An unsolicited proposal originates from a private entity (either for profit or not-for-profit) that does not fit into existing procurement processes and is submitted without formally being requested by the government.*
Artists create unsolicited proposals throughout their practice; unbidden, they explore and present new ways of looking, and speculate about our past, present and future. These explorations revitalise mediums and materials, draw our attention to histories that have been overlooked, and speak to a new future in the grips of climate change.
The Unsolicited Proposals Unit is an exhibition that brings together works by seven artists from South Australia and the ACT, to be presented at Canberra Contemporary Art Space. Curated by Eleanor Scicchitano, the exhibition takes the work of the Unsolicited Proposals Team, who are part of the South Australian Government Treasury and Finance Department, using their guidelines as a framework through which to present and discuss the exhibition works. Artists: Roy Ananda (SA), Bernadette Klavins (SA), Margaret Richards (SA), Jacqueline Bradley (ACT), Raquel Ormella (ACT), James Tylor (SA and ACT) and Saskia Haalebos (ACT).
*Source: Guidelines for the assessment of Unsolicited Proposals, September 2018 https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/doing-business-with-government/unsolicited-proposals
The Unsolicited Proposals Unit is generously supported by the South Australian Government through the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Image: Margaret Richards Tjukula Tjuta (2020) acrylic on Belgian linen 241x198 cm Courtesy: the artist and APY Gallery, Adelaide
DESIGN CANBERRA FESTIVAL @ CCAS
HOME:MADE features a curated selection of new furniture, homewares and jewellery by some of the most exciting early-career designers and makers from across Australia.
HOME:MADE is a signature exhibition for DESIGN Canberra presented by Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre. In 2020, we will present this showcase exhibition in association with the Australian Craft + Design Centre network.
René Linssen (Craft ACT) / Krystal Hurst (Craft ACT) / Hannah Gason (Craft ACT) / Chloe Coldsmith (Australian Design Centre) / Timothy Robertson (Australian Design Centre) / Zoe Grigoris (Guildhouse/Jam Factory) / Danielle Barrie (Guildhouse/Jam Factory) / Jordan Leeflang (Guildhouse/Jam Factory) / Calum Hurley (Guildhouse/Jam Factory) / Samantha Dennis (Design Tasmania) / Scott van Tuil (Design Tasmania) / Chi Yusuf (Sturt) / Kazu Quill (Sturt) / Jenna Lee (Craft Victoria) / Kristin Burgham (Craft Victoria) / Peta Berghofer (Artisan) / Minqi Gu (Artisan) / Eunice Napanangka Jack (Ikuntji Artists) / Mavis Marks (Ikuntji Artists) / Keturah Zimran (Ikuntji Artists)
Image: René Linssen Sola Coffee Table 2020, photo Brenton Colley
DESIGN CANBERRA FESTIVAL @ CCAS
Local photographer Davey Barber (5 Foot Photography) has set out to explore and photograph the very place that raised him, the Canberra suburbs of yesterday, today and tomorrow for his debut exhibition This is Suburbia.
Commissioned by Craft ACT for the 2020 DESIGN Canberra festival, this photo series documents the ridiculously photogenic city of Canberra. Most photographers use suburban streets to get to their destination: on this occasion the streets are the destination. Barber draws on his own 30 years of life experience in the suburbs.
The photographer’s intention is to document what unique characteristics make the suburbs instantly recognisable to residents and to people just passing through, from the type of dwellings, shops, laneways, parks and the residents themselves. To emphasise Canberra’s ‘Bush Capital’ title, the photographs also document the four very distinct seasons of our city.
DESIGN CANBERRA FESTIVAL @ CCAS
Artist James Tylor highlights the contemporary absence of Aboriginal culture within the Australian landscape and how this phenomenon is a direct result of the impact of European colonisation in From An Untouched Landscape.
As Tylor explains, the first European colonists forced the local Aboriginal people off their traditional lands and into small Christian missions and government reserves. This allowed the new European arrivals free access to clear the land for settlements, forestry and agriculture. This clearing of Aboriginal people from the landscape resulted in the removal of Indigenous cultural artifacts and identity from the Australian landscape.
Today the absence of Aboriginal culture within the Australian landscape is censored by this process of colonisation and has left much of the Australian landscape with the appearance that it was ‘Untouched’ before European arrival.
James Tylor is an Australian multi-disciplinary contemporary visual artist. He explores Australian cultural representations through the perspectives of his multicultural heritage that comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch and Norwegian) ancestry.
