Opening Friday 27 May, 6-8pm
The works in Chronic Manageable Conditions began on a journey where I recovered from a debilitating medical condition.
In order to avoid the grand history of painting, I enjoyed an indulgence in drawing, or making works on paper, partly inspired in this direction by exposure to the graphic work of artists from Jogjakarta while I was living in Indonesia. Drawing, in this project, is direct, responsive, immediate and raw. It is a form of thinking out loud, and can also engage the body in a physical way, outside of the frame. I respond to this immediacy as a metaphor for living in Darwin, compelling us to be in the moment. I observe artists revelling in the margins here, dancing to our own tune.
I prefer a messier subjectivity, something that can contain a multitude of ideas and aspirations, be it identity politics, romantic expression, thought bubbles, dreamscapes, surreal associations, queerness, responses to the street, media and screen life, to the daily complexities of contemporary life. This ability to respond is important to me, against the barrage of info and power operations we are otherwise compelled to ingest. Once I began this project, it took on a life of its own, digging out moments in a contested realm of visions; in some cases digging out old diaries from my art school days for source material.
Recurrent themes seep up in clusters: racial politics, sexual politics and pleasures, (the queering of) native flora and fauna, the body, mortality, my Catholic upbringing, my life as a hyphen – a space in-between. These also reflect an ecology of childhood. I am a war baby, Mum being from North Vietnam and Dad being an officer in the RAAF. A marriage of enemies, apparently, with its own rich baggage.
Andy Ewing has worked as an artist, curator, and arts project manager over the past two decades. He undertook formal studies in visual art in Sydney during the late 1980s/early 1990s and soon after held his first solo exhibition in Sydney. Chronic Manageable Conditions represents his first solo exhibition in a public art gallery and a concerted return to his practice after a long hiatus. His curatorial achievements include Monster Pop!, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, 2015/15 (co-curated with Fiona Carter), and Territorial, NCCA/Canberra Contemporary Art Space, 2007 (co-curated with David Broker). In 2015 Andy was judged overall winner of NCCA’s Members’ show (Milestone) and of Darwin’s annual Art of Pride exhibition. Andy belongs to Yum Cha Arts collective which focuses on multi-artform projects, developing and producing collaborations with Asian and NT artists. www.yumchaarts.org
Opening Friday 27 May, 6-8pm
In many a Kalymnian household anywhere around the world can be found a proud mantle display of sea sponges. Once the main source of income for the island of Kalymnos, the sponge is both a commodity and a symbol of identity.
Emerging artist and curator Koulla Roussos plays with concepts of fluidity and the concrete, incorporating the iconic sea sponge as a metaphor and tool for interrogating subjective manifestations of identity; asking the question, “How do I materialise my hybrid, fluid subjectivity for the anonymous spectator?”
COnCREtE is an installation-based work incorporating sculpture, digital print, video and found objects.
Koulla was born in Darwin. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Adelaide in Economics, and in 1993 with Honours in Law from the Northern Territory University. She was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of NT in 1995, and is currently a barrister with John Toohey Chambers, Darwin, specialising in criminal law. Koulla is also a practicing artist and curator. She has undertaken postgraduate studies in Art History and professes a keen interest in exploring the ways contemporary art can engage with public spaces and create new understandings of a place. She has curated several exhibitions in Darwin including Monsters from the Black Lagoon (2015), TaNTtrum (with Jonathan Saunders, 2013/2014), Origin of a Species (2014), Flash Art (2013), and a year-long monthly program of arthouse film at NCCA (The Vault, 2015).
Opening Friday 27 May 6-8pm
Following a 1-month residency in Darwin (in association with George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens) in October 2015, Jogjakarta-based early-career artist Dito Yuwono responds to ‘betwixt-and-between’ ideas of Darwin as Asian/Australian, city/town, natural/built environment.
“I am interested in the issue of spatial history and memory. Space and memory are interrelated. Spatial history is an intertwined memory that is constructed and often reinterpreted. How a geographical space cultivates collective memory, and how each memory of the citizen constructs the image of a place interests me [to] explore the relationship between memory, history, people, and places. By presenting the correlation between those elements, the spatial history of a space and a city can be seen side by side with personal narrative of the citizen.”
