26 APRIL - 28 MAY 2017
TAKING THE MYTH
GROUP SHOW: TONY ALBERT MARLENE GILSON SUE KNEEBONE PITCHA MAKIN FELLAS RODNEY POPLE JOAN ROSS JACQUI STOCKDALE
ON THE OCCASION OF BALLARAT'S ANNUAL HERITAGE CELEBRATIONS, WE TOOK STOCK OF HOW HERITAGE IS REPRESENTED BY SOME OF AUSTRALIA'S LEADING ARTISTS.
VIEW EXHIBITION CATALOGUE:
As history is turned into heritage and then into mythology, the past often becomes lost in a blur of crinolines, cakes and deliberate forgetfulness. The municipal past — as seen in heritage festivals and history weeks — glosses over the failures and corruption of the past to create a marketable product. Civic efforts smooth over the unpleasant truths, such as the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous peoples or environmental destruction that was carried out in the name of progress.
People are interested in history for various reasons, from a desire to understand more about ourselves and our place in the world, to a need to answer questions about how we should act in the future. The prevailing stories are important ways to explain the potted version of ‘what happened’ and ‘who won’. The official historical record has political uses, too — national leaders and opinion-makers consistently seek to control the stories that are told about the past so that they may influence the future.
In this way, history becomes heritage and heritage becomes national myth. However, these myths are not necessarily truth that reflects everyone’s experience.
Stories are refined and edited, and many voices are excluded in the interests of a controlled, sanitised and politically expedient product that might make good TV shows and tourist attractions but not necessarily accurate history.
This sanitisation of history does no favours to anyone, whether historians or citizens. History is not meant to make us comfortable. Indeed, as with art, it is probably doing its best work when it makes us uncomfortable or restless. We need to continually challenge the stories and the presumptions from our past.
With this in mind, The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery is offering a different perspective on the historical past in its exhibition ‘Taking the Myth’. We have brought together a group of leading Australian artists who have explored the idea of myth-making in history. We have worked with artists who have revealed some of the many flaws in the stories that are told in mainstream Australian culture. The chosen artists’ works comment on the way history is represented and celebrated, often uncritically, in popular culture.
The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery aims to subvert the conventional stories that are told about our colonial/settler past. We are actively seeking to “take the piss” out of the prevailing view of heritage. We have opened the field for other perspectives of our shared history and the myriad other stories, from people who have generally been excluded from the predominant myth-making. This group is generally the one for whom the ‘Australian story’ is usually a case of becoming other people’s subject matter.
Although history can help us locate a personal identity, it is also important in helping solidify communities. History is best when it is a collective endeavour. However, history is not a morality play, and the past is far more nuanced and complex than people might like to admit. It is important for the artist and the historian alike to contest the one-sided histories, and to prevent political interests from using history to bolster false claims and bad policies. We must all – artists, historians, citizens – examine the stories of our past and evaluate them with careful scepticism.
We should seek out the contradictions and try to dismantle the misleading myths.
This is not because we are simply mischievous and destructive, but because complexity and nuance are more satisfying than simplistic stories. We are adults, we are too old for nursery tales.
The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery
5 APRIL - 23 APRIL 2017
A THIN LINE |CLOTH INC.
SHOWING WORKS BY MELANIE HILL, GLENYS MANN, DEB MCARDLE & NONIE SUTCLIFFE
VIEW EXHIBITION CATALOGUE:
Glenys Mann, Deb McArdle, Melanie Hill and Nonie Sutcliffe are each textile artists in their own right, and exhibit together under the name of Cloth inc.
The title of the exhibition, a thin line, is a reflection of the mend and repurpose ethos the collective espouses.
The works in a thin line are a modern take on a very traditonal skill. These intricate pieces breach the traditional boundaries of textile art, reflecting the quiet, often solitary act of stitching and mending, telling the stories of those who made them, as though through a murmur.
“We are constantly reusing, restitching and repurposing textiles to give them new meaning and new life,” artist Nonie Sutcliffe said. “Fibre and textile arts are about taking a very traditional discipline and using it as a canvas for our memories, emotions and thoughts. We aim to provoke a memory or a smile, to spark a thought or start a conversation with a new audience.”
