9 August to 7 September 2014
Compassionate Voices is a collaboration between Voiceless, the animal protection institute; Koskela, Australian furniture and homeware designers, and a collection of Australian artists and designers united by their vision of a world where animals are treated with compassion and respect.
Voiceless is an independent, non-profit think tank dedicated to alleviating the suffering of animals in Australia through law and fostering social change. This year Voiceless celebrates its 10th anniversary since being founded by Ondine and Brian Sherman in 2004.
James Gulliver Hancock
Tony Albert’s artworks are complex interrogations into the human condition. Mining imagery and source material from across the globe, and drawing upon personal and collective histories, Albert questions how we understand and imagine difference. Weaving together text appropriated from popular music, film, fiction, and art history, along with clichéd images of extraterrestrials, photographs of his family in Lucha Libre, and an immense collection of “Aboriginalia” (a term the artist coined to describe objects that feature naive portrayals of Australian Aboriginal people and their culture), Albert presents a tapestry of ideas. He has exhibited his work at many international venues, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand; and the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, South Korea. He was also included in the 10th Biennial of Havana, Cuba and in 2013 held a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. He is well represented in exhibitions and collections of institutions within Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Gallery of Modern Art Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane.
Glenn joined the MCA as Curator in 2008 where he has led major curatorial projects including Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO (2009-10), Making it New: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art (2009) and avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world (2009). Previously curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection from 1996 to 2007, Glenn was also founding co-Director with Lisa Havilah and Nathan Clark of Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong, a not-for-profit gallery space run for artists. In 2007-08 he was Director of the Ergas Collection based in Sydney and Canberra. In 2011 he curated a survey of Berlin-based New Zealand artist Michael Stevenson and a major exchange exhibition Tell Me Tell Me: Australian and Korean Contemporary Art 1976-2011, a collaboration between the MCA and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea. In 2012, Glenn curated the first exhibition of the MCA Collection for the MCA’s new building, Volume One: MCA Collection, and co-curated with Lesley Harding, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne a retrospective of the Australian artist Ken Whisson, Ken Whisson: As If.
“These ceramic underpants are a prototype I designed for a group of monkeys I met who want to go into business growing rare orchids. These other guys I met on holidays in Bali, who I knew from Wollongong, hooked me up with the monkeys.
They wear the pants whilst collecting seeds, which germinate in their duds due to the humidity, created by their fur. When the plants are ready they remove the duds hence removing the challenge of pricking out seedlings and avoiding transplant shock thus creating a higher viability of seed germination and survival – about 90% which is quite good.
They want to set up a market stall in the city selling their orchids to hipsters who need colour in the apartments that their parents bought them in Redfern.
Monkeys are really smart.
My fellow ceramicist NOT helped me with the pants he did all the hard work I went ape.
Liam Benson is a multi disciplinary artist who works with performance, textiles photography and video. Benson’s work deconstructs the social perceptions of gender, race, cultural and sub-cultural identity by cross-referencing a juxtaposition of popular culture, iconography, art and media language. Benson’s work serves to celebrate the evolution of these social archetypes and explore the possibilities within the cross influence of socially entrenched identities and cultural and sub-cultural amalgamation.
Liam Benson has been exhibiting and performing since 2002. Benson also regularly works in collaboration with Naomi Oliver as the performance based duo, The Motel Sisters. His works are held in significant public and private collections and he was recently awarded The Champions of the West Arts Grant 2014, The Josephine Ulrich and Win Schubert Photography award 2013, The Hawkesbury Art Award 2012, the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award 2011, and the Contemporary Award category of the Fishers Ghost Art Award 2011.
