Light Moves: Contemporary Australian Video Art


Light Moves has suitably been itinerant since it set off for Darwin from the National Gallery of Australia at the end of 2015. The NGA travelling show is only now reaching its final venue, Wangaratta Art Gallery, recently added thanks to extra funds. Along the way, it has been to Cairns, Broken Hill, Melbourne, Launceston, Geraldton, Bunbury, Port Lincoln, and Mildura. Phew.

Shows on the hoof aren’t always easy to dispatch. Curator Anne O’Hehir says initial organisation of a travelling show can be complex as curators assess geographical spread, content, technical criteria, and demographics. More broadly, institutions consider such shows within an immense juggling act of potential incoming and outgoing exhibitions, and opportunities to engage new audiences.

O’Hehir says a video-based show, however, makes things slightly easier as there are not so many restrictions in terms of conservation, temperature and humidity.

Light Moves is fresh, accessible and lively, and it features some prime local proponents of the medium: Shaun Gladwell, Gabriella and Silvana Mangano, Julie Rrap, Daniel Crooks, David Rosetzky, Christian Thompson, and Hayden Fowler. O’Hehir says she always starts o gallery talks about Light Moves by acknowledging that some people avoid video art, even those who have been around the traps and have encountered “the interminable video that you feel compelled to sit through.”

For this show, she has selected work that is more gently and enticingly poetic, rather than narrative-based. Its connecting and democratic theme of the human body in space is something we might all relate to. ”All the artists in this show are engaging with some of the smaller moments in life.”

Preview Words by Andrew Stephens