Saturdays in the Wet
Saturdays in the Wet was NCCA’s offering during our 1-month ‘shutdown’ period, with the gallery open on Saturdays to coincide with Parap Market, and with work showing in Gallery 1 and the Boxset (31 Dec 2016 – 28 Jan 2017).
Gallery 1 included Amina McConvell’s wall painting/mural: Exploded Stuff - The Meaning Attributed to Identity is Fleeting (For Sadat Laope); a selection of paintings by senior Tennant Creek artist Susannah Nelson, and ABC journalist Conor Byrne’s SS Opposition boat made from campaign placards. The Boxset was graced by Mandala series 1, a suite of six paintings by Darwin-based artist Daniel Coloe.
Conor Byrne is producer/presenter for breakfast/morning shows at ABC Radio Darwin (105.7). He is a graduate in journalism (Masters) from the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a graduate in technology (wood science, wood products/pulp and paper technology) from the University of Limerick; Daniel Coloe is a largely self-taught artist from Melbourne who is currently based in Darwin. He is primarily a painter and has also worked as a tattoo artist; Amina McConvell is an early-career Darwin-based artist with an experimental, research-based practice often expressed through large-scale sculptural installations which combine mural painting with drawing and sculpture. More recent examples have also included sound and light as with her 2015 solo exhibition Colour Masses in the Fourth Dimension at Tactile Arts, Darwin (sound collaboration with Mats Undén). Susannah Nelson, also known as Susannah Nelson Nakamarra, is a senior Warramangu and Warlmanpa artist from Tennant Creek. She is one of the more prolific painters in recent years to emerge out of the visual arts centre/program through Barkly Regional Arts (BRA).
Susannah Nelson, also known as Susannah Nelson Nakamarra, is a senior Warramangu and Warlmanpa artist from Tennant Creek. She is one of the more prolific painters in recent years to emerge out of the visual arts centre/program through Barkly Regional Arts, often producing works which interpret Biblical episodes such as the Ascension of Jesus or the worship of the Golden Calf and which are distinguished by great economy of form and colour vibrancy.
Susannah's charming Christmas Party painting appears to takes a more secular approach to the subject, imagining a feast at school, with schoolchildren seated round a food-laden table and Santa making an appearance with present in tow. Christmas Party showed in NCCA's Boxset over Christmas (22 to 30 Dec) followed by a small selection of other recent paintings by Susannah in Gallery 1 as part of NCCA's program of Saturdays in the Wet (31 Dec 2016 - Jan 2017).
The Curtain Breathed Deeply presents an immersive collection of video and sculptural work by artist Justene Williams. Her largest and most ambitious undertaking to date, Williams uses found objects and waste materials to create dazzling theatrical environments, seducing visitors through a variety of hypnotising sets and performative video installations.
The Curtain Breathed Deeply was curated and developed by Artspace and is touring nationally in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW.
The generous bequest of the Catalyst: Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission has enabled Artspace to support Justene Williams in the development of this major new work at a pivotal moment in her career. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
CSC Advanced Photography
Direct from the Advanced Photography course at Casuarina Secondary College’s adult education program comes this one-week exhibition comprising a selection of the students’ best and/or favourite work. The course is led by Jason Good (of Jason Good Photography) who takes the students through the finer points of photographic technique – composition, post-production, etc. Each student is exhibiting for the first time.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 NCCA Members’ Show, Peer Review!
Simon Cooper won a years’ subscription to Artlink Magazine for his cryptic triptych.
David Hancock won $500 worth of freight with COPE Sensitive Freight for his photographic portrait of Therese Ritchie.
Rosemaree Jane Ludlow won a trip to Sydney to see The National: New Australian Art for her intimate self-portrait.
And last but not least Andy Ewing won a two-month artist/curator opportunity with the City of Darwin Public Art Platform Program for his 16-piece portrait of the glamorous Sianne Tate.
Thanks to all the artists who submitted works, and thanks to all our members for your support over the last year. Thanks also to judges Sahn Cramer and Carmen Ansaldo.
This year’s Member’s show is bent on portraiture but not just any portraiture. As the ‘Peer Review’ title suggests, the focus is on artists portraying each other. The idea comes from the annual Blunt Edge Portraiture Award in Cairns which began as a way of bringing the arts community together, particularly where an artist is asked to portray a fellow artist they have yet to meet.
