Material Place: Reconsidering Australian Landscapes
- When 21 Jun - 7 Sep 2019
CNR OXFORD ST & GREENS RD, PADDINGTON NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM-5PM. CLOSED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
+61 2 8936 0888
Soft soil between our toes and jagged rocks underfoot. Are they fossil fuel deposits ripe for exploitation or sacred Dreaming sites?
'Material Place' gathers artists who, whether in local ochres or on Google Earth, are thinking through the materiality of the Australian landscape and its representation. Abstraction is a strategy for some artists, while others delve into how it arises as a byproduct of the law or mapping. The intricate connection between places and peoples is a focus of reflection for many of the artists, some of whom chart First Nations’ intergenerational relationships to Country.
From land rights to environmental degradation, exhibiting artists also capture how the impact of mining and fracking reverberates beyond a single site. The intertwined political and economic forces that can reshape a place for generations to come is a shared point of entry to these artworks.
Robert Andrew, Tully Arnot, Megan Cope, Brodie Ellis, Bonita Ely, Lu Forsberg, Gunybi Ganambarr, Dale Harding, Mabel Juli, Nicholas Mangan, Yukultji Napangati and Rachel O’Reilly.
Symposium: From Site to Place
Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 June
Presented in conjunction with the UNSW Galleries exhibition ‘Material Place: Reconsidering Australian Landscapes’, this program convenes artists, thinkers and poets for a conversation about land and space within the intertwined contexts of neoliberalism, settler colonialism and environmental degradation.
Talks, panel discussions and screenings connect the exhibition framework developed by curator Ellie Buttrose where contemporary artists challenge static and generalist readings of the Australian landscape alongside the call by academics Eve Tuck and Marcia Mckenzie to ‘…move beyond understandings of place as neutral background… as a bounded and antiquated concept, or as only physical landscape, to instead theorise and practice place more deeply’.
'From Site to Place' takes place between 22 and 23 June 2019. Presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW.
DAY ONE PROGRAM
Saturday 22 June, UNSW Galleries
11.00am – 11.15am
Ellie Buttrose (Queensland Art Gallery) introduces the exhibition ‘Material Place’ and explores its key curatorial thematics.
11.15am – 11.45am | Keynote
Irene Watson (University of South Australia) delivers a keynote address drawing on her extensive research into Indigenous legal frameworks and conceptions of place.
11.45am – 12.30pm | In-conversation
Exhibiting artists Dale Harding and Megan Cope join curator Anneke Jaspers (Art Gallery of NSW) for a conversation on the political, poetic and aesthetic significance of using natural materials indexical to specific sites and locations.
12.30pm – 1.30pm | Panel Discussion
Exhibiting artists Rachel O’Reilly and Lu Forsberg join Joe Collins (University of Sydney) and Livia Rezende (UNSW Art & Design) to explore the political economy and aesthetic representation of mining and fracking in Australia and beyond.
1.30pm – 2pm | Lunch
2pm – 2.45pm | In-conversation
Exhibiting artist Tully Arnot joins exhibition curator Ellie Buttrose for a conversation on the intersection of nature, technology and sculpture.
2.45pm – 3.30pm | In-conversation
Exhibiting artist Bonita Ely and prominent eco-feminist Ariel Salleh (University of Sydney) look at the relationship between feminist discourse and environmentalism in art and activism.
3.30 – 4.00pm | Poetry reading
American poet Marianne Boruch reads from new and earlier work about the crucial and haunting link between what is human and what is not, between place and imagination.
4.00 – 4.30pm | Garden Tour
Tess Allas (UNSW Art & Design) and Dr Clare Milledge (UNSW Art & Design) lead a tour of the new communal gardens and discuss the development of their collaborative gardening philosophy.
DAY TWO PROGRAM
Sunday 23 June, Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW
2.00 – 2.30pm | Talk: Fracturing Image Economies
In this talk, Rachel O’Reilly will address concepts emerged from her ongoing project ‘The Gas Imaginary’, initiated in 2013 following the birth of the Australian unconventional gas industry through Gladstone on Gooreng Gooreng land. Using poetry, collaborative drawings, film and public talks O’Reilly’s work tracks continuities and differences between the mining regimes of colonial modernism and new forms currently moving across borders in the contemporary era.
2.30 – 4pm | Screening
AGNSW Curator of Film Ruby Arrowsmith-Todd presents three works addressing landscape and mining in Australia:
Hannah Brontë, Umma’s Tongue–molten at 6000° 2017 (4:50mins)
Hannah Brontë pairs the female black body with panoramic images of mining and natural destruction. As the artist describes it: “If mother earth were a rapper then this is her new music video”.
Pia Borg, Silica 2016 (24mins)
An unseen location scout explores a South Australian opal mining town and finds in this semi-deserted region both the traces of indigenous culture and remnants of cinema history.
Karrabing Film Collective, The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland 2018 (26mins)
Set in a land and seascape poisoned by capitalism where only Aboriginals can survive long periods outdoors, this is a surreal exploration of Western toxic contamination and human and non-human life.