While a majority of the featured works centre around hand stitching, artist Nonie Sutcliffe defies traditional boundaries of textile art through the use of mono printing and symbolic imagery, often enriched with subtle text.
Glenys Mann works primarily with found cloth and textiles, including pre-loved woollen blankets, fine hand knits like baby blankets and silks, used to express both the emotions of the environment and of everyday life.
These pre-loved textiles make the basis for Mann’s works, inspired by what she refers to as the marginal world, a place between reality and fantasy, allowing the creatures of her imagination to roam into her daily life through her artworks.
1 MARCH - 2 APRIL 2017
LOST LUMENS | MICHELLE DAY
MULTITUDE |ALEX SANSON
Michelle Day’s exhibition, Lost Lumens, featured a series of her light objects, which are influenced by the contemplation of the awe-inspiring aspects of nature and the unimaginable.
Her light objects are intricately designed and created from a range of media including steel, aluminium and electrical elements, through which she aims to highlight the simultaneous beauty and horror of life. “I’m intrigued by light, whether it is natural light from the sun, pouring through my window, or the radiating artificial city lights. Light has the ability to instil mindfulness or contemplation, and can create a sense of stillness, or joy, or the transfixing, daydreaming quality experienced in the glow of a campfire.”
Michelle Day is a sculptor and installation artist based in Canberra. She has gained a growing reputation since graduating from the Australian National University School of Art in 2009 and has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. Michelle is the recipient of several prestigious grants including from the Australia Council for the Arts, ArtsACT and the Freedman Foundation.
Multitude is a display of two large-scale kinetic sculptures by Alex Sanson, which viewers are able to bring to life by manually moving the delicate handles.
“I’m intrigued by the movement and mechanics of things,” Alex said. “Each of my sculptures is designed around both movement and form, to engage with and involve the viewer. I love to make sculptures that are interactive and can be touched, and that have a delicate sense of balance.”
Murmuring seeks the balance between independent and inter-dependent movement and the harmony that may lie there and indeed invites the viewer to create their own pattern or chaos. Murmuring was first installed at the Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition, 2015, where it won the major award.
Building on ideas of how otherwise independent entities may be profoundly influenced by their neighbours or peers, Pisculenta draws on the schooling of fish, with no one leader but many teaming individuals, linked yet discrete. The viewer is invited to interact with the work and be the spark that initiates an unpredictable flight of the manifold elements.
Alex Sanson (also known as Metaform) has been working as a sculptor and designer for over 20 years, with a focus on architectural, interactive, kinetic or simply playful works. Building both small-scale pieces and large installations, his work has been shown in many galleries and featured at numerous festivals and outdoor events, including WOMAD, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Earthdance and Rainbow Serpent.
'WHISPER' by NICK DRIDAN, HARLEY MANIFOLD & SHAUN TAN
18 JAN - 26 FEB 2017
The works in Whisper are images of solitude in a variety of settings and moods, but safely free of the anguished self-estrangement that modernism has produced in its struggle to reinvent the project of spirituality. Even a figure as apparently alienated as Manifold’s Mister Boxie, eternally lost to himself with a box on his head, has retained a peaceful, almost whimsical, acceptance of the world.
The solitude in these works is a subdued sort of isolation. Whether in familiar territory on the family farm (Dridan) or on solitary walks in various cities of the world (Tan) or disappearing into a reflected selfie in the toilet at the top floor of the Sofitel (Manifold), this sort of solitude is not necessarily lonely or barren. There is no existential striving or mystical surrender in these works; no heroic stances against an indifferent world. These scenes are personal and honest and deeply felt. There is very little opposition in them.
In many of these works, in slightly different ways for each artist, there is a sense of abandonment, a feeling that something has just happened (or perhaps failed to happen). The scene feels suddenly vacated, emptied somehow but leaving an afterglow of meaning. These are pictures of so many in-between moments, so much suspended time, liminal worlds of twilight and receding horizons.
