What We Have to Say

26 July - 8 September 2019

  • Cigdem Aydemir
  • Kieran Butler
  • Cybele Cox
  • Rachael Haynes
  • Jumaadi

What We Have to Say, explores the work of contemporary Australian artists, whose creative practice questions and disrupts a traditional and conservative art discourse. The exhibition more broadly asks the viewer to question the impact of these disruptions to the centre, from the margins. How they shape the ways in which we understand and navigate the increasingly dynamic and complex spaces we occupy.

Whether art is something we enjoy as an experience to look at, be a part of, or as something we create, we look to art that speaks to us, for whatever reason; for pleasure and enjoyment, for enlightenment or to be challenged; to open our eyes and our minds to worlds entirely removed from our own.

No matter the gallery; large or small, metropolitan or regional there is no single art audience, but many. As Diana Robson, exhibition curator, says:
it is always at the back of my mind that the art I love, the experiences I seek out, the art that stops me in my tracks and holds me captive, may be very different to the audiences for whom I am curating an exhibition.

In spite of the fact we have access to so many more forms and ideas of creativity through means of modern communication, there is still a dominant art hierarchy. Art vs craft/design is still up for debate; male artists continue to be dominant in regards to institution collections, major exhibitions, and sales. In contemporary Australian Indigenous art, why are 'dot paintings' still held up as an authentic cultural expression and other forms not; why do we continue to preference a monocultural viewpoint whilst ignoring the extraordinary diversity of our contemporary cultural landscape.

The underlying premise of What We Have to Say is about questioning. The exhibition asks you to question/consider the ways in which you see, understand and experience contemporary art and why to situate the artists in this exhibition and the creative narratives they articulate in the centre rather than the margins reflects and celebrates the richer, more complex, truer picture of an Australian cultural landscape.

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