Artists chose their portrait subjects by way of a ballot or free choice.
PRIZE A: One Year Subscription to Artlink
Artlink is a quarterly themed magazine covering contemporary art and ideas from Australia and the Asia-Pacific.Special thanks to Artlink’s Executive Editor Eve Sullivan for offering a one year subscription to Artlink.
PRIZE B: $500 Freight with COPE Sensitive
COPE Sensitive are our preferred freight company, transporting artwork for us to and from all over the country. We couldn’t do what we do without them! COPE are also longstanding supporters of our Members’ Shows and this year is no exception with a generous donation of $500 complimentary freight to a winning artist. Planning a show interstate? COPE has you covered!
PRIZE C: Flights to Sydney for The National: New Australian Art
The national is a new initiative between three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions - the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Over the next 6 years, these institutions with partner for The National: New Australian Art, a survey of the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art. Our very own Karen Mills has been selected as one of the first nine artists to exhibit their work in The National 2017 (30 March-18 June 2017), and we are flying one of our winning artists to see the show!
PRIZE D: Two Month Artist/Curator Opportunity with the City of Darwin Public Art Platform Program
One of the three new commissioning models of the City of Darwin’s Public Art Pilot Plan is their Public Art Platform program. This involves commissioning local curators to program public art platforms throughout the city. These platforms may include LED screens, free standing light boxes, display cases and other varied infrastructure for the presentation of and engagement with contemporary art. The platforms will be curated through an expression of interest process and artists are encouraged to be edgy, forward thinking and to provoke discussion.
The City of Darwin is offering the winning artist the opportunity to present their own work or curate a two month program for the Public Art Platform program, with a budget of $5000 to make it happen! This is an exciting opportunity and NCCA is proud to partner with the City of Darwin in bringing this opportunity to a winning PEER REVIEW artist.
Sahn has worked in the arts for more than 26 years having started out as a fledgling young artist in Sydney studying at the National Art School in Darlinghurst in the early 90’s before heading to Tasmania where she completed her Fine Arts Degree. Over the years she moved into arts management, was Director of the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart, she managed the City of Hobart national art prize, before becoming a public art manager. She has worked across the country in various roles including time as a consultant in Cape York in re-establishing the Western Cape Cultural Centre before coming to Darwin. As a practising artist she understands the creative process, as an arts manager she understands the demands and opportunities for artists and with this knowledge she is currently working with the City of Darwin to support and enable the contribution artists make to the cultural life of this City.
Carmen Ansaldo is an art writer and activist from Brisbane who has been based in Darwin since the middle of this year. Her published works span the last decade and have been featured in local, national and international online and print publications. She has graduated in Fine Art (Painting) from the Queensland College of Art, receiving the Gertrude Langer Prize for Contribution to the Arts and Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence. She is also an honours graduate in Art History from the Queensland College of Art, receiving the UMAP scholarship to study at the State University of New York, Long Island to further investigate her thesis focusing on the intersection between contemporary art and protest movements.
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The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art is nestled in the heart of the Darwin suburb of Parap, home to vibrant local resident Paula Roberts. Roberts approached NCCA with the idea of presenting a selection of recent paintings of landscapes drawing on her mother's country (Roper River, Southeast Arnhem Land) and her father's country (Mataranka). The resulting selection focuses on the diverse life of the wetlands, particularly the waterlily which is Paula's mother's Dreaming. 'I want the work to give recognition to my mother', says Paula.
In her own unique fashion Roberts transformed the gallery frontage into a makeshift residency space, painting away over the period of several months, even setting up an ad hoc community art space in Vimy Lane for her friends and family. Roberts's vivid and celebratory style translates clearly through her painting, which is on display in the NCCA Boxset window, overlooking Vimy Lane.
Paula Roberts is an artist from Ngukurr who also calls the famous Elsey Station at Mataranka home. 'Ngarla Walili' is Paula's Aboriginal name in Mangarrayi language. Paula's mother, Betty Roberts, is one of the Joshua sisters of whom several have become well-known artists including the late Gertie Huddlestone and Angelina George. Paula's paintings generally celebrate country, the rich colours and flora/fauna of the Top End, often in a picturesque figurative style but also sometimes with a level of semi-abstraction. Paula has previously painted through Ngukurr Arts.