There is a simple, contained sense of time and place in each of them. Each reveals a small aspect of how much can be communicated in silence, and how much can be shared in solitude.
- Stephen Pigott, The Lost Ones
View the works from the exhibition;
'change and growth' BY peter bowden & Petrus spronk
2 nov - 23 dec 2016
Australian painter Peter Bowden was joined by friend and colleague Petrus Spronk in an exhibition inspired by the forests of Central Victoria.
Each favouring different disciplines, the artists first met teaching in South Australia forty-five years ago, and recently reunited, discovering they both now live in Central Victoria.
Petrus explains “When we met after all this time we found that, after a totally different art life, we had come to the same conclusion in our work. We had arrived at a point where we were both motivated by the same idea to develop our work. We had both entered the forest.”
Change and Growth will feature a series of paintings by Peter Bowden, and a collection of Petrus Spronk’s ceramics. Director of The Art Gallery of Ballarat, Gordon Morrison, officially opened the exhibition on Saturday 5th November, 2pm-4pm.
An Artists Talk with both Peter Bowden and Petrus Spronk was held on Saturday 19th November, 2pm-4pm.
'inscapes' BY ROsie perl
12 - 30 OCT 2016
"We all have an inner landscape, a private space inhabited by our thoughts and dreams, memories and emotions" - Rosie Perl
Inscapes featured a series of works on canvas, relief sculptures and mise-en-scènes, which blend together the delicate balances of the memories from her childhood in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia, which are in turns unsettling and reassuring. The exhibition title references to the works themselves, which are an interpretation of Perl's inner landscape; a private space in habited by her thoughts, dreams, memories and emotions. As a series, the works explore universal themes such as loss, grief, faith, nostalgia and beauty.
'NATURE BRUTE' by roz avent
14 SEPT - 9 OCT 2016
Roz Avent's solo exhibition, "Nature Brute", is a collection of large format charcoal drawings. These works focus on the landscape of Central Victoria, as Roz explains; "For most of my life this landscape with its monotonous yet chaotic appearance and its inhospitable and indifferent nature made me recoil from any thought of exploring it visually. A few years ago a shift occurred in my thinking when I began to see the contrast of light and dark, the wide range of surface textures, multiple points of entry and extraordinary forms as exciting material for drawing. The drawings are drawn, erased, redrawn, rubbed back and layered with marks and tones leaving faint traces of the process. Using, charcoal, ink, chalk and acetone I shape the drawing much as the elements shape the landscape itself. "
The exhibition was opened by artist Jeff Makin on Thursday 15th September 2016
THIS IS ME: Examination of the Art of Self Image
Alee Afzali, James Bonnici, Natalie Bookchin, Jon Harris, Freya Jobbins, Aldona Kmiec, Ilona Nelson, Mirra Whale
24 Aug - 11 Sept 2016
The idea of documenting one's self is not a new idea. Throughout history artists have documented the beauty and the decay of their own form, with artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt making it a central part of their work throughout their lifetime. The process of creating a self-portrait is considered a valuable part of the artist's philosophical exploration of "who am I" or declaration of "this is me". The essence of the self-portrait is about control - controlling the way the self-image is represented but has also been linked to preoccupations with personal salvation and self-scrutiny.
In the era of digital photography, the almost manic documentation of self-image reveals this fragility in all of us. The fundamental human question of “who am I?” is changing and evolving under the influence of digital media. It is also changing the way we create bodies of work.
In this group show artists responded to the question "how is this you?" Traditional portraiture sits alongside video works. Instagram collections sit alongside sculpture. But all of the works reveal a window into the identity of the artist.
'Pinned to the Wall: Objects and Obsession' by Susan O'Doherty
3 - 21 August 2016
"This body of work relates to my fraught relationship to the conventions of the domestic sphere and our personal environment. As an artist I am sensitive to problems of gender expectations and pressure on women to maintain a tidy well ordered home simultaneously with having a successful career. Six decades into feminism and for women we're still talking about equal pay, costs of childcare, and proportional representation of women in senior management positions. We are expected to not only be in the work force but to bear and raise children, do much of the house work and shopping and maintain a calm, manicured domestic interior as an antidote to the frenetic pace and chaos of the outside world. Phew! This treadmill has it's correlation in relationship breakdown, domestic violence, alcoholism, prescription medication, anxiety and depression; human fragility lying just beneath the surface.