Lynda Draper is an artist who is primarily an object maker working in the Ceramic medium. She has received numerous national and international awards and grants including two New Work and a Skills and Development grants from the Australian Council for the Arts. Her works are in significant collections such as: National Gallery of Australia; International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy; Smithsonian Institute Washington; SAM Shepparton Art Museum; Myer Foundation; Artbank Australia; Campbelltown City Art Gallery; Gold Coast City Art Gallery; University of Wollongong and the FLICAM Museum, China. In 2010 she completed a MFA by research at UNSW College of Fine Arts with the assistance of a Planex scholarship. Lynda is currently represented by Gallerysmith, Melbourne.
"These ceramic works were created specifically for the Compassionate Voices Exhibition. My practice is often motivated by emotion responses and making work can play a role in the mediation of a sense of loss and change."
Rayna Fahey is a radical craftivist whose work can be found in galleries, on chain-link fences and down dark alleyways. Rayna's work has appeared in exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, England, Sweden and Lithuania as well as a number of publications and films. Rayna's work is focused on political and social change but also on questioning contemporary design practices with a strong focus on utilitarianism, sustainability and beauty.
"My craft seeks to challenge the social and political assumptions within craft practice. I aim to break down the capitalist and consumerist dominant paradigm within the contemporary craft movement. My craft also seeks to challenge similar assumptions within activist communities. My craft seeks to break down the dominant macho rigid and violent underpinnings of anti-capitalist/colonialist/war movements. My craft draws on a long history of women-lead creative resistance."
"For a long time I have mourned the amount of finished handmade work that lies unwanted and unappreciated in our op shops. Mostly these pieces are incredibly undervalued. As part of a personal goal of using less new stuff, rather, using the stuff we have more efficiently. And as part of a goal to restore value to the decorative arts, I have created a series of stitch ‘hacks’.
Taking the political ideas behind hacktivism and the open source movement in particular to inform this series, the Tapysteria Hacks take a previously discarded piece and give it a new, albeit political, life.
Hack #5 highlights the absurdity of human appreciation for nature and the obsessive compulsion with the need to place wilderness within a perspex box in order to study and understand."
Lives and works Sydney. Hayden Fowler is a New Zealand born Artist, based in Sydney, Australia. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the UNSW College of Fine Arts (COFA) in Sydney, as well as an earlier degree in Biology. Fowler's methodology involves the construction of elaborate sets in which he choreographs human and animal subjects, creating hyper-real video, photographic, installation and performance work from within these fictional spaces. Fowler has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work is held in a number of public and private collections. He is a previous recipient of the Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, undertaking his year of study abroad at the Universitat der Kunst in Berlin, Germany. He lectures in the Sculpture, Performance and Installation.
Second Nature (iv), is one of a series of 8 photographic works which document scenes from Fowler’s 2008 video work of the same title.
Set beyond earth and the natural world, Second Nature invokes the space colony of human futuristic discourse. Its inhabitants cling to symbolic remnants of life, civilisation and nature within the sparseness and austerity of the machine that supports them. Imagery from within this space shifts between beauty, humour and an underlying horror in humanity’s ‘success’ at freeing itself from the limitations of nature and the earth.
Inside his space-aged chambers, Fowler condenses and extrapolates history - referencing tribal costume, the prehistoric Venus, and the gold of fallen civilizations. His handful of animal subjects, survivors of the fall from wild beast to companion animal, now accompany an isolated humanity on this journey into the unknown. Boundaries between human, animal, plant and machine are blurred. A plant lactates in unison with a breastfeeding mother; a white stallion rears-up to unknown sounds emanating from a pair of fluted gold speakers; and the ship itself spews forth an abject pink substance into its cells.
MAVIS WARRNGILNA GANAMBARR
Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr is one of Australia’s leading fibre artists. She was born at Matamata Homeland in North East Arnhem Land and now lives at Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island with her husband, children and grandchildren. Mavis is the daughter of Mowarra and Gunanu). After being taught fibre art by her grandmother at 19, she has spent years experimenting and creating new styles of weaving and wearable art. Mavis is the Artist Liaison Officer at Elcho Island Arts.
