One of the most exciting, ambitious, and beautiful exhibitions ever staged in regional Australia will be the first mounted in the new Gippsland Art Gallery, following a two-year, $14.53 million redevelopment. Titled Imagine, the exhibition of 134 works from 81 local, national, and international artists will take visitors on a journey through five centuries of art making. Cumulatively, Imagine reveals a history of the earth as told through the human imagination, from the fires of first creation through to the science and technology of today and beyond.
Conceived by Gippsland Art Gallery Curator Simon Gregg, Imagine features works commissioned specifically for this exhibition, including a prismatic rainbow arch by Amy Joy Watson from Adelaide, and a dreamlike installation of animals by Adam Laerkesen from Sydney. An award-winning video work by UK-based Norwegian artist Solveig Settemsdal will immerse visitors into a strange, in-between space where the universe itself appears to be forming, while a sequence of paintings by German-born American artist Julika Lackner reflects on the shimmering beauty of the earth’s atmosphere.
Other exhibition highlights include a hyperreal sculpture by Sam Jinks, a series of needlework star clouds by Claire Pendrigh, miniature cities built of cardboard and plywood by Daniel Agdag and Tricky Walsh, and a skeleton reborn in a veil of flowers by Tanya Dyhin. The Gippsland component of Imagine is strong, with works by Sale-based Jenny Noone and other locals including Gillian Kline, Kye Hanley, Ali Fullard, and others.
Designed in tandem with the building itself, Imagine unfolds through a series of five rooms, each exploring a different aspect of the earth and humankind. Major paintings by Peter Gardiner and Peter Booth suggest this relationship has not always been in harmony. Imagine however, maintains an optimistic perspective about life on earth by inviting audience engagement – specifically with those unfamiliar with art or art galleries. The exhibition as a whole has been told from the perspective of a child, discovering the wonders of the universe.
A range of public programs will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition, including art making workshops with participating artists Amy Joy Watson, Adam Laerkesen, Claire Pendrigh and Daniel Agdag. The workshops will be run through February and March, with sessions for both young and young at heart.
Imagine, the inaugural exhibition of the new Gippsland Art Gallery, will open to the public on 6 January 2018 with the official launch to be held on Saturday 27 January 2018 at 6.00pm. A supporting 152-page exhibition catalogue will be available.
For further information or images contact:
Information Officer, Gippsland Art Gallery
Ph. (03) 5142 3500
Image 1 – Tanya DYHIN, Rebirth, 2015, synthetic flowers and PVC skeleton, on loan from a private collection
Image 2 – Peter MADDEN, Sleep with Moths II, 2008, mixed media, on loan from a private collection