Polar Convergence exhibition at Nishi Gallery | HerCanberra

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Polar Convergence exhibition at Nishi Gallery

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Polar Convergence is a group exhibition at the Nishi Gallery in Canberra by Rohan Hutchinson and Philip Samartzis.

An exhibition of sound and image works in which the Arctic and Antarctic intersect to form a liminal world where time and space coalesce.

Dr Philip Samartzis focuses on the sounds and spaces of the Antarctic continent where volatile weather and extreme climate collide with fragile ecologies and remote settlements. Rohan Hutchinson captures the tonality of the Arctic winter, transforming large-scale pristine landscape images into violent, mutable abstractions.

Together, these two bodies of polar research introduce us to the places that operates at the margins of the planet. Samartzis’s soundscapes present a spectral encounter of Antarctica by channelling natural, anthropogenic and geophysical forces, while Hutchinson’s blackened landscapes provide a heightened sense of urgency necessary for the preservation of places unseen and unheard.

‘Untitled, Part A’ by Rohan Hutchinson.

Two public programs have been designed to accompany this exhibition: a thought-provoking Panel Discussion that examines site-specific art practices focusing on the polar regions, as well as an engaging Children’s Program that allows kids aged 8 to 12-year-old to imagine various ways of looking at polar animals and types of sea ice through art and craft activities.

At the Panel Discussion, Dr Amanda Stuart from the Australian National University and science communicator and author Tanya Patrick will join artists Rohan Hutchinson and Dr Philip Samartzis to discuss the social, ethical and political tensions underscoring contested wilderness regions. The panel will draw on sound and image works to vividly demonstrate different characteristics of cold climate ecologies and atmospherics.

Further, they will consider the ways in which artists deepen encounters, communities and understandings of remote environments. The artists will also speak to the ‘Polar Convergence’ exhibition and how they negotiated the temporal and spatial dynamics underpinning the representation of two parallel yet distinct wilderness ecologies.

At the Children’s Program led by science communicator and award-winning author Tanya Patrick, participants will be encouraged to imagine different ways of seeing the unique anatomy of polar animals and types of sea ice — a rapidly dwindling part of the Earth’s landscape — through two classic art forms.

Children will also discover at this fun, hands-on program that scientists and artists are alike in their meticulous practice of observing natural phenomena.


Exhibition opening celebration

Friday 7 June, 6 pm – 8 pm. Find more information via Facebook.

Panel Discussion

Saturday 8 June, 10.30 pm – 11.30 am. RSVP via Eventbrite.

Children’s Program

Saturday 8 June, 12 pm – 1 pm. RSVP via Eventbrite.

the essentials 

What: Polar Convergence
When: Friday 7 June to Saturday 27 July 2019. Gallery opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am – 6.30pm
Where: Nishi Gallery, 17 Kendall Lane, NewActon
More information: nishigallery.com.au/exhibition/polar-convergence

Feature image: Philip Samartzis recording a blizzard. Photography by Dan Wilkins.

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