Mavis' own story "Bapa Shepie (Missionary) brought me to Galiwin'ku when I was 9 years old so I could go to school. I was taught fibre art by my grandmother Djuluka when I was 19 years of age and I have been continually creating weavings and wearable art since then. I am very proud of what my grandmother taught me to do, but now I am making different, new styles of my own ideas. I teach my children and one day they will teach their children. In this way we will keep our culture strong." Mavis has exhibited across Australia including in 2004 “A Matter of Time”, Tamworth 16th Fibre Textile Biennial toured Australia in 2001, the 18th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. She has also held a solo exhibition Gunga Djama Mirr (Pandanus Work) at the Bandigan Art and Crafts Gallery Sydney, 2001, My Island Home’, a solo collection of wearable art pieces held at Sydney’s Burring Gallery. She is a Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award finalist. Her work is collected in major public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Kerry Stokes Collection. In 2010 Mavis participated in the Yuta Badayala (New Light) project and exhibition. Yuta Badayala is the product of a joint project between Koskela, and Yolngu women fibre artists working with Elcho Island Arts in North East Arnhem Land. The aim of the project was to give Yolngu women the opportunity to transfer their traditional weaving techniques onto new forms so that long held cultural practices and art making skills could be seen ’in a new light’. The project also aims to develop new markets for Indigenous fibre art. The project provided Mavis with the opportunity to translate her traditional techniques onto a new form.
JAMES GULLIVER HANCOCK
James Gulliver Hancock’s obsession with re-imaging his world has seen him work for major print, TV and music publishing releases including Herman Miller, Businessweek Magazine, The New York Times and Simon & Schuster. He has participated in projects in the USA the UK, Indonesia, Austria, Germany, France and Australia, taking his whimsical perception around the world. He grew up in Sydney, Australia, and studied Visual Communications at the University of Technology. In kindergarten he remembers devising the most complex image he could think of … refusing to move on to the next activity after painting, instead detailing a complex drawing of a city of houses including every detail, every person, and every spider web between every house. He still has the drawing. In high school he discovered technical drawing. He has always been obsessed with machines and the way things work and rendering the meeting of tiny screws in perfect perspective was a delight. This is now married with a love of colour, paint, and controlled mess as well as connecting it to deeper conceptual and philosophical meaning. He has traveled extensively including an overland journey from Sydney to London via S.E. Asia, China, Japan, Russia and Europe. Rolling in a typhoon in the sea between Japan and Russia he wondered how he’d save his sketchbook when the ship sank. He undertook artist residencies all over Europe and most recently has been living in New York where he has worked for a wide variety of high profile clients and taken the city by storm with his personal project www.allthebuildingsinnewyork.com Currently he works out of two studios: one in The Pencil Factory in Brooklyn, New York, and from his homeland studio by the beach in Sydney, Australia.
LAB DE STU and Dowel Jones co-founder and designer, Dale Hardiman's work is predominately focused on the design of processes and materials outside those of industrial practice. Hardiman is also interested in creating inclusive environments for designers to launch their work, starting the now annual exhibition platform OBJECT FUTURE in 2013. Hardiman exhibits regularly nationally and internationally and has won various awards for his work. Most recently Hardiman exhibited works in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, The Other Hemisphere at Ventura Lambrate in Milan, and in Common Wealth at 100% Design in London.
Polly Shelter began it's life as a lamp shade, made specifically for the National Gallery of Victoria's design exhibition Melbourne Now earlier this year. Polly Popper as it was, is a lamp shade made entirely from polycaprolactone, a non-toxic and biodegradable polymer commonly used in the medical industry, requiring no tools to work with other then boiling water. Polly Popper was a collaboration between designers Andre Hnatojko and Dale Hardiman, using Hnatojko's Popper pendant lights as the mould, and Hardimans experiments with the material as used in his homewares Polly, and exhibition Irregular Forms in 2012.
