (Wugularr/Katherine), and Tiwi artists from Munupi Arts & Crafts, Pirlangimpi. Indonesian journalist Henny Handayani (Bali Arts) also joined the Camp for the first two weeks.
The Artists’ Camp 2015 follows on from NCCA’s 2012 Artist Camp which saw 4 Balinese artists spend time in two Top End National Parks and Darwin, culminating with The Artists’ Camp exhibition at NCCA (Aug/Sept 2012). The Camp recognises a seminal Top End precedent with the artist-in-the-field camps initiated by the late Colin Jack-Hinton (first Director of the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT) in the late 1970s.
The Artists’ Camp 2015 is sponsored by the NT Government, Commonwealth Bank Indonesia, and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Australia Indonesia Institute). NCCA also acknowledges the support and involvement of Mike Stitfold, Munupi Arts & Crafts, Djilpin Arts (Wugularr/Beswick), Injalak Arts (Gunbalanya/Oenpelli), Colin McDonald, and the Made Budhiana Gallery, Ubud, Bali.
Images of Artists' Camp 2015-related work by (top-bottom) Dalbo, Suryani, Made Sudibia, and Rupert Betheras; photos by Fiona Morrison