Only head to the National Gallery of Australia when the latest blockbuster exhibition is on…
Beyond the blockbusters, Canberra has scores of exhibitions to see on any given week. Here are eight to feast your eyes on.
Choked air begins to propagate, as an unworldly figure speaks to us through the sounds of screaming balloons. This message-in-a-virtual-bottle summons our breath to unite in a hypnotic coda. What do you believe? Is it an enchantment, elixir, ritual, or something more sinister?
Whilst we continue to breathe, more and more objects continue to be expelled and expired. Are we suffocating, or can disposed objects be reborn? How can we live in a world where we consume more than we need?
This exhibition by Michael Sollis is showing at Belconnen Arts Centre until 27 June—find out more at belcoarts.com.au.
Feature image: Disposed/Aerosol (still image) by Michael Sollis. Image: supplied.
Making: A Way of Life
Presenting new collaborative work, metalsmiths Alison Jackson and Dan Lorrimer showcase the development, progression and creativity involved in producing small-batch edition tableware objects.
Blending small-scale production techniques with one-of-a-kind artwork processes, Alison and Dan will explore the skill of the craftsman along with another, perhaps rarer skill, the art of production. That is, the ability to develop, design, make and bring to fruition a collection that is repeatable and more widely accessible to audiences yet retains the character and an element of uniqueness, a hint of the maker’s hand, that a unique artwork would hold and is often lacking in massed produced products.
Taking this approach with their making has allowed Dan and Alison to create a financially sustainable career within the industry over the last twelve years.
Showing at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre until 17 July.
Belonging: Stories of Australian Art
There’s never been a better time than Reconciliation Week to see this major collection presentation which recasts the story of nineteenth-century Australian art. Informed by the many voices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures and communities, the display reconsiders Australia’s history of colonisation. It draws together historical and contemporary work created by more than 170 artists from across Australia.
Belonging: Stories of Australian Art reveals different stories and connections between art, people and Country in its presentation of visual art and culture in Australia before 1900. The display highlights the endurance and resilience of Indigenous cultures and custodianship, as well as the impact and ongoing effects of colonisation. By highlighting how contemporary artists are engaged with the story of colonisation, Belonging shows the extent to which art and history are always being reinterpreted.
Showing now at nga.gov.au.
CAMERON HAAS | A M P L I F Y
A M P L I F Y is an exhibition of recent work by Cameron Haas, whose outstanding talent as an abstract artist has now been recognised internationally.
Amplify is an extension of a more organic motif that he has been exploring for the last few exhibitions. This group of paintings extends the format to allow more opportunity for colour interactions within the composition. He achieves this by using mid-ground forms and colours that act as a type of ‘halo’ around the foreground formations, adding another level or amplification to the composition.
Amplify is on show until 20 June at The Nancy Sever Gallery.
Sammy Hawker Solo Exhibition
Sammy Hawker is an ACT-based visual artist. Her practice examines the methods and protocols of human and more-than-human collaboration when producing works that investigate sites of the Anthropocene.
She is interested in de-centering her position as the artist and breaking open the permanency of the photograph by inviting agents of the site to co-create the work. Through facilitating interaction with more-than-human entities this practice aims to draw attention to and make visible the hidden temporal realities & cross-species entanglements of the site.
Sammy’s practice is grounded in collaborative engagement. When investigating a site she will work closely with Traditional Custodians, scientists, ecologists and regenerative agriculturalists. These engagements assist her in interpreting quantitative and qualitative data as well as developing ecological literacy and a cultural understanding of the site. Cross-disciplinary partnerships illustrate a responsible way of moving forward in an age of environmental crisis.
Showing until 2 July at Mixing Room Gallery, 10 Mildura Street, Griffith. Find out more at thors.com.au.
Visually arresting, humorous and thoughtful, Canberra-based artist Alison Alder reinterprets and reinvigorates portraits of the first eight prime ministers in onetoeight, a contemporary art exhibition.
Developed from Alder’s fellowship with the Australian Prime Ministers Centre and motivated by the early period of our nation’s democracy, onetoeight brings these important historical figures a little bit closer to us.
Adler’s artistic expression extends beyond the eight portraits to the intense patterned wallpaper honouring the prime minister’s wives and a Term-O-Meter animation tracking the changing political hues of individuals and governments.
Experience this immersive exhibition where Alder gives us a sense of our nation’s history that is lively, dynamic and parallels the present day.
Showing now at MOADOPH. Find out more at moadoph.gov.au.
Harriet Schwarzrock: Spaces between movement and stillness
Luminous alone, the myriad tones and permutations of spaces between movement and stillness also echo the boundless forms of love in the autumn-winter exhibition, Australian Love Stories, at the National Portrait Gallery.
Harriet Schwarzrock’s new work explores notions of emotional processes and their physical manifestations.
In spaces between movement and stillness, the artist has embraced science and experimentation to create visual wonders: glass, inert gases, and electricity combine into an array of organic forms, producing a captivating field of colour and movement.
The creation draws reflections on the role of the human heart as our central, exquisitely responsive ‘engine’. When we’re relaxed, the heart beats at a slow and steady rhythm; when excitement takes hold – for example, in the first throes of true love – the cadence might crank with the beat of a wilful, wild machine.
Showing until 1 August 2021 at the National Portrait Gallery. Visit portrait.gov.au for more information.