Polly Shelter was made specifically for Compassionate Voices, beginning with cutting the lamp shade into small pieces, then remelting the material into thinner sheets made up of individual colours. Finally the material was melted over a stove and hand moulded simultaneously by 3 individuals into one end of a bath. Polly Shelter provides a multi-coloured environment for any small animal, a closed end for privacy and would work in conjunction with any upholstered cushion for comfort.
Dana Harris practice is project based, making work that often articulates unobserved aspects that are revealed after investigation. She uses a variety of materials to express and expose her responses and her work appears both highly detailed and elegantly resolved.
"The work I have constructed for the Compassionate Voices Exhibition is part of a series of works entitled spoolworks. This project is an ongoing investigation into colour relationships, examining how colours relate and respond to one another. Using a restrained and refined technique of hand binding, the spools are transformed into geometric structures of colour combinations."
The sculpture 'Orange Bellied Parrot' captures the colours associated with this endangered bird, reminding us of what we are losing through its threatened extinction.
Born in Sydney, 1980. Anna-Wili studied Fine Art at the National Art School, Sydney. In 2008, after working as a Scenic Artist for Opera Australia, she began making sculptures independently by commission. Her works reside in private collections around the world and have featured in numerous publications.
Anna-Wili's sculptures are stitched together from archival cotton rag. Her works explore the organic qualities and resistance of paper, generating a tension between the complex realism of form and the limitations and economy of the materials used. They represent animal life in an immediate way that conveys the energy, movement and physical character of different creatures. Her aim is to engineer a moment of contact with nature in a way that emphasises both the startling differences and similarities of human and animal forms and consciousness.
Leah Jackson is a Melbourne based ceramicist. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with a major in Ceramics at the ANU School of Art in 2003. Recent solo exhibitions include: Interiors, Mr Kitly Gallery, Melbourne; An Epic Romance, Craft, Melbourne. Select recent group exhibitions include: Aesthetics Room, curated by Kim Brackett at Mr Kitly Gallery, Melbourne; Chinatown: the sequel, curated by Liv Barrett at Itd los angeles, Los Angeles; and Rock Solid, curated by Meredith Turnbull at Pieces of Eight Gallery, Melbourne. Jackson's practice encompasses both the functional and the sculptural. The domestic space, and film, television and theatrical set design are continuing influences in her work.
A few lucky animals are fortunate enough to be treated as equals: pets, our beloved companions. Functional ceramic objects are made to be touched, lived with, eaten from, sometimes broke. These two stories were relayed to me recently regarding the relationship between animals and the domestic space:
A friend’s father, and avid collector of one of my ceramic favourites Clarice Cliff, feeds his pet cat from one of her original bowls.
- Daniel, over dinner
“My cat actually broke a small vessel I had of yours, such a cheeky guy! Nothing in his reach is safe.”
- Lamoge, via Instagram
Deborah Kelly's artworks have been shown around Australia, and in the Singapore and Venice Biennales. For the past year she has been building a major collaborative collage portrait series for the 2014 Biennale of Sydney, and she is currently preparing for the TarraWarra Biennial as a member of boat people. Kelly's collage-based artworks have been shown in galleries and cinemas in Australia, Germany, Russia, Korea, France, Brazil, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the US and Indonesia. Kelly's artwork won the 2013 Redlands Art Prize Audience Award, the 2012 Albury Art Prize, the 2009 Fisher’s Ghost Award, the 2009 Screengrab International New Media Art Award, and with boat-people.org, the 2004 WINK Award. Hey, Hetero! her public artwork with Tina Fiveash, won the 2001 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras visual art award. Deborah Kelly is represented by Gallery Barry Keldoulis.
"For several years now I have been considering metaphors for the feminine at work in Western cultures, and their logical conclusions...
saggy baggy elephant lady
make you my bitch
bitch on heat
frankly my deer,
what’s up, pussycat?’
