10 regional shows to see this summer
From an intriguing exhibition on baroque masters to a show ostensibly all about dogs, here’s our curated list of regional offerings to see throughout the country this summer.
During World War I over 60,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives on the Western Front in Europe. Now, 100 years later, the site is no longer a scene of carnage. Instead the Western Front is a serene, pastoral-like landscape of crops, fields, forests and villages. This stark contrast between place and time is being explored in the regional touring exhibition Salient: Contemporary artists at the Western Front.
Currently showing at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Salient brings together 12 Australian artists who each spent time at the Western Front in 2017. The artists created works that responded to war sites, primarily in France and Belgium, and the effects the war had on Australian communities and culture.
As Robert Heather, director of NERAM, explains, Salient ultimately grew out of the artists having to negotiate the divide between the late 1910s and today. “Now, of course, these tragic sites are beautiful farmlands and picturesque agricultural scenes with the occasional monument, memorial and cemetery,” he says. “But there are also sites there where you can see trenches and craters and some remnants of the battlefield. The artists were struck with that contrast of the terror 100 years ago, and how serene it looks today.”
Produced in collaboration with King Street Gallery, Salient features a variety of mediums including sculptures by Ian Marr and Harrie Fasher, photographs by Paul Ferman and watercolours by Deirdre Bean. The show further displays many of the artists’ journals, diaries and sketchbooks from their site visits.
In particular, Heather mentions the work of Ross Laurie. “He found it quite a disturbing thing and his work is normally quite abstract, and yet for this show he has done landscapes which is very rare for him,” says the director. “They’re battle scenes with bunkers and trenches and barbed wire and things, and he was going back to old historical photographs and finding information and then relating it to the sites he actually visited.”
Considering that 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Heather hopes Salient allows viewers to reflect on tragedies of the Western Front and their impact today. “World War I was a great catastrophe for Europe, but it was also a great catastrophe for Australia at the time,” he says. “So every single town, every single village, every single city in Australia was quite effected by what happened over 100 years ago.”
Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre
11 May – 30 June 2019
Tweed Regional Gallery
21 November 2019 – 16 February 2020
Horror is where the marginalised can see themselves—as a horror-themed exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art reveals.
Sneakers are a cultural phenomenon made up of paradoxes. Some see them as an accessible and inclusive force in fashion that serve as an outlet of self-expression for many; yet to others they are a symbol of out-of-control consumerism. Two Queensland exhibitions are embracing these dualities, though from contrasting angles: Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street at HOTA on the Gold Coast, and Torsion at Brisbane’s Metro Arts.
Within her warehouse studio in the industrial area of Coburg North, Melbourne, with her dog Merri in tow, Isadora Vaughan creates sculptural installations that sustain a visceral tension between incongruent materials and forms. Her work is showing at STATION Gallery Melbourne.
In her first major solo exhibition, now showing at Carriageworks, Salote Tawale brings together painting, sculpture, and karaoke in an expansive installation that explores identity and memory.
For Betty Muffler art making and healing are indistinguishable. Evoking Country through the view of the eagle, she’s now showing in the NGV Triennial alongside a host of international names.