Headshots is a installation which features an array of ceramic balloon-like heads and light projections. The balloon-heads are inspired by the artist’s recent visit to this home country of the Philippines, where a new craze had sprung up consisting of giant brightly coloured inflatable toys. Vendors lined the streets, some of which were so full almost everything else was obscured from view.
“These toys, sold for next to nothing and made for less, lined the streets. On some streets there were so many vendors that the inflatable toys obscured almost everything else from view. Cheap, synthetic, short-lived and easily replaced, the inflatable toys seemed to encapsulate many of my anxieties about change in my country.”
Mark Valenzuela's (Philippines/Australia) practice combines painting, drawing and ceramic installation. Internal and external conflict, anxiety and repetition are residing themes that Valenzuela explores to reveal the ways that an individual adjusts, conforms and rebels against his/herself and the society in which they live.
Valenzuela has exhibited widely in his home country of the Philippines, Australia, and internationally. Most recently, Valenzuela has exhibited at Vargas Museum (Philippines) and the 3rd Jakarta Contemporary Ceramics Biennale at the National Gallery of Indonesia, and Asian Art in London with One East Asia.
This is Valenzuela’s second showing at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Australia) after his inclusion in the group show Dress Me Featherless (2015) curated by Fiona Gavino.
Valenzuela is a recipient of the 2015 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards and the Arts SA Individual Development Grant (Australia). His solo exhibitions Warzone and Zugzwang were shortlisted for the 2008 and 2012 Ateneo Arts Award respectively.
In addition to his own artistic practice, Valenzuela has organised and curated numerous exhibitions over the past decade. In 2013, Valenzuela co-founded Boxplot, a flexible arts project aimed at supporting opportunities for collaboration between Australian and Southeast Asian artists.
Valenzuela is represented by Artinformal, Manila.
The ghost of art practices past haunt Darwin artist Leon Waud out of a 14-year hiatus and back once again to making art. His exhibition in Gallery 2, ’The Other’, is comprised of sculptural works, paintings and interactive digital film. Ghostliness is a lingering theme of this work, not only in the sense of apparitions but also as ‘traces’ - moments, gaps and juxtapositions which suggest the eerie presence of the in-between.
Ghostliness for Waud is also a manifestation of fear and the power of a fearfulness he has imbued in certain objects:
"This fear seems to be completely irrational but however it is there existing outside of rationality; this for me was the other."
Leon Waud is a Darwin-based artist who works across a range of mediums. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the Queensland University of Technology. He has held solo shows including Same Shit Different Room, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane (2002) and No Fixed Address, Development Space, Metro Arts Brisbane (1999); and participated in a number of group shows including: Serendipity and Lunacy (in contemporary photography), Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane (2002), Between Now and Tomorrow, Gallery 482, Brisbane (2002) and Endzone, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2000).
Inheritance is an exhibition of wood and metal sculpture by emerging artist Joel Mitchell, featuring large-scale seedpods that have been made from reclaimed, discarded wood. Sustainability is an important aspect of Mitchell’s practice, in which he never cuts down living trees or takes from existing habitats, preferring found wood that has often been dumped or discarded.
“I find the process of seeing potential in discarded wood, then cutting, carving, grinding and sanding until it is realised, a deeply therapeutic process. This practice has many parallels in seeing the potential within myself and others.”
Mitchell’s inspiration comes from “Darwin’s unique and diverse landscape”, although his love of nature was cultivated growing up in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Themes from his work with youth, in outdoor education and reflections on parenthood also feed into his practice; correlating concepts of hope, restoration, beauty, brokenness and inheritance with his personal experiences and the natural world.
“I am intrigued with seed pods, as their primary function is to grow, protect, nurture and release life to the next generation. A tiny seed holding all the DNA of the parent plant, lays dormant, until the conditions are right to germinate. Only then do we see its full potential and beauty (or destructive nature) realised.”
Joel Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries from Charles Darwin University, he won first prize in the 2013 Wetlands Australia Photography Competition (Flora) and has recently had a public artwork installed in a leisure precinct in Darwin . Inheritance marks Mitchell’s first solo show at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art.
CDU Printmaking Students
FLEDGLING: The Best of CDU Printmaking Students
Curated by Mats Unden
Pop-up exhibition 1-2 Oct 9am-2pm
Opening Friday 30th September 6.00-8.00pm.
