Lennox Head arts writer and curator Sharne Wolff has joined up with another Northern Rivers arts writer Jane Denison, to put together a stunning show for Lismore Regional Gallery, that looks at walking in art.
From Here to There: Australian art and walking highlights the diverse and innovative ways Australian artists are exploring walking in their art. While walking is often regarded as a functional activity to get us ‘from here to there’, artists have long used walking as a means to observe, to perform, to protest, to connect and to question. Far from being ordinary or mundane, From Here to There demonstrates walking to be a dynamic and vital force in Australian contemporary art.
The exhibition includes work from Nell, Lauren Brincat, Dean Brown, Daniel Crooks, Nici Cumpston, Rebecca Gallo, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Alex Karaconji, Noel McKenna, Sarah Mosca, Liam O’Brien and Sarah Rodigari.
Several key themes emerge across the show. The rhythm of walking, where one foot follows another as if in time to a distant drum, is explored in both Daniel Crooks’ mesmerising video and Dean Brown’s etchings of lone figures engaged in their everyday commute. When walking is an ambulatory stroll, free from time constraints and external agenda, the artist becomes the flâneur documenting the minutiae of daily life. Noel McKenna’s suburban renderings and Alex Karaconji’s video animation are forms of visual storytelling where lesser-known landmarks become the focus of their keen observations.
The act of walking is also a vehicle for memory. Nici Cumpston’s walks in the Murray and Darling River landscapes connects the artist to her Barkindji people and country; Lauren Brincat’s solitary walk at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport recalls the airport’s complex past, and Sarah Mosca’s enigmatic photographic images record the movement of her body through distinct landscapes.
The exhibition also sees artists using walking as a metaphor for journeying through life, as in Nell’s powerful figurative sculpture. Liam O’Brien’s performative video employs droll humour to forefront individual struggle, and Agatha Gothe-Snape’s double-edged text wall that prophetically claims, ‘We all walk out in the end’.
Two new works have been commissioned especially for From Here to There. Rebecca Gallo will undertake a series of walks in and around Lismore, collecting discarded objects and transforming them into a sculptural installation. Sarah Rodigari will showcase a new performance, Work in Movement, about how place is historically determined, invented and retold.
The exhibition is on from 7 July – 26 August 2018 in Gallery 1 at Lismore Regional Gallery.