2014, metal-inlay woodblock;
image courtesy the artist
NCCA presents Vexed, a solo exhibition by Fiona Foley in the main gallery and screen room. Taking its name from Foley’s 2013 video work which was filmed in Alice Springs, Vexed concerns the disruption to traditional courting and betrothal/marriage customs wrought by colonisation. Implicit in this scenario is the vexed and changing role of Aboriginal women on the colonial frontier. The exhibition will feature retrospective works by Foley that address the same theme, as well as a new letter-based sculpture spelling the words ‘Black Velvet’, produced in association with Brisbane-based Urban Art Projects.
Fiona Foley is a Badtjala artist from Fraser Island (Thoorgine), Queensland, who resides in Brisbane. She is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists; in 2014 she was awarded the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Award, recognised as a ‘fearless advocate for Indigenous political and social equality’.
Banksia and Feathertop Grass is an artwork from a series of work collectively titled The Paper Series, for which Body hand-makes paper from found plant fibres and then films the paper over a time period of 24 hours. This process results in the video and its subject exhibited side-by-side as a memory of the artist's process, and in line with Body's overall work which seeks to memorialise the artist's past-present body within creative process and action. Body is a Sydney-based (Darwin-bred) artist. A Master of Fine Arts graduate from the UNSW College of Fine Arts, she has been awarded studio residencies in Spain and Sydney, and is currently artist-in-residence at the Sydney TAFE Institute, St George School of Art. Body has exhibited her work at numerous commercial and public contemporary art galleries in Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne.
Her work for NCCA's Boxset is part of Dispatch, a national exchange project between nine window gallery spaces, and was sent from Branch3D in Sydney
Grain & Gold, Darwin-based artist Brittany Jones offers an array of unmilled, lacquered wood 'slices' whose surfaces are adorned with pokered patterns incorporating intricate metal and enamel inlay. Rendered with exceptional skill and presented as an overall installation, Jones's sculptural objects reflect her interest in graphic design, typography, and the interplay of art and craft.
'I have always been a painter/crafter', writers Jones, whose practice as an artist/designer goes by the name of baked goods, a nod to her 'need to create handmade, tactile things'. Jones moved to Darwin from Melbourne in 2012. She has exhibited her paintings in numerous group shows in America (in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa, Florida, for example) and in Australia (including Hidden Faces of the Archibald, Melbourne, 2012). Grain & Gold is her first solo exhibition.
Unco is a selection of recent video work by seven Australian artists/artist-duos showing in NCCA's Screen Room. The selection is curated by Ian Haig, Senior Lecturer in Expanded Studio Practice, School of Art, RMIT University, Melbourne, and premiered at The Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, in August 2013. In tune with the Australian vernacular of its title (‘unco’ meaning ‘physically uncoordinated’), Unco ‘plays with the idea of wrong thinking, odd audio/visual pairings … ‘. ‘Many of the works’, writes Haig, ‘offer a re-reading and negotiate popular culture in different ways, providing a perverse and darkly humorous take on the worlds of contemporary screen culture’. Featuring the work of Soda Jerk, Ian Haig, Heath Franco, Emile Zile, Martine Corompt, Philip Brophy, and Deigo Ramirez.
A collaborative work between artists Michelle Culpitt (Darwin) and Annee Miron (Victoria), Burrow is inspired by a road trip from Alice Springs to Darwin taken by the artists in 2013. During the trip the artists were struck by the 'blackened folds in the landscape that hinted at burrows'. Apart from Culpitt's photographs partly serving as documentation of burrows and burrow-forms in the landscape, the artists also interpret the burrow more broadly as 'an opening, a passage between the known and the unknown, both an archaeology and architecture of the places and spaces between, beyond and underneath'. (Artists' statement, 2013) The exhibition, shown in NCCA's Gallery 1, combines Miron's sculptural installation (using found, woven cardboard) and Culpitt's photography (including explorations into polymer and copperplate gravure photographic printing along with duratran and digital prints).