In The Geography of Here and There Yuwono explores Darwin's proximity to Asia, and how NCCA is placed/located as an institution and through the archived memories of artists who have passed through it.
Dito Yuwono is a young Indonesian contemporary photographer from Mes56 artist collective, Jogjakarta, Indonesia. He graduated in 2010 from Mass Communication of Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University. In 2011, he co-founded an independent space that aims to build a supportive and positive environment for young artists – Lir Space, Yogyakarta. Dito’s artistic practice is varied between photography, mix-media installation, video, and performance. He is especially interested in working with community and recollecting memories to find the link between memory-citizen-history. His work often serves as a form of storytelling using personal approach to subtly grasp the bigger picture of sociopolitical environments. Recent solo projects include: Have We Met? (2011), Finding Stillness (2012), The Memories of Unidentified Experience (2014), and Recollecting Memories: Tukang Foto Keliling (2013-now).
Opening Friday 27 May 6-8pm
Patience is the title given to a wedding dress made by Lisa-Marie Vassilakoglou, a wedding dress she wore for her own wedding.
I was inspired to make it especially because my grandmother had made hers. She has now ripped up her dress and made little handkerchiefs for her own future funeral so that people can take a piece of her with them, when she passes on … In Greek culture women are expected to get married and be virgins, they are expected to wear a white beautiful dress, one that particularly covers the shoulders, and afterwards they are expected to survive the many challenges that come with marriage without giving up and turning to divorce.
Patience is a fact of my hand-sewing the lace on the hem, hand-sewing the crystals and pearls, hand-sewing the embroidery to the bodice. It is a dying trade, dressmaking, and it was something that our grandmothers had to do especially in the war … I want to pass my dress down to my children so that they always have something from me that was made with love and patience.
Garifallitsa-Marie Vassilakoglou also known as Lisa-Marie Vassis/Vassilakoglou is a Darwin born and bred artist with a particular interest in fashion. She began a business in fashion design while still at high school, and graduated in Fashion Design and Visual Arts from Charles Darwin University (2005-09). Lisa-Marie has worked as a fashion designer in Australia and Greece, and achieved many career accolades including consecutive state/NT finalist for Jeans for Genes Day-related designs (2007/08), and top-10 finalist for NT Young Achieve of the Year Arts Award (2009). She has also designed and made dance costumes for a Greek-Cypriot community youth group. Lisa-Marie also works in photography, performance and painting and has exhibited twice in the annual Portrait of a Senior Territorian Award, receiving a Highly Commended in 2009 for her painting of her grandmother Sevasti Halkitis.
Spent It is Darwin artist Sarah Pirrie's wry response to Territory Day, that one day of the year when the Territory 'lifestyle' seems to amount to how much noise and litter can be made with the letting off of fireworks.
What was 'spent' - the artist in making the work, in ensuring work was made because certain Territory Day monies were thrown the artist's way?
You'll have to act fast to see this work as it will only be shown in the NCCA Boxset on Territory Day, Friday 1 July, and Saturday 2 July.
Sarah Pirrie is a leading NT contemporary artist who lectures in art at Charles Darwin University. She works across a range of mediums though is best known for her sculptural and installation-based work which often relates to environmental research and related issues, and with a particular focus on marine and mangrove ecologies in the Top End.
Exhibition opening, Friday 8 July 6-8pm
Spectrum presents the work of 11 young Darwin-based photographers, aged from 6 to 15, who were each given a digital camera for 2 weeks and asked to photograph their world. These young photographers all share a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Some took as few as 20 photos while others took over 300. The final selection for exhibition celebrates the unique and sometimes heightened aesthetic of each photographer and aims to encourage understanding and acceptance of autism. Conceived and coordinated by Darren McCallum & presented in association with Autism NT.
Spectrum is NCCA's second pop-up exhibition for 2016, and will run over the w'end, until 2pm Sun 10 July.