With my assemblages and paintings I bring the focus back to the obsessive desire/pressure to present a veneer to the world of a perfect House and Gardens home; the interior environment experienced through the personal effects we gather around us, the domestic domain whose objects are silent spectators to our lives."
- Susan O'Doherty, 2016
A social response to the work of Susan O'Doherty
At the opening drinks and talk for Susan O'Doherty, a select group were asked to bring an item that carried meaning and narrative for them. As part of our exploration of the exhibition, we asked each person what their item meant to them.
Their stories were heartfelt, personal and reflected their varied different domestic influences. We then requested each attendee to place their item upon a plinth, freely moving the pieces about as it suited them, exploring the ideas of composition and story.
Susan described how she uses collected items to tell stories, using them as symbols to discuss concerns - large and small.
'Mallee Mysteries' by Norman Hofmaier
13 - 31 July 2016
Initiated through the inspiration of the Rotary Club of Ballarat South in the year 2000, the Ballarat Arts Foundation (BAF) provides grants and support to emerging local artists. Since inception the Foundation has granted awards to talented artists in a wide variety of disciplines enabling them to take the next step in their artistic careers.
The Lost Ones Gallery welcomed the BAF to host this exhibition "Mallee Mysteries" by Norman Hofmaier.
'Anakie Gorge: A Living Museum' by Rosalind Lawson
22 June - 10 July 2016
Ballarat artist Rosalind Lawson has been keenly interested in the natural, cultural and environmental themes of the central and southern regions of Victoria for nearly two decades and has expressed these themes through painting, drawing and as a papermaker and paper artist. In ‘Anakie Gorge: A Living Museum’ Rosalind focused her attention on the Brisbane Ranges landmark.
Anakie Gorge was formed 500 million years ago when violent eruptions under the sea forced the watery sediment into a new configuration. For thousands of years the Wathaurong people occupied this area, but with European colonisation and the demand for water from the Geelong settlements, three thousand hectares of the Brisbane Ranges were claimed as a catchment area and dammed to support the growing population. Today Anakie Gorge stands as a geographic record of the movement of water, both natural and engineered. Rosalind derives unending inspiration from this weathered landscape. In ‘Anakie Gorge: A Living Museum’ Rosalind has produced a series of works that express the tension between natural forces and human intervention.
Tara spoke with Rosalind about her work during the exhibition, their conversation is recorded here.
The exhibition was opened by Ballarat writer and poet, Barry Breen who on the occasion offered his impressions of the exhibition and Rosalind's work. A transcript of Barry's words below;
History written on the rock faces, the architecture of time
shapes like cards flung down/suspended in space and in time/each inscribed with its own story.
Tree branches, long dead, but still able to reach out and encircle us, drag us into their space,
The artist invites us in, literally - look, your feet are part of this painting - to join her as she listens and watches, draws, is whispered to by the wind and the generations and the pre-generations ...
the paved floor of the dry creek,
the cubist arrangement of geometric rock shapes, cubism a million years before Picasso, rocks tumbled into heaps or soaring into peaks, always the sense of rawness, of strength but also of wounds
a man-made concrete dam wall, only 143 years old
decommissioned pumping machinery, becomes a church whose altar is the old water pump, a church whose congregation has collapsed into a crouching pile of rocks
skulls and skeletons among living plants living rocks
rusty waterpipes that carried life to a whole city, dry now and ghostly, still going somewhere across our imagination
rust, browns, greens, yellows, black, ochre, the colours of earth and the people of the earth the colours of shadow and sunlight, the hints of the running water that first sculpted this gorge
water can be gentle or all-conquering can cut through a rocky landscape, however long it takes, can pick up rocks and deposit them, can nourish man and plant and beast, man can think he has water tamed, but it iwll come back from somewhere else and bite him
These are paintings that come from a deep place in nature, and in Rosalind's psyche, paintings to take home and cherish.