In 2011 he completed a bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide and in 2012 he completed Honours in Fine Arts (Photography) at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart. He returned to Adelaide in 2013 and completed a Masters in Visual Arts and Design (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art.
Image: James Tylor Vanished From an Untouched Landscape 8 2018, Inkjet print on Hahnemuhle paper with hole removed to a black velvet void, 50x50cm
CCAS is very excited to present our first exhibition in our new home on Lake Burley Griffin! Hotly anticipated each year, CCAS presents the best of Canberra's emerging contemporary artists. Edgy, fresh and innovative BLAZE is an important stepping-stone for Canberra's emerging artists to create experimental and often irreverent work.
Past BLAZE artists have gone on to participate in prestigious exhibitions interstate and overseas including Primavera, The Sydney Biennale and The National Digital Portraiture Prize.
BLAZE FOURTEEN is curated by Alexander Boynes and Dan Toua, featuring Romany Fairall, Belle Palmer, Harijs Piekalns and Rachel Theodorakis.
BLAZE FOURTEEN is generously supported by The National Capital Authority.
The works in Objects of Empathy explore ideas of connections and disconnection to people, place and time through objects. Zouwer continues her focus on small, trivial, everyday objects that are a part of daily life. They are a mixture of functional and non-functional items; precious in terms of memories, they are keepsakes, souvenirs, some are whole and some just fragments. Zouwer’s painting and reinterpretation of objects in textiles, enhances their quality and raises their status so that they become worthy of sustained attention.
‘I reinterpret these trivial objects through painting and textiles as signifiers of belonging to more than one place. They simultaneously bridge the void between past and present, enchant us and elaborate on human behaviour. My work brings together seemingly incompatible objects from different times and places into a heterotopic space. Bringing objects together in this way changes the meaning of the individual object and envisages them anew. They become a hybrid object.’
Image: Naomi Zouwer Family 1 2019, oil on canvas, 110cm x 90cm
Gê Orthof is a distinguished Brazilian artist working with installation, performance, drawing, video and photography. Since 1993 he has been a Professor in the Graduate and Undergraduate programs in the Visual Arts Program at the Institute of Arts, University of Brasilia, where he directs a research group titled: Moradas do Íntimo (Home of Intimacy) dealing with the artist’s creative process from studio to the art spaces to public intervention.
He has previously been the: Visual Arts Coordinator at Latin American Culture House - Brasilia University; visiting artist at School of Visual Arts, Penn State University and post-doctoral artist at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University, Boston. He holds a Masters and a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in Visual Art from Columbia University, a BA in Design from Rio de Janeiro State University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the School of Visual Arts, NYC.
There are two overriding themes in Gê’s work: emptiness and miniature. The monumental spaces and buildings of Brasilia that conceal their barrenness behind the facades of form, function and officialdom inspire his works. His miniatures, on the other hand, respond to brief encounters with art works inviting the public to look closer, to enter into the space of the work, to be curious.
Gê will be at CCAS until 30 November 2019.
OPENING 6pm, FRIDAY 16th AUGUST - ALL WELCOME
Someone once said that, “Love is a many splendored thing”. Tainted Love brings together six artists who beg to differ. It’s not that they are necessarily cynical or even anti the notion of Love but rather they offer atypical and confronting perspectives that exist outside the clichés that millions of love songs, movies and books have fashioned. However we personally feel about Love, its rituals; birth, courtship, marriage and death, tend to define our cultures and determine the diverse ways we engage with what is undoubtedly one of humanity’s most challenging and obsessive desires. Numerous attempts by Church and State to control the ways we love have not left anyone better prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride of their lives.
Jordana Bragg (Wellington/Melbourne), Suzanne Treister (London), Troy-Anthony Baylis (Adelaide), Nathan Nhan (Canberra), Angus McGrath (Canberra) and Karena Keys (Canberra) have delved into the darker side of love with works that cover a broad sweep of viewpoints from the metaphysics of love and longing, euphoria, dispossession, fandom, semiotics, surveillance and abstraction. Tainted Love is both an exhibition and a series of performances that reflect each artist’s unique position. It is a show with little sentiment, no romance, a spectacle of “grunge aesthetics”, a celebration of banal popular culture and prickly passions.
Curator David Broker said, “Tainted Love is the third in a series of exhibitions that explore the ways common disorders manifest in current contemporary art practices. After HYPERactive, Obsessive Impulsion comes Love, the most confounding of all. Following Australia’s same sex marriage debate in 2018 and general acceptance of the idea that, “love is love”, I asked myself – is it really - or is it something else? Tainted Love embraces artists in whose work I see the metaphors of love that reflect my own distorted attitudes.”
