Jean Bellette Retrospective
7 May – 12 June 2005
Jean Bellette (1908-1991) was a seminal figure in the visual arts from the 1930s until her death in Majorca in 1991, yet her contribution to the history of the visual arts in Australia has not been adequately assessed.
She has the rare distinction of being a woman artist who was highly regarded by her peers in the post-war Sydney art world, yet her marriage to the Sydney Morning Herald art critic, Paul Haefliger precluded much critical discussion about her work. She is favourably mentioned in most general art histories however until now there has been no sustained study or exhibition of her work.
The exhibition consists of 75 works including paintings, watercolours and drawings from private and public collections, supported with photographs and memorabilia, will, for the first time, place her in context with her contemporaries.
Organised by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery and S.H. Ervin Gallery.
Curator: Christine France
12 February – 1 May 2005
An Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington Touring Exhibition
Featuring the compelling photographs of Mark Adams and an experimental film by Lisa Taouma, Tatau is an exhibition examining the origins, history and practice of Samoan tattooing and its contemporary significance. Bringing into focus the pe'a or traditionally male tattoo, and the malu or traditionally female tattoo, Tatau explores Samoan tattooing from a contemporary perspective and documents the extraordinary cross-cultural history of tatau since the 1970s – transported to the migrant communities of New Zealand, disseminated into various international subcultures, and played out in the context of domestic lounge room settings from Auckland to the Netherlands.
Mark Adams' series of 43 photographs is based on a 25 year association with the tufuga tatatau (tattoo artists) of the aiga Sa Su'a (tattoo family), and in particular on the friendship of tattoo master Sulu'ape Paulo II. Lisa Taouma's short film, Measina Samoa: Stories of the Malu, is a metaphorical journey that explores the mythological origins of the tatau. The film imaginatively re-presents the legend of how two sisters brought knowledge of the tatau to Samoa, and juxtaposes that legend with the testimonies of contemporary Samoan women who speak about the malu and its impact on their lives.
Together the exhibitions affirm the vitality of an ancient cultural practice, while raising complex questions about culture and globalisation, gender and ethnicity, cross-cultural exchange and ethnographic representation.
Judy Watson: Selected works 1990–2005
26 November 2005 – 5 February 2006
The exhibition features 66 drawings, prints, paintings, artist books, and bones and highlights Watson’s practice over the past 15 years. It documents her personal experiences and connections with her grandmother’s country around Riversleigh station in north-west Queensland, her international travels, explorations of the ‘country’ of the body and recently her childhood in and the history of Brisbane.
The canvas vessel for a deluge was inspired by the 1974 Brisbane floods, while found ten inches under referred to an Indigenous shield found at Archerfield aerodrome, close to where she grew up at Acacia Ridge, 'The shield, which is now in The University of Queensland’s Anthropology Museum, triggered a new sense of Aboriginality for me — I had associated Aboriginal culture with my family in north-west Queensland not suburban Brisbane.'
Included in the exhibition is the artist book,’ a preponderance of aboriginal blood’, commissioned by the State Library of Queensland for the exhibition ‘Sufferance: women’s artists’ books’, it is being exhibited for the first time in its bound format. In the book, Watson has overlaid images of blood onto original documents from the archive of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy’s Community and Personal Histories Branch.
Judy Watson has won national and international recognition for her work, being awarded the 1995 Moet and Chandon Fellowship and was chosen as the co-representative for Australia in the 1997 Venice Biennale. Her work is held in state and national public collections.
UAM Project show
18 June – 31 July 2005
UAM Project Show presents a mini 'survey' exhibition of the art practice of four very different Queensland and ex-Queensland artists - Catherine Brown, Denise Green, Sebastian Di Mauro and Tom Risley.
Catherine Brown’s work, Turtle branching of 2005 was developed through an art residency she began in 2004 with The University of Queensland’s Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics (CPAI). Her work with the Centre has focussed on computer modelling of plant forms.
Denise Green’s monochromatic triptychs, A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose…, are intended to ‘memorialise my mother, a gardener, and her relationship to New Farm Park'. Moreover, as Green states, the way the ‘repetitive shapes [are] intertwined with each other is inspired my study of the writings of AK Ramanujan, a major Indian poet and linguist’.
Sebastian Di Mauro’s works on display include the large flloorpiece, Interval, created from many sheets of carpet underlay, as if layers of skin have been cut away. Shimmer suite, developed from his floccus series, transforms the materiality of commercial products—in this case steel wool—into poetic and organic forms.
Tom Risley’s works in this exhibition span the period from 1997 to the present. They are from five distinct bodies of work and provide an insight into the evolution of process, materials and subject matter over that time. His work has incorporated such media as paint, ink and pastel, together with found material (as distinct from found objects).
Defending the north: Queensland in the Pacific War
13 August – 13 November 2005
A UQ Art Museum touring exhibition
The exhibition, Defending the north: Queensland in the Pacific war, combines art and social history to look at the impact on and role played by Queensland in the Pacific war. Official war artists and artists serving in the forces and in camouflage units, who visited and depicted different parts of wartime Queensland, will be represented, alongside local Queensland artists.
The exhibition tells the story of Queensland’s war years: the debates about the ‘Brisbane Line’, Queensland’s role as a land base for military action further north, the social impact of an influx of American and Allied forces, and life on the home front.
Curators: Professor Peter Spearritt, Michele Helmrich and Ross Searle
Artspace Mackay, Mackay
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
Tweed River Art Gallery, Murwillumbah
A 20 page colour publication has been produced with the generous support by Castlemaine Perkins. View the publication Defending the north: Queensland in the Pacific war here.
Defending the north: Queensland in the Pacific war is presented by The University of Queensland and The Brisbane Institute, in partnership with the State Library of Queensland, with the assistance of Visions of Australia, Castlemaine Perkins, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and The Alumni Association of The University of Queensland.