Dirty Dozen Exhibition: Cattle and Cane
13 February 2018
Cattle and Cane brings together 13 artists from across Australia with practices focused on critiquing the pervasive imagery of Australiana we experience in the everyday. Works meander between the playful, the subversive and the serious, with a focus on showcasing the works of emerging artists.
The opportunity to curate an exhibition in such an iconic building in a public thoroughfare was particularly exciting, as well as the challenge of working with a space with set dimensions and a reflective exterior. The exhibition uses the back wall of the vitrine, the glass window and the space in-between to draw attention to its imperfections. Given that many of the works and installations discuss landscape, utilising the in-between space proved conceptually relevant in one window in which the bottom of the vitrine acts as a 'backyard'.
Queensland artist Sally Molloy uses the medium of textile to imagine an ephemeral connection to the canetoad-ridden humidity of Brisbane. Hung on a towel-rack, these tea-towel scale screenprints of watercolour sketch cheekily immitate the commodification of landscape into tourist product to houshold-use and the unique place the introduced species holds as both rife pest and mascot for the underdog.
Canberra-based artist Camille Serisier uses papercraft and the act of collecting imagery as a means of embodying the botanistic processes of understanding history. Creating a delicate bevel-edged photograph of the hills behind her house littered with powerpoles and surrounded by both native and introduced crafted floral arrangements, the artist looks at colonial occupation through the decorative kitsch.
In July 2017, at my grandmother's funeral, I was gifted two koru paunamu earrings from whanua. I was then told that the tradition is that the left side is feminine and the right side is mascsuline and that you should only wear one. I was reminded of when I was 10 and decided that I wanted to get my first ear piercing, with warnings from family and friends to be careful to not get it pierced on the gay side. I'm also looking at processes of asserting culture as a form of decolonisation - also likening the process of trying to unassimulate from heteronormativity to experience queer liberation is a similar process for me to now unassimulate from whiteness to experience a cultural identity inherent in my geneology. - Sean Miles
My work for this show uses documentary-style photography to explore the practice of religion in Australia as a form of cultural exchange. I grew up in remote Northern Territory, and wanted to draw attention to the diversity of cultural expression through religion and assert its importance in the lives of many people living and working in remote areas, including indigenous Australians. - Liss Fenwick
Curated by Brigid Hansen
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