Five Art Excursions Online


Across the country some galleries are open, while others have had to close, but the online sphere remains absolutely jam-packed with art content, from dedicated online exhibitions and art lessons to behind-the-scenes access to collections. Tracey Clement has handpicked a few online excursions that we can all take, no matter where we are.

See seven new digital-specific works in Hyper-linked

In Hyper-linked, Heath Franco, Brian Fuata, Matthew Griffin, Amrita Hepi, Kate Mitchell, JD Reforma, and Justene Williams present new works specially commissioned for the online realm. In their own unique ways, each artist deals with the paradox of isolation in an age of hyper connectivity.

Conceived of as a direct response to the pandemic, as part of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) initiative Together in Art, curator Isobel Parker Philip says, “The artists in this exhibition are examining the role the internet plays in shaping our lives and the ways in which we relate. They bear witness and pay tribute to our networked selves.”

Highlights include Justene Williams getting frustrated with Zoom and suffocating in a homemade mask while wrestling a man behind a door in The Unboxers, and Matthew Griffin demonstrating a variety of uses for mobile phone packaging in Hello Visibility: Bricks.

Justene Williams, The Unboxers, video still (detail).

Watch conservators reveal their secrets

Both the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) are offering online audiences an access all areas pass to their usually off-limits conservation departments.

The NGA are currently restoring one of the most famous works in their collection: Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, 1952. A dedicated microsite offers lots of behind-the-scenes stories including pictures of the conservation process. And if you happen to be in Canberra in real-time, you can watch the conservator at work each Wednesday.

Conservator David Wise working on the National Gallery of Australia’s Blue poles, 1952.


The NGV have also launched a dedicated conservation microsite, but theirs focusses on the whole collection, rather than just one masterpiece. The site features numerous stories on conservation as well as more than a dozen video talks which reveal the insider’s secrets that conservators discover about works such as Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts and Hokusai’s bold prints.

NGV Modigliani Restoration: conservator of paintings Raye Collins with the painting.

Go to art school without leaving home with Isadora Vaughan and ACCA

Ahead of her exhibition at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Overlapping Magisteria: The 2020 Macfarlane Commissions, (due to open late 2020, watch this space) artist Isadora Vaughan offers a step-by-step guide to her wax casting process as part of the ACCA Art Kitchen series.

In a short video the artist talks about her ideas and shows us how she makes her work. Students both young and old can then follow her clear instructions and make their own wax sculptures at home.

Take a virtual wander through Australia’s largest public collection of women’s art

The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at The University of Western Australia offer online audiences the chance to explore the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, the largest public collection of its kind in Australia.

The new searchable database includes more than 700 works by Australian women. “It documents the extraordinary contribution female artists have made to our understanding of Australian life and culture,” says Professor Ted Snell, director of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

Madison Bycroft, (Un)Ladylike acts for every lady lacking (Gift to the King), 2013, still from single – channel digital video, colour, sound, 3:58 loop, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, The University of Western Australia. © and courtesy the artist.

Join a feminist editing circle

The Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon is a global event with the aim of redressing the under-representation of female artists on Wikipedia. Keen to get involved? QAGOMA are hosting four online editing circle sessions full of tips and tricks, hosted by Dr Louise R Mayhew. These virtual editing groups take place on Wednesday evenings, 5, 12, 19 and 26 August. Participants must commit to all four sessions and bookings are required.

Image courtesy of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.
Feature Words by Tracey Clement