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Art AlmanacArt Almanac

Art Almanac April 2019

Art Almanac is a monthly briefing on national art news, reviews and exhibitions. Since 1974, Art Almanac has proudly published the most comprehensive gallery exhibition listings in the country. The magazine features extended exhibition reviews and a national roundup of current shows as well as a dynamic and comprehensive online offering.

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11 Issues


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art almanac

We acknowledge and pay our respect to the many Aboriginal nations across this land, traditional custodians, Elders past and present; in particular the Guringai people of the Eora Nation where Art Almanac has been produced. ‘Most of my work is about taking ownership of my own narrative’ says this month’s cover artist Atong Atem who is featured in a group show about identity titled ‘Our Common Bond’. This sentiment carries through the issue in varied ways from the deeply personal, yet universal, work of Robert Hague and the storytelling of artists included in ‘Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley’. Collective consciousness, or empathy toward the environment, is personified in the work of Janet Laurence, whereas Robbie Harmsworth considers the beauty in the narrative arc of the natural world, from decay…

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Advocating for meaningful action on climate change, 30 visual arts exhibitions across Melbourne and regional Victoria will present work that explores the burning issue and the relationship between art and the environment. An excellent example of this is the survey exhibition by Peter Dombrovskis (1945-1996), at Monash Gallery of Art until 12 May, whose photography of Tasmania’s wilderness played an important role in the prevention of the damming of the Franklin River. There will be many educational and entertaining public programs so check the website for the unique symposia, notably Miranda Massie (USA) at the University of Melbourne making a case for dedicated climate museums, as well as ‘Ecofeminist Fridays’, also at the school. On view 23 April to 19 May. artclimatechange.org…

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1000 doors

Melbourne-based artists Keith Courtney and Christian Wagstaff will launch their large-scale installation ‘1000 Doors’ at the 2019 Bendigo Easter Festival. With the space crafted so that the viewer experience is paramount, Courtney says ‘the project puts audiences at the centre of the work, allowing them to explore their own reactions to smells, spatial play, tactile surfaces and sounds.’ You can anticipate that the labyrinthine sequence of parlours and passages in between will come alive with clues to their past inhabitants, such as a telephone chiming, photo or scent. Presented by Bendigo Art Gallery in Rosalind Park the experiential work will be open daily from 2 to 9pm and for the Easter break hours are extended to 10am to 10pm. bendigoartgallery.com.au…

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‘Botanica’ celebrates a major milestone at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney with a 20th anniversary exhibition. Presented by the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens (FFBG) and curated by Robyn Macintosh the show presents 66 Australian and international established and emerging artists who have come together to explore the plant world and how we relate to this vibrant realm. The show offers an extraordinary suite of contemporary botanical artworks within the idyllic garden location, as well as the opportunity to purchase original and limited edition prints. Proceeds will go to the artists and will also enable the FFBG to continue its support of horticulture, conservation, scientific research and educational programs. On show until 14 April from 10am to 4pm daily. rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au…

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sculpture at scenic world

Twenty-nine artists present work in a variety of forms in the enchanting Jurassic rainforest of Scenic World from 12 April to 12 May. The practices were chosen from over 100 submissions by a panel including the University of New South Wales’ Deputy Dean for Art & Design, Professor Marie Sierra; independent curator, Axel Arnott; and Blue Mountains-based artist Heidi Axelsen. The 2019 iteration highlights Australian artists engaging with the natural environment, such as Nadia Odlum, Wendy Teakel, Chrystal Rimmer, Merron Esson and Noah Birch, among others. Public programs will take place across the month, over $30,000 in prizes will be awarded and viewers can also enjoy art indoors in ‘Sculpture Otherwise’, a show that focuses on the creativity of the region at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. sculptureatscenicworld.com.au…

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experimenta make sense

The International Triennial of Media Art returns to Latrobe Regional Gallery from 6 April to 30 June with an array of artists in the group exhibition ‘Experimenta Make Sense’. Centring on the advent of disembodied communication, where language and behaviour are predicted algorithmically and relayed by an artificial mind, the show asks – what does it mean to ‘do’ today? Twenty Australian and international artists approach this dilemma with a variety of creative tactics, overall reminding us that the answer to authenticity lies within ourselves. Robert Andrew presents ‘Moving from the Binary’, an installation that is critical of colonisation and the disruption to traditional culture it represents. For this work, English text translations of the Yawuru language are given a new aural and physical presence as a machine moves two rocks…