'Indefinitely' by Katrin Koenning
27 April - 19 June 2016
Katrin Koenning’s collection of beautiful photographic images, ‘Indefinitely’, are the result of her migrant upbringing and her wandering nature.
The celebrated German-born, Melbourne-based photographer is fascinated with the space in between moments and in between people. Katrin’s work is informed by the idea of migration, and of constant movement. Her work is a little like looking out of the window of a moving train, catching a glimpse of familiar, yet unfamiliar, surroundings. It’s about the blur between destinations.
Katrin has shot the collection over a period of eight years, travelling between Australia, New Zealand and her native Germany. She considers the series an important collection of moments in which something is about to happen, or has just happened.
One of The Lost One's founders, Stephen, had this to say about it;
"Movement changes the way we perceive time and place. Einstein made a big deal out of it, but it’s also clear to anyone who knows the dead hours of a long-haul flight or who looks at the world through the window of a speeding train.
Katrin Koenning’s photos are about the migrant experience. They reveal the emotional states produced by movement: away from home, into a new country, into strangeness.
In the midst of these dislocations of time, place and emotion, isolated people seem out of place, as though they’ve gone on holiday with the wrong family or they’ve woken up in the wrong country. It is an experience of loneliness, rather than alienation, because their situations are recognisable but not familiar, safe but not comforting.
There is a soft melancholy throughout this exhibition. It seems that the true subject of these photographs is out of the picture, in either place or time."
'Evidence based research' by Julie Collins & Derek John
25 - 29 May 2016
Evidence Based Research is a collaborative exhibition between Julie Collins and Derek John.
Through the symbol of an upside down tree, the sculptures in Evidence Based Research demonstrate the inversion of scientific research in the public debate around climate change. Denial of evidence and the skepticism attributed to climate change science is explicitly unearthed, uprooted and put on display in Julie and Derek’s sculptures.
Julie has been exhibiting sculpture for over 25 years as an artist and independent curator, most notably as Curator of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Derek is a master of all materials; a steel fabricator by trade, he has a long history as fabricator to many of Australia’s sculptors and designers. Together, Julie & Derek have been collaborating and championing Australian Sculpture for 14 years.
On Thursday 26th May 2016, Julie & Derek announced their plans for BOAA – Biennale of Australian Art, to be held in Ballarat in 2018. The who's who of Ballarat's Arts community attended the night with Jane Smith - Director, M.A.D.E, opening proceedings. Musical accompaniment provided by The Dusty Millers.
Image credit: Derek John & Julie Collins by Kate Healy, The Courier
'Seed Art Lab: Seeds Through an Artist's Lens' | Sophie Munns
6th - 24th April 2016
A selection of works produced while working with and alongside the dedicated people who staff our world’s Seedbanks.
Sophie Munns works closely with Seedbanks as an ‘Artist in Residence’. Her work has taken her from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha to the Kew Garden’s Millennium Seedbank Project in the UK to Plantbank at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan, NSW. Driven by a need to champion seed conservation in a rapidly changing world, Sophie has dedicated the past seven years to translating the complexity and importance of seeds for a contemporary audience.
During the exhibition The Lost Ones recorded a podcast; a panel discussion between Sophie Munns; Belinda Coates, Deputy Mayor Ballarat; Dan Frost from Seeding Victoria and Matt Pywell, owner and operator of Ballarat Wild Plants. This panel was a wide ranging conversation about the work of Sophie and why she is inspired by the work of seed scientists, how climate change is altering the landscape of Ballarat and surrounds and the kinds of work that is being done locally to retain and research seeds and indigenous and endemic plants. You can listen to the podcast here.
Fibre Arts Australia - A Collection
16 March 2016 - 3 April 2016
An exhibition to coincide with the 2016 Fibre Arts Australia event. A group show of Australia's leading textile and fibre artists.