Between the sky and the ground considers the complexity of the image in relation to lived experience. The work presented for the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art includes a collection of images in the form of a digital publication online (Image/Air) and a corresponding video piece (Ground Squirrel) showing in the Box Set space. This work was developed during time spent as an artist in residence at The Banff Centre during May-June 2013, with support of the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria
Jabiru Prints is a selection of recent printmaking from senior students at West Arnhem College, Jabiru Area School, in association with the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation. Over the past 18 months, the students have produced mainly linocuts and etchings. This selection largely focuses on their etchings, including some initial experimenting with chine-collé. The subjects for these works include a range of popular cultural motifs which might be part of teenage life anywhere in Australia, along with motifs relating to Kakadu National Park and portraits of the people who figure in their lives.
Jan Hogan’s Broken Line is a drawing-based installation inspired by site visits at Mirima National Park, an area outside Kununurra in the east Kimberley region – now characterised by eroding rock formations but at various stages over its ancient history also mountain ranges, seabeds, and sand dunes. It is a site, as Hogan writes, ‘of form and formlessness, a continuous becoming and changing’. Presented with support from the University of Tasmania and Regional Arts Tasmania.
Under My Skin is an exhibition of photographic work by highly acclaimed Melbourne-based artist Polixeni Papapetrou. The exhibition comprises 11 works drawing from four different series by Papaetrou: Phantomwise (2002), Between Worlds (2009), The Dreamkeepers (2012), and The Ghillies (2013). In each of these series, the key character or characters in Papapetrou’s photographs are masked, a device which is given ample and imaginative reign in her work overall which deals in the psychologically poised world of archetypes, getting at and under the skin of fairytales and mythologies both personal and cultural.
Presented in association with Neville Pantazis, Parap Fine Foods, Darwin.
Polixeni Papapetrou is represented by Stills Gallery, Sydney.
The NCCA proudly premiered PROOF: Photo Essays from the Top End as a tribute to photojournalists working in this region and to the multi-layered richness of the region itself – its stories and subtexts, topical and timeless. Representing the work of veterans in the field and emerging talents, PROOF includes photo essays spanning the careers of longstanding Territory photographers Clive Hyde and Baz Ledwidge alongside the work of established and emerging photojournalists.
Presented by a curatorial team (Maurice O'Riordan, Director, NCCA; Crystal Thomas, independent curator; and Glenn Campbell, photojournalist) PROOF showed simultaneously at the Darwin Waterfront and at NCCA. Participating artists: Clive Hyde, Baz Ledwidge, Glenn Campbell, Daniel Hartley-Allen, Elise Derwin, Andrew Quilty, Megan Lewis, Made Nagi, Martine Perret, Ed Wray, Régis Martin and Frédéric Mit, and Brian Cassey.
Presented in association with the Darwin Waterfront Authority.
A smaller version of the exhibition will be presented at Godinmayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre, Katherine in April 2015.
Through photography UK artist Helen Bowes documents her site specific sculptures on their journey through Europe. These 'Nomadic Trademarks' as she calls them are a concept based on connection and trace, how place and people connect in society and the world at large.
NSW-based Hayley West employs soft sculpture and video-based performance to address persistent themes in her work relating to the 'vestigial': the embodiment of memory, archive and grief.
Darwin's 'discordant architecture' is food for Meacham's visual language through paintings and painted constructions/cut-outs which echo (and reimagine) the built environment, particularly its often overlooked interiors and exteriors.
Perth-based artists Fiona Gavino and Myrto Angelouli continue their collaborative endeavours with the Pixels + Fibre Project, an immersive installation-based exhibition which pairs the mediums of fibre art and film. The exhibition builds on their recent residency at the Fremantle Arts Centre Moores Building, Perth.
Windows separate the outside from the inside. They provide an inside peek into an enclosed space, but also let light into darkness. The concept of blurring contexts is something that my work has always explored. Whether it's between cross-cultural compositions, or the use of old and new materials and techniques. For this installation I want to play with the concept of 'inside' and 'outside', creating a world inside the window that reflects the outside environment. Water, plants and animals will play a role in imagery, cut out of paper and used to create a world of its own. Elysha will create a site specific white paper cut installation, custom made to the Boxset space window that will be suspended from the roof, reaching from ceiling to floor.