Spectrum thanks the following Key Sponsors: Able Finance Services, Trader Jack’s, Jape Group Australia;
and other generous Sponsors: Art Decor - Picture Framing, Great Northern Real Estate, Fannie Bay Meats, Waterfront Bistro at the Sailing Club, PH Electrical Services, Dulux, Repromed, Hireworks NT, Darwin Water Plumbing Services, Top End Pest Control, Simon Watts from RE Central, plus many individual sponsors.
Also special thanks to all the participating families for embracing this project.
The Most Stolen Race On Earth is an installation-based exhibition by Sydney-based artist duo Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill) and Adam Geczy. Taking up most of NCCA’s gallery spaces, this exhibition will present a mix of 2D, 3D and screen-based works which challenge the idea of a lucky, fair-go Australia, exposing the nation’s racial myths and fault-lines and continuing/escalating socio-political disempowerment of Indigenous Australians. Drawing on humour, satire and shock, this black-and-white duo shifts the ‘post’ in postcolonial and effectively maintains the rage.
The Most Stolen Race On Earth follows on from Douglas and Geczy’s The Most Gaoled Race On Earth exhibition at the Lock-Up Cultural Centre in Newcastle earlier this year, and from their Blakattak and BOMB exhibitions shown at the Sydney College of the Arts gallery (2015), and Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utrecht (2014) respectively. The duo has been collaborating on artworks and exhibitions for almost a decade as well as maintaining their own practices. The Most Stolen Race On Earth marks their first major exhibition at NCCA after previously showing their video work Australia – the Trailer in NCCA’s Screenroom.
Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill) grew up in Blacktown (Blaktown), western Sydney on Booreberongal (Dharug) country and of predominantly Dhungatti (mid-north coast, NSW) and Scottish heritage. A Graphic Design graduate from the University of Western Sydney in 1994, Douglas held his first solo exhibition in 1999 and has since exhibited in numerous solo, duo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and internationally with his work held in key public and private collections. Douglas works with diverse media: painting, graphic design, sculpture, photography, performance, video and installation. Exhibitions include: Not a proper Aborigine, ‘10-year Survey’, 2010, Mosman Art Gallery; This is why we don’t stand for the anthem, 2008, Arc One, Melbourne; BOMB (with Adam Geczy), 2014-15, Museum of contemporary Aboriginal art, Utrecht; and Archibald Prize finalist, 2015, Art Gallery of NSW.
Douglas is also a highly accomplished yidaki (didgeridoo) player with extensive national and international performing experience. He runs the BLAK• active gallery space in Redfern, Sydney.
Adam Geczy is a Sydney-based artist, writer and lecturer of Austro-Hungarian and English descent. He graduated in Painting from Sydney College of the Arts and in the late 1990s his practice moved more into installation, performance and collaboration. He has engaged in several ongoing collaborative projects since 2000 – with artist Mike Parr, musicians Thomas Gerwin (Berlin) and Peter Sculthorpe, and artist Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill).
Geczy identifies two key strands of his practice: one abstract and tactile, the other conceptual and political. He is primarily interested in working across concerns and disciplines. Recent exhibitions include S/M Wonderland (solo), 2014, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; participation in the 11th International Sound Festival Berlin, Mitte Museum, Berlin, 2014; and (with Blak Douglas) Blakattak, Sydney College of the Arts, SCA Galleries, 2015.
Geczy is also a prolific writer and art critic, and has authored and edited numerous books on art. Recent publications include: (authored with Vicky Karaminas) Fashion’s Double: Representations of Fashion in Painting, Photography and Film, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015 (hardback); and (authored with Jacqueline Millner) Fashionable Art, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015 (paperback). He is currently a Senior Lecturer, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Bungaree’s Farm is an exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal audio, video, performance and installation art exploring the legacy of Bungaree – the first Aboriginal man to be granted land by the NSW Government. Developed to mark the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Bungaree’s Farm by Governor Macquarie on 31 January 1815, the exhibition is the result of a series of intensive residency workshops led by renowned Aboriginal curator Djon Mundine OAM in consultation with dramaturg Andrea James, and presented in association with Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney.
NCCA hosts the video and audio components of this exhibition.