'There Are No Words' | Michelle Hamer
17 February 2016 - 13 March 2016
‘There Are No Words’ by artist Michelle Hamer used 230 hand-stitched tapestry ‘flashcards’ made from fragments of text that Michelle gathered from other people’s statements, email subject lines, sticky notes and bits of overheard conversation. Several community groups attended a workshops the The Lost Ones Gallery to work with these flashcards and create the artwork for the exhibition. The process was documented by time-lapse photography, and participants were photographed with their chosen flashcards. The result was a combination of flashcards, time-lapse footage and the photo-strips from the workshops, all put together to create the final exhibition. An accompanying soundtrack spoke the text, in a combination of human and digital voices (via the iPhone voice of Siri) to create an immersive and meditative experience of language, text and personal meaning.
'One a Day' | Shona Wilson
6 January 2016 - 14 February 2016
Shona Wilson is a New South Wales based artist exploring and connecting with nature. She has harnessed the simple tool we all carry in our pocket - the smartphone. Shona works to discover the extraordinary in the everyday - creating breathtaking pieces in her natural surroundings. Shona captures the image on her phone, and then leaves the work to disappear. This ephemeral artwork process has been documented in her One a Day series, and it comes to The Lost Ones Gallery together with her dedicated book.
'This Place' | Ilona Nelson
18 November - 20 December 2015
This Place is the result of a multi-disciplinary project about motherhood and art making. Much is left unsaid about the realities of motherhood such as the loss of identity and the complexities of continuing an art practice after having children. This Place refers to how art making changes when your studio transforms to be many different places; the family home, studio, play area. As a mother, Ilona believes it can be difficult to attend exhibitions and experience art with young children. This Place aims to break the barriers of the white cube, create interactive art in a family friendly space and prompt honest conversations about the complexities of motherhood.
'Prepare to Change' | Richard Baxter
29 October - 15 November 2015
The search for self has been a constant theme in Richard’s work for more than 35 years. Many of his questions – Where is the self? Who seeks it and why? – defy answers, but they may point to an obscure understanding of the world and how we experience it. A lot of modern art refers to the world of appearance and perceived reality. Some art takes a psychological or conceptual approach, and some explores the relativity of perception, in line with the scientific advances of the 20th century. Richard uses these ideas as a departure point and, although his work is richly grounded in philosophy and symbolism, it is easily comprehended: the phenomenal world is beautiful and endlessly entertaining. Even though we may be estranged from it (as a dreamer may be estranged from the dream), we still revel in it. Even though it may be illusion, it is still our experience.
'Dopa-Kinesia' | Pezaloom & Kim Anderson
15 July - 16 August 2015
The juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness, tenderness and fear, desire and anxiety runs through all of Pezaloom's work, challenging ideas of the body in art, cognitive functionality, notions of the erotic, and systems of control. Since being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease, his work in visual and sound art has mostly been driven by an exploration of the physical and mental symptoms of his illness, even using these symptoms as tools to create his own distinctive style of artistic expression. Dopa-kinesia, created with the assistance of Kim Anderson in the role of support-artist and curator, is a series of experimental self-portraits intended to challenge the many myths and misconceptions surrounding Parkinson's Disease. The title – an amalgamation of "dopamine" and "hypokinesia" – relates to one of the major symptoms of the disease, namely the failure of certain cells in the brain to manufacture dopamine, a substance that allows for smooth, coordinated function of the body’s muscles and movement. Pezaloom has immersed his entire body in approximately 160 kilograms of petroleum jelly to represent the heaviness, slowness and restriction of movement he experiences.
Oxygen College half year photography exhibition
12-14 July 2015
We were honoured to have three classes of Certificate III students from Oxygen College curate their own group shows for their half year exhibition. An overwhelming number of friends and family showed up to the culmination of 6 months work.
The Makers Exhibition
6-8 June 2015
Our inaugural exhibition, designed to showcase not only our newly renovated building but also the skills and techniques of makers from across Victoria.
The Makers Exhibition celebrated the dedication and vision of makers who have built a craft through apprenticeship and study - from furniture makers through to lithographers, ceramicists and textile makers.
The work of David Frazer, Adam Simmons, Amadea Sagoda, Minna Graham, Mark Anstey and Emma-Jane Christie remain in the gallery as part of our retail exhibits.