Khai Liew was born in Malaysia and arrived in Australia in 1971. His early pragmatism serendipitously led to a decades long championing of Australian colonial furniture. As a specialist conservator, consultant and valuer, Liew salvaged and actively promoted this important component of Australian material culture. He curated many significant private collections, and public collections in state and national art institutions now showcase numerous definitive examples of Australian pioneer vernacular furniture provided and conserved by Liew. Drawing on his cultural heritage and his experience and knowledge as a conservator, Liew creates work characterised by a fusion of old and new, regional and international, and is widely recognised for his unique and passionate contribution to the development of a modernist Australian design aesthetic. Ultimately, his oeuvre stands as a highly personal and distinctive statement about beauty and utility.
Liew’s works have exhibited at institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum London, and the Triennale di Milano. His pieces are represented in many public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum Sydney, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Liew is Adjunct Professor, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia, and is an Approved Valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
In the Double Dutch table Khai Liew allows a note of humour to generate the design: the table is wider at the front than the back and its hanging side panels reference a Dutch nursing nun's coif, as depicted on Droste Cacao packaging "but it could be a dog with its ears down," he says.
Carving and weaving are Judy Manany Gurruwiwi's mediums of choice, while her art practice also spans larrakitj and bark paintings. Originally learning the skill of carving from her father, Judy now interprets her unique sensibility in carved animals and playful woven soft sculpture using locally sourced natural materials. Born in Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land, Judy presides over her extended family life in Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island. Over and above her active role in local cultural affairs, Judy has travelled widely with solo and group exhibitions, most recently at Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London. Her artwork is held in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, and she is represented by Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne.
Maricor/Maricar are a design and illustration sister creative team specialising in hand embroidered tactile graphics. Their illustration and animation work has exhibited locally and internationally. In 2010 they won a RYD award from the British Council Australia and in 2012 they were selected for a Young Guns Award by the Art Directors Club based in New York.
"Part of our ongoing series of positive mantras."
David McKay’s distinctive paintings have been exhibited in Australia, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, London, Rome, and Mexico City. His unique style and iconic images are immediately recognisable for their clean lines and dry wit. McKay’s paintings have become synonymous with popular culture. His work has been used extensively by cult Australian surf wear label Mambo, whose style has largely been driven by McKay’s imagery. He has painted a series of murals in Mambo’s flagship stores in London, Tokyo and Osaka.
In 2001 McKay won the inaugural BHP Art on Steel People’s Choice Award, an Australian national exhibition. In 2002 he completed the historic “Wonderland” mural for the exterior wall of the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club overlooking one of Sydney’s most popular beaches. In 2013 he completed ‘Wild Clovelly’ mural at Clovelly Public School. In 2003 his Sydney exhibition ‘Botanical’ received wide acclaim and one of his works ‘Waratahs’ was purchased for the NSW State Parliament House permanent art collection. Also in that year his work was included in a group exhibition at the Australian Embassy in New York. His work was also featured in an exhibition at Australia House in London, “Australian Artists in London”. In 2006 his 2nd solo exhibition in New York continued to explore historic botanical references on various existing backgrounds including furnishing fabric, vintage wallpaper, surfboards and French tapestries. David continues to exhibit in group and solo shows regularly in Australia and internationally. He was hung in the Salon des refuses 2012 and was a finalist in the inaugural National Trust Harpers Mansion still life award. McKay is also an award winning production designer for film television and theatre.
‘The world’s oceans are clogged with detritus from the human footprint. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch' is estimated to be between 700,000 & 15,000,000 square miles of plastic waste and micro plastic pollution. Also known as 'The Pacific Trash Vortex' there are viable possibilities in containing and harvesting these toxic drifting currents. Surfing is the great metaphor for riding this new wave. The 'Chesterfield' Boardroom can enable radical plastic pollution prevention methods with clean up proposals and recycling and harvesting options. Everybody needs to know about the 'Garbage Patch’.
