Enrolments

An Empire of Things

An Empire of Things

Tony Albert, Tom Carment, Vivian Cooper Smith, Phil Drummond, Sarah Goffman, Harley Ives, Nigel Milsom, Margaret Preston, Margaret Olley, Jude Rae, Anthony Springford, Robyn Stacey and Ken + Julia Yonetani

19 April to 26 May 2018

Opening event Saturday 5 May, with Dr Christopher Allen, art critic, historian and educator.

An Empire of Things is an exhibition presenting works by some of Australia’s finest artists responding to ideas about still life from environmental degradation to the pervasive influence of technology on everyday life.

‘In An Empire of Things the still-life genre is used to explore a diverse range of themes, from environmental degradation (Julia and Ken Yonetani) to the legacies of colonisation (Tony Albert, Robin Stacey). Memento-mori is reframed in a contemporary context by Sarah Goffman: what are the moral and ethical responsibilities of the consumer in a culture of excess and waste, and with a dependence on cheap, outsourced labour from developing countries? There are still-life paintings that explore formal concerns of reconciling depth, weight, and tactility, with the flatness of the picture plane (Anthony Springford, Jude Rae, Tom Carment, Nigel Milson). Decorative still-lifes by Margaret Preston, Maragaret Olley, and Phil Drummond reveal Australian shifts in ideology, technology, and economics. Finally, there are works that respond directly to the pervasive influence of technology on everyday life and challenge the established values of a given medium, whether it be ‘truth’ in photography (Vivian Cooper Smith), or the impossibility of traditional ‘craftsmanship’ in the moving image (Harley Ives). The incredible variety of still life practices on display demonstrates the continuing relevance and power of a genre that was once considered frivolous. Through still-life, the banal rituals and trappings of everyday life are put on show within the ‘higher’ discourses of culture, and we are asked to slow down the way we look, and re-evaluate the familiar in a new, critical light’. From the catalogue essay by Dr Jaime Tsai, 2018

Exhibition curated by Mary Faith and Lisa Jones.

An Empire of Things Media Release Download PDF
An Empire of Things Catalogue Download PDF
An Empire of Things Artwork list Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Harley Ives Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Jude Rae Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Ken+Julia Yonetani Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Phil Drummond Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Robyn Stacey Download PDF
An Empire of Things Learning Resource Sarah Goffman Download PDF

 

Photographs copyright Richard Glover