Fledgling focuses on work developed through experimentation; pushing the boundaries of printmaking materials and techniques. As the name implies, It is also the (gentle) pushing of CDU printmaking students - emerging artists - towards experimentation, professionalisation of creative practice and exhibiting work in a contemporary art space.
Ann Newmarch (b. 1945) O.A.M is a senior South Australian artist who was at the vanguard of feminist art in Australia in the early 1970s, making her mark as a printmaker, photographer, and painter in particular, and through community-engaged, activist projects such as public murals and, in part, her latest exhibition, … as the Serpent Struggles. Ann produced this significant body of paintings and prints during the 1980s, inspired by her experience of the Central and Western Desert areas of the NT and SA and by the challenge of a postcolonial view.
Ann’s engagement with Aboriginal art in these works is prescient of broader debates around cultural authenticity and representation, as surveyed by the later seminal exhibition From Appropriation to Appreciation (Flinders University Art Museum, 1988) which included her work.
The exhibition’s central motif of the car or car-wreck in the desert predates the cliché, just as Ann’s approach (to) and treatment of a desert Aboriginal aesthetic (in ‘dot’ painting) came at a time when the so-called desert acrylic-on-canvas movement was first beginning to take hold. Ann’s work responds to the immediacy of this movement and to the presence and palette of Aboriginal desert iconography. Her dotting/pixilation is also about the screen – both as and in reference to screenprinting and screen-mediated culture.
‘An artist has a responsibility as an image-maker to concerns wider than herself or her art’, says Ann, quoted in a recent article in The Australian about her politicised screenprints (Bronwyn Watson, ‘Ann Newmarch print at Flinders Uni tackles radiation and birth defects’, 16 July 2016). ‘It’s not much use being concerned only about women’s art when uranium is being mined and Aborigines are losing their land, and when Uncle Sam stings your armpit and your kids want to eat at Hungry Jack’s, and when TV takes the place of learning and doing.’
Since 1969, Ann Newmarch has presented over 30 solo exhibitions and participated in over 100 significant group exhibitions, including the well-known WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution international exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007) in which she was the only Australian artist represented. … as the Serpent Struggles is timed to coincide with the WOW (Women of the World) Festival, GYRACC, Katherine, 16-18 September, at which a number of prints by Ann will also be on display.
Seven Sisters is an installation of painted hubcaps in NCCA's Boxset, referencing the ancestral sisters who are chased by Artwele, an old man also known as the Morning Star, or Kwerralye Pule. The artist writes:
The Seven Sisters are really important to all the women of my family. They are really important to all the other women across Central Australia. I call them Peltharre Sisters – that’s Arrernte. It means the same as Napaljarri. You might have heard that word? That’s the Seven Sisters’ skin name ... their section, all across Central Australia. A person’s skin tells them where they fit with everyone else. Anyway, the Seven Sisters got so tired of Artwele chasing them across the country that they jumped up into the sky to escape all the men who make trouble for women, just like him. But Artwele, he just jumped up after them and he’s still chasing those Seven Sisters up there in the sky. We see him every morning, still chasing them, poor things.
Jane Young is an Arrernte artist who is based in Alice Springs and works through Tangentyere Artists for which she is a founding member (2005). She and her family were also founding members of Keringke Arts at Santa Teresa (from the late 1980s). Jane has been exhibiting through Tangentyere Artists since 2006, mostly in group exhibitions. She generally paints on recycled metal and plastic hubcaps as well as linen. ‘I like to paint the shimmering of the little rocks in the Simpson Desert’, writes Jane, which accounts for the dense patterning and detail of her paintings and recalls her childhood spent with her grandmother taking her to special places in country. Other subjects include landscapes and bush tucker from the region. Jane is currently the Chair of Desart. In 2011, Jane’s work was part of the Darwin Festival Lighthouse Commission.
Liz Grylls & Nadine Lee
The works in Domestic Bliss (showing in NCCA's Screenroom) are made by emerging artists and first-time collaborators Liz Grylls and Nadine Lee. Each work uses the humble tea towel as the starting point to express more than the notion of ‘Stay Calm and Keep Drying’. As a common household item, the tea towel features in this exhibition as both a canvas and an analogy for home life. Both Liz and Nadine have a number of identities including artist, parent, partner, cultural representative. It is often easy to compartmentalise each identity, however Domestic Bliss seeks to highlight that regardless of what identity an individual may have or be assumed to have, they also have ideas and thoughts that are far greater than one single identity.