Noel McKenna was born in Brisbane in 1956 but has lived in Sydney for the past 33 years. After studying architecture at the University of Queensland in 1974 and 1975, McKenna transferred to the Brisbane College of Art. In 1981 he moved to Sydney to study at the Alexander Mackie College. McKenna works in a wide range of mediums; from acrylic paintings and watercolours to ceramics, drawings and limited edition prints. He has held regular solo exhibitions since the early 1980’s and his work is held in most major public collections in Australia. He is represented by Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney.
A painting graduate from Sydney College of the Arts, Sassy Park took up ceramics in 2009 because she was attracted by the various processes involved in working with clay, the transformational results, and the ability to blend functionality with art. She presents her ideas wrapped in the beauty and intimacy of wheel-thrown and handcrafted ceramic objects, in the hope that they will become part of everyday life.
"The exact representation of a plant or animal is not of interest to me but painting the detail of a bird or leaf, the hair or feather is. During the ceramic firing process a lot of the fine brush detail disappears as it is softened by the glaze. This takes the preciousness out of the painting and adds a
dimension of unexpectedness which is exciting, or disappointing. The close observation of drawing and painting animals and plants gives me a level of intimacy which makes me feel I have gained a greater understanding of them.
The red-tailed phascogale is now only seen in the far south western corner of Western Australia while the brush bronzewing pigeon was reported to be under threat but has since made a bit of a comeback. Rises in the bird's numbers in the south west of Western Australia, the sole domain of the
red-tailed phascogale, have been attributed to the spread of clover there."
Georgia Perry is a Sydney based creative, specialising in projects for the youth, music, arts & cultural realms. Her work spans across graphic design, illustration and fine art.
“The beauty in Perry’s work is her power to disarm an audience through colour, line and text, while communicating poignant and touching messages. There is an accessibility in her creations, a lack of pretense while she casually exercises the incredible skill to emotionally engage the viewer.” Debbie Pryor, Craft.
Part design studio and part creative collective, Province is the collaboration between Laura Pike and Anne-Louise Dadak. Working to bring colour and shape to the territory that lies between design and art, Province navigates a niche that crosses spatial and site-specific design, large scale public work and finely detailed visual identity and creative direction.
Province’s nuanced consideration of design and artistic practice informs their work- thoughtfully reconfiguring spaces and patterns across graphic and spatial design. In the past we’ve worked with the City of Sydney, Sydney Festival, Underbelly Arts- and alongside a catalogue of creative institutions and collaborators. Province is built on details, inspired by the whole and sustained by community and shared vision.
This work is a hand-painted silk scarf, made with peace silk (an animal-friendly silk alternative). The scarf is a symbol of security and protection and speaks to the need to protect endangered and threatened species in Australia.
"Our practice is based on a multi-disciplinary approach to art and design, working with colour and pattern to create a visual language that resonates in the hand made as well as serving a function. This pattern is derived from traditional weaving techniques, abstracted and reformed to develop new narratives between traditional craft and contemporary practice."
Cat Rabbit is a textile artist who predominantly creates anthropomorphised plush animals while imagining the worlds they might live in. Cat's practice is centered around the idea of making extraordinary objects out of humble materials. Working with soft sculpture and embroidery techniques, Cat creates one of a kind pieces for exhibitions, her online store and selected markets and retailers.
"My little homage to the royalty of animals; a queenly alpaca in her royal vegan headdress."
Joan Ross lives and works between Sydney and the Blue Mountains. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1989 being included in shows at the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, the Fine Art Society, London, TMAG, Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery and numerous regional, commercial and artist-run spaces. Her work is held in many public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Kaldor Art Projects and Artbank. Ross is an established and significant Australian artist for our time, evidenced by her inclusion in the Australia: Contemporary Voices exhibition in London, and Edmund Capon’s BBC TV series The Art of Australia (2013) and recently in the contemporary Hannah Gadsby’s Oz on the ABC1 (2014). Ross has been represented by Gallery Barry Keldoulis (2006-2013) and is now represented by Bett Gallery Hobart and Michael Reid Sydney, with whom she has just had a solo exhibition with in his gallery in Berlin.