Image: Angus McGrath Semiotics Club performance documentation, courtesy of the artist and PhotoAccess. Photograph: Rory King.
Banner image: Jordana Bragg ,Enthusiastic Valentine 2019, photo courtesy of the artist.
Unfinished Business brings together three significant contemporary artists based in the ACT region with a serious bone to pick – they’ve never exhibited at Canberra Contemporary Art Space. What is even more peculiar is that Peter Alwast, Rebecca Mayo and Nigel Lendon share generational overlaps in their practices. These overlaps are not necessarily literal, but instead relate to their formal aesthetics, attitude and their mode of interpreting the world around them.
Lendon’s slick minimalist forms, paired with Alwast’s vibrant mixed media collages perfectly offset the delicateness of Mayo’s earthy and ephemeral works. The exhibition also features a collaborative work produced by Lendon and Emma Beer, under their pseudonym LENDON/BEER.
While this group of artists may use formalism, the grid and the multiple as a means to investigate their own practices, they all imply a path forward and they all have unfinished business.
Image: Nigel Lendon Neither. Nor, 2018,13, eighteen cylindrical elements, each 900 x 50mm, each half 900 x 1415 x 50, powdercoated steel, installed in corner
One of the artists in BLAZE THIRTEEN described their participation as “a big deal”. It was always meant to be – an annual exhibition of emerging visual arts practice in the ACT and a ‘best of’ new artists from the previous year, in this instance 2018. Since 2006 when Leah Bullen, Karena Keys, Marina Nielson, Meg Roberts, Simon Scheuerle, Kate Smith and Charlie Sofo emerged onto the local and national art scenes BLAZE has produced a growing archive of artists with their eyes on the future. Thirteen years later many of these names will be familiar to audiences across the country for like the exhibition itself, they are the among the stayers. In many respects BLAZE is a difficult exhibition, with little to hold it together other than the idea that all artists are emerging at roughly the same time. Once confined to the CCAS Studio Residency Program, consisting largely, but not exclusively, of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Visual Arts graduates from the ANU School of Art and Design, in 2010 BLAZE spread its wings to take a more inclusive approach that focused on the artists exhibiting at venues such as Australian National Capital Artists, M16 Artspace, CCAS Manuka, Belconnen Art Centre and the odd Artist Run Initiative that popped up on the fringes of Canberra’s active visual arts community.
Looking back through some of the past catalogues for BLAZE I was fascinated by the variance in work and approaches to exhibitions as each year goes by. Each iteration has focused the community’s enthusiasm for artists who are warmly welcomed into what can be a recalcitrant society. BLAZE THIRTEEN is a perfect storm of evolving technical expertise and exciting new ideas born partly of innocence and the desire to make an enduring impression in the vast and competitive milieu of creativity that greets all graduates from the sheltered confines of art school. The question arises for all new artists; how does one make a mark amidst this amorphous mass of creative enterprise where technique alone will not suffice? Perhaps another factor that loosely binds the artists in exhibitions such as BLAZE, where the curators’ role is unusually distanced, is a sense of self. All five artists in BLAZE THIRTEEN, Dean Cross, Skye Jamieson, Alex Lundy, Shags and Joshua Sleeman-Taylor have invested something of themselves into their works. While this is not unusual in the arts, the ability to translate self-reflection into form can be the difference between making a lasting impression and none at all.
BLAZE THIRTEEN brings together five artists who have participated in exhibitions around Canberra (and some interstate) over the past year – in Contour 556, at CCAS Manuka, Tributary Projects, Canberra Grammar School, Belconnen Art Centre and Megalo Print Studio + Gallery. The work, however, is new: produced over Christmas and New Year (2018-19) to reach completion near the time of the opening. BLAZE THIRTEEN is straight off the drawing board if not created in the gallery itself, and driven by a curator’s predisposition to discover connections and links between artists and works I immediately attempted to produce a kind of gestalt that is perhaps futile and unnecessary. Against that grain, however, I note that four out of the five artists have emerged from the Print Media Workshop at the ANU School of Art and Design and one, Dean Cross, completed his Honours degree in the Sculpture Workshop. The works are overwhelming monochromatic with a small amount of blue; only Cross has added colour and it is economical. And then there are the personal distinctive identity issues that distinguish the works while the artists simultaneously attempt to avoid excess subjectivity.
Excerpt from catalogue essay by David BrokerImage: Alex Lundy Sequence (detail) 2019, Charcoal and soft pastel on paper, 228cm x 540cm