Liz enjoys working in a range of mediums and has used tea towels previously for works combining printed images and embroidered text, sometimes without any apparent correlation. In comparison, the embroidered text in Nadine’s tea towels raises direct questions based on the tea towel's use and the users themselves; for example, as symbols of forced domestic help, collectables, or as pieces of art.
Both Liz and Nadine live and work in Darwin. They have both completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries (Fine Arts/Visual Arts) from Charles Darwin University. Liz has completed Honours in Creative Arts and Industries (Fine Arts) at CDU while Nadine is currently completing an Honours degree (Visual Art) at CDU. Nadine has previously shown work in NCCA’s Boxset (2015).
Machinations is an exhibition in Gallery 2 consisting of new large-scale, screenprinted poster works which survey military aviation machines currently used by The Australian Defence Force, including fighters, carriers and drones (UAVs: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which are increasingly used in the surveillance of Australian waters. Mutton’s imagery also taps into principles of ‘dazzle’ camouflage design – complex geometric patterning developed during World War I and used in Australian propaganda posters.
This body of work developed out of an artist-residency at Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, Canberra in 2015, and continues the artist’s exploration into the relationship that nations and communities have with the technology of war, as seen in previous exhibitions such as Rise of the Machines (2014), and Post War: Thousand Mile Stare (2015). ‘I am interested in the romanticism associated with military flying machines’, Mutton muses, ‘and the seeming disconnect with their capability as enablers of destruction and/or superintendence.’
Katy is an early-career visual artist who has held a number of solo exhibitions over the past 5 years, and participated in numerous group exhibitions including Women, the Homefront & War (Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, 2016), and Guarding the Homefront, Casula Powerhouse (2015). A graduate in printmedia and drawing from the Australian National University, these two mediums continue to inform her practice along with work in sculpture/installation. Katy has been the recipient of several prestigious grants/fellowships: in 2014 she was honoured with the Canberra Critics Circle Visual Arts Award for her solo exhibition Rise of the Machines, and with a Print Council of Australia Print Commission in 2016.
Machinations was produced with assistance from the ACT Government through Arts ACT.
Curated by Djon Mundine
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.
Daniel Boyd, Karla Dickens, (BLAK) Douglas, Leah Flanagan, Amala Groom, Warwick Keen, Peter McKenzie, Djon Mundine, Caroline Oakley, Bjorn Stewart, Leanne Tobin, Jason Wing, Chantelle Woods, Sandy Woods.
Bungaree – A Man in Space
Jung is reported to observe;
“it is indeed no small matter to know one’s guilt, and one’s evil, and certainly nothing to be gained by losing sight of one’s shadow. When we are conscious of our guilt we are in a more favourable position – we can at least hope to change and improve ourselves.”
Bungaree was a man held in a personal, social, geographical, and historic space. A gallery can be described as a long performance space, open on one side, connecting two other spaces. As Shakespeare conveyed; we all perform our lives and move through ‘this’ space to another space. A human body is an object in space. People and objects in ‘that’ space are open to surveillance and judgment.
In the space here are objects and expressions made; where the artists knew each other, and expressions that just look and sound like each other in form, content, character, context, concept, or history.
The differences between inanimate objects and living beings are; their voices, their gaze, character, smell, mannerisms and gait; their body language, mental and physical expression. The workshops at the end of 2014 were about the process of bringing into being an extension of the artist’s practice in creating non-tangible expressions of Bungaree’s personality and social being, (moving image, projection, writing, ridicule and wit, in song and music, and performance, both individually and/or in group display).
I wanted to shift the Aboriginal presence out of the ghetto of Redfern; to remind everyone, including ourselves, that Aboriginal people lived all over what is now called the Sydney basin – Aboriginal people are everywhere and Aboriginal people do everything.
I asked artists to bring a number of ideas around the notion of non-tangible expression for the ‘company’ to workshop into being. We recorded as much of the process and resultant artwork to display with the initial exhibition in 2015.
Characters create an activated space, a loaded, charged space. These works in a sense are memories, the detritus, the leftovers; a fetish of Bungaree’s life that are now a piece of art.
Djon Mundine OAM Curator