Sarah Ryan was born in Canberra in 1975. She graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Fine Art) from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane in 1995; a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, Hobart in 1997 and in 2002 she was awarded a Dean's Commendation for her Doctorial Thesis from the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania in Hobart. Sarah Ryan has participated in numerous group exhibitions since 1996 including Joy Before the Object (Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney 2013), Perfect for every occasion: photography today (Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne 2007), Light Sensitive (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2006) and Primavera (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2002. Sarah Ryan’s recent solo exhibitions include The first crime (Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane 2013), The Fourth Dimension (Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne 2011) and the clearing (Kunstlerhaus Bethanien and Gitte Weise Gallerie, Berlin 2009). In 2011 Sarah Ryan received the Art & Australia / Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award. In 2008 Sarah Ryan was awarded the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Australia Council Studio in Berlin. Her work is held in collections including Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, Australian Consulate, Frankfurt, Germany, Hobart City Council, Griffith Artworks and private collections.
"Heart of Gold is a portrait of my cat Benaud. This work was made for a group show I was involved in Berlin in 2012.
I like to think of this as portrait of Benaud in the guise of a Gerhard Richter! Benaud is an indoor cat and he has the sweetest nature. I often tell him that he has a 'nose of chocolate' and a 'heart of gold'."
Rena Shein is a Sydney-based artist originally from South Africa. Her work has developed through a study and practice of Fine Arts in South Africa, Film & Animation in London and Painting in Los Angeles and Australia. At present studying for a Masters in Art Therapy at UWS, her work is embedded within a framework of the healing and transformative nature of artmaking.
Canid - New Latin Canidae, from Canis, type genus, from Latin canis. Refers to any of a family of carnivorous animals that includes wolves, jackals, foxes, coyote, and the domestic dog.
These works trace the idea of the lineage of Canis lupus, the Grey Wolf, in relation to the artist’s own migrational history following paths of displacement, domination, return and extinction.
The stitched names call to mind the 18th century preoccupation with scientific knowledge and the development of taxonomy. They are placed within the context of an embroiderer’s sampler, used in the same time period as a sign of female accomplishment whereby girls were taught basic letters and numbers to aid in the running of a household.
Using cotton thread on a traditional painter’s canvas the material palette parallels the disappearance and obsolescence of handwork with the endangerment and extinction of species. Both are subjected to a belief of progress as human control over the environment.
Caroline Sherman is a Sydney based designer working with the women of Goroka in the highlands of PNG. The aim of this project is to empower communities of marginalised women by creating a sustainable business selling their traditional Bilum bags in a contemporary design.
Each Bilum is made by hand and each bag tells a very personal story. Every woman carries one of these womb shaped bags and like bowerbirds, keepers of magic, a pouch for babies, goods and animals.
Traditionally the string used was handmade from plant materials. More recently women also use brightly coloured woollen or acrylic yarns. They are incredibly strong, flexible and colourful, just like the amazing women who make them.
Andrew Simpson is a Sydney based designer, artist and creative director. Currently Andrew is Creative Director of industrial design house Vert and acts as a visiting educator and panelist for events at the Powerhouse Museum and Vivid Sydney. His commitment to fostering young designers has manifested in mentoring, lecturing and teaching roles undertaken with numerous Australian educational institutions.
Made from reclaimed Fijian Mahogany, the Whittier Whittier bird house is made specifically for Wrens (hopefully Superb Fairy Wrens).
The design is made of four parts: two halves of the timber body and two glass vessels. The main body is made of two CNC'd Mahogany shells that can come apart to get access to the inside of the house. The hand blown glass chalices that provide the birds with water and food are in two forms: a tulip cup with classic italian optic swirl and a Champagne funnel with vertical folds.
