Encompassing three principal exhibition spaces, the Galleries are a platform for examining contemporary visual and material culture through exhibitions and public programs.
‘The Colour Line’ brings together a presentation of new and recent works by Kamilaroi/Brisbane artist Archie Moore in dialogue with infographics by African American scholar and activist W.E.B Du Bois (1868-1963). Archie Moore’s ongoing interests include key signifiers of identity-skin, language, smell, home, flags-as well as the borders of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding, including the broader concerns of racism.
‘INFRACTIONS’ is a feature length video installation platforming the struggles of frontline Indigenous cultural workers against threats to more than 50% of the Northern Territory from shale gas fracking. As Australia becomes the leading exporter of planet-warming fossil fuels globally, and Asia and the EU plan to increase fracked gas imports, pressure on this region has intensified, threatening hard-won Aboriginal land rights and homelands.
At UNSW Galleries, supporting Australian artists and designers is at the core of all our activities. In recent years, we have seen a contraction in public funding for the arts, and the sector faces increasing obstacles resulting from the global COVID-19 health emergency.
‘The Colour Chart’ is an artist-led research initiative created in dialogue with artist, curator and postdoctoral scholar Dr Léuli Eshrāghi. It addresses issues of race hierarchy, exclusion and cultural illiteracy within Australia’s visual arts sector, which overwhelmingly impact First Peoples, and other racialised and marginalised communities.
Shortlisted from over 400 applications, the seven finalists of the 2021 John Fries Award present newly commissioned works, developed with the support of curator Miriam Kelly. For more than a decade, the John Fries Award has recognised the contributions and achievements of early-career practitioners from across Australia and New Zealand.
Gerwyn Davies’ photographs explore the expression of Camp as an aesthetic strategy in photographic self-representation. They renew and affirm Camp’s queer critical capacities, moving beyond popular understandings of Camp as a gay sensibility, a mode of theatrical performativity, or an ironic inversion of taste.
‘Capture’ is the first comprehensive survey of Australian artist Sam Smith. It brings together four moving image projects from the past decade alongside a major new commission that explores relationships between geology, technology and environment. Working across video installation, sculpture and performance, Smith’s practice interrogate both the apparatuses of image-making and the framework for their reception.
Adelaide-based ceramicist Kirsten Coelho works in porcelain, producing reduction fired forms and vessels that fuse the precious and the everyday. Coelho’s forms often reinterpret utilitarian objects and draw from the social histories and material culture of ceramics, glass and metal wares. In their installation, Coelho creates ensembles and grouping of forms that play with shadow, transparency and abstraction.
Humans have historically co-inhabited sites with companion species. Many were always present, but many non-human animals have also been mobilised by the human, often introduced into foreign spaces. The intentions for these actions by the human carry complex contradictions – in our encounters with birds we find a hybrid of anthropocentrism and affection for the way animals have been imagined in relation to the human.
Kyoko Hashimoto is a Japanese-born Australian designer working across critical design and jewellery. Concerned with environmentally sustainable practices, Hashimoto creates objects that address existential threats posed by globalised resource extraction and the particular materials that dominate urban experience: plastic, concrete and fossil fuels.
I became other. I became one of the wearied, dusty faces from across the border. And although there was no boundary between us, and we were all citizens of one country, suddenly an invisible border of horror was drawn around me that made it impossible to get out.