ALL OF US
BLINDSIDE FIRST NATIONS PROJECT
13 - 29 Sep 2018
Opening Night | Thursday 13 Sep, 6–8pm + Performance by Justine Youssef
Artist and Curator Talk + Participatory Workshop by Liam Benson with Adorned | Saturday 15 Sep, 2-4pm
CURATOR | Jessica Clark
Liam Benson + Adorned, Jodie Haynes, Karen Casey, Teresa Hsieh, Mitch and Molly Mahoney, Justine Youssef.
In a world seemingly felt through the digitalisation of relationships, and experienced through the overwhelming access to data, All of us is a timely reminder of the importance to connect; with people, with a vast range or perceptions, ideas and knowledge.
The exhibition presents a contemporary framework by which to explore the importance of collaboration and the connections between artists, their practice, and the audiences they reach – providing an exploratory space to reflect on what it means to be a greater we.
In this context, and in acknowledgement of the land that binds all of us, the exhibition celebrates the creative rewards of collective activity as a cultural strategy to encourage new connections, reveal those that might otherwise remain latent, and to address the global on a local level.
All of us presents a contemporary framework by which to explore the importance of collaboration and the connections between artists, their practice, and the audiences they reach. Featuring a collection of multidisciplinary works, the exhibition acts as a collective response to our current need to connect more deeply and meaningfully – providing an exploratory space to reflect on what it means to be a greater we.
Drawing on an interrelated philosophy of love and respect that transcends cultural boundaries and speaks to a way of being where everything and everyone is equal and interconnected, the exhibition emphasises the principle of human connection as something that is needed, but also an action, dialogue and mutual exchange in contemporary practice that is driven by both trust and respect.
In a world seemingly felt through the digitalisation of relationships, and experienced through the overwhelming access to data, All of us is a timely reminder of the importance to connect; with people, with a vast range or perceptions, with place, ideas and knowledges.
The importance of being able to take part and connect with people, places, and ideas, to know and to feel is reflected in the wide-ranging approaches the selected artists engage; prioritising the sentiment of reciprocity and responsibility that resonates within the exhibition space as a model of and for art-making.
The selected artists open-up practice to community, collective-making and participation by taking as their theoretical and practical departure point, human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space (1) – making explicit the current need to connect to the local, and connect socially, in a world filled with uncertainty and in constant flux. (2)
In this context, and in acknowledgement of the land that binds all of us, the exhibition celebrates the creative rewards of collective activity as a cultural strategy to encourage new connections, reveal those that might otherwise remain latent – providing a unique exploration of what it means to be human, while revealing the elemental vibrations that connect everything and everyone, All of us.
Jessica Clark, 2018.
(1) Bourriaud, N. (2002). Relational Aesthetics. France: Les presses du reel.
(2) Badham, M. (2013). The Turn to Community: exploring the political and relational in the arts. Journal of Arts & Communities, 5 (+3), 93-104. https://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jaac.5.2-3.93_1
Jessica Clark is a curator, teacher and arts manager currently living and working in Melbourne. Her curatorial practice is driven by an intrinsic passion for art, sharing knowledge, working closely with artists, and bringing people and ideas together. Recent curatorial projects have focused on promoting new dialogues, challenging preconceived ideas/ideals, and exploring the transformative and performative nature of art and curatorial practice. Her writing is diverse and has been published through multiple platforms, online and in-print including; commissioned texts, feature articles, essays and artist interviews. Jessica is alumni of UNSW College of Fine Art, Australian Catholic University and RMIT University having completed a Bachelor in Art Theory, postgraduate studies in Education, and a Master of Arts Management respectively.
Liam Benson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates performance, photography, video and textiles. Benson’s work discusses gender, identity and culture by subverting and cross referencing entrenched ideologies, popular iconography, art and media language. Liam’s practice is informed through working collaboratively with diverse communities through an ongoing conversation about how culture, sub-culture and identity interrelate and evolve. Liam Benson has been exhibiting and performing nationally and internationally since 2003 and is represented by Artereal Gallery in Sydney. His works are held in significant public and private collections including The MCA Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank and Western Sydney University.
Adorned is a community group of artists and craftspeople from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who share a love of making. Based at Western Sydney’s Parramatta Artist Studios, the Adorned community have co-run an ongoing program that supports participants of all ages from culturally diverse backgrounds by providing a friendly, safe and accessible creative space. Together with the support of Parramatta Artist Studios and facilitators Liam Benson and Kiri Morcombe, the group offers a creative skill sharing space where participants can engage in developing new solo and collaborative work. The Adorned artists have collaborated between 2014 and 2018 to make sculpture, photographic portrait series, wearable art and a multimedia performance installation. As well as developing and exhibiting artwork, the Adorned artists utilize each exhibition as a way of engaging community thorough public programs and creative workshops.
Justine Youssef received both her Bachelor and Honours of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney, Australia and is currently working from the Parramatta Artist Studios in the same city. She has been awarded the New South Wales Artists’ Grant (NAVA and Create NSW), as well as a studio residency at Blacktown Arts, Blacktown. She has held a collaborative solo exhibition at Seventh Gallery with Duha Ali in Melbourne in 2018, and has participated in group exhibitions at Airspace Projects, Marrickville; MCA ARTBAR, Sydney; Bankstown Art Center, Bankstown; 475 King Street, Newtown; and her work has also been featured in Antidote’s Moving Nations 2017, Collab Gallery, Chippendale. Forthcoming exhibitions include solo contemporary projects at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Haymarket; and Firstdraft, Woolloomooloo; as well as group exhibitions at Sullivan+Strumpf, Zetland and Casula Powerhouse, Casula. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Association for the Visual Arts; the National Art School Drawing Archive; and the Sydney Gallery School.
IMAGE | Adorned - Wisdom, Memory and Song (Video stills - left to right Tacheen Stuart, Hilin Kazemi, Susan Ling Young and Kathryn Yuen), 2017. Photograph Vera Hong and Craig Bender | Courtesy of the artists.