Wrens are native to Sydney but are in decline as they struggle to compete with more aggressive birds and habitat destruction. Having a house that provides them with water, food and protection is a great way to increase their ability to nest and breed.
Jasmine Targett is a cross disciplinary artist whose work interrogates our perception of nature in the currant climate of surmounting ecological concern. Her practice brings into focus the overlooked and unforeseeable, exploring the tension between the engaging beauty of nature and the toxic beauty of ecological disaster. In 2012 Jasmine was invited to exhibit in Wonderland at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, and the recipient of her second City of Melbourne Arts Grant for The Crumbling Ecologies Project. The Project interrogated the impact of the economic climate on arts education and environmental conservation as a response to ongoing threats to close media specific art studios across Victoria’s tertiary institutions. Working with over 150 artists from Victoria and NSW the project became a catalyst for social change within the ceramics industry and craft education sector in Australia.
Jasmine won the Senini Art Prize from McClelland Gallery in 2014 and the Latrobe Regional Gallery Acquisitive Contemporary Art Award in 2008. Her work has been exhibited nationally; highlights include the Australian National Gallery- Glass, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Cairns Regional Gallery, Canberra Glassworks, Craft Victoria and Linden Centre for Contemporary Art. Jasmine is currently working on a research project with NASA funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.
"If the Bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants no more animals, no more man.” - Albert Einstein
Colony Collapse Disorder is a global phenomenon that describes the mass disappearance of bees from ecosystems around the world. The predominant cause of death lies in anthropocentric deeds including air pollution, loss of habitat, pesticides, pathogens, malnutrition and changing bee keeping practices. Achim Steiner from the United Nations has said "The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st Century.”
Society is investing in industrial scaled hives to manage artificial bee colonies produced to make up for the shortfall of natural colonies. As a response to this, Architecture for Bees uses glass originally engineered for the visor of NASA’s space suit helmets to aesthetically mimic its natural counterpart. The hand blown glass hives offer refuge and insight into surmounting ecological concerns surrounding our most valuable species.
Marian Tubbs is a Sydney based artist. A recurring theme in her work is how materiality intersects with notions of value, pleasure and reality. She has exhibited recently at Artspace, Sydney, Minerva, Sydney, Rooster Gallery, New York, Temp Space, New York, UNESCO, Paris and with the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice
Biennale, Italy. Upcoming exhibitions include Primavera 2014: Young Australian Artists and a solo exhibition at Minerva, Sydney. She currently teaches in Photography and Situated Media at the University of Technology, Sydney, and is completing a PhD focusing on art that poetically critiques cultural ascriptions of value at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.
Zan Wimberley is a Photographer based in Sydney. After completing her Bachelor of Applied Science in photography, Wimberley worked under Cinematographers on major feature films within Australia, and has since been applying her unique narrative style and technical knowledge of photography in her artwork. Zan’s work seeks to be a light, yet probing look at the complex subject of mortality. She explores the contrasting ideas of death and permanence by drawing parallels to popular culture with a strong focus on social media. She takes heavy concepts and makes light of them as well as exploring apparently light ideas and highlighting the oft-overlooked gravity which they can contain. In direct contrast to the seemingly flippant and disposable nature of popular culture, Zan’s works have a high production value and are often technically difficult, using techniques such as stereoscopy and time lapse, learned through her background in scientific photography and commercial photography.
Michael Zavros is a graduate of Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, working across painting, drawing, sculpture and film. He has exhibited widely within Australia and internationally and his work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery, Australian National Portrait Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.
Zavros has been the recipient of several international residencies, grants and prizes. Prizes include the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award. He was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award. In 2010 he won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and in 2012 he received the inaugural Bulgari Art Award. Between 2007 and 2011, he served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.