The University Gallery is delighted to be able to present another exciting exhibition for ZOO AiR 2011 in conjunction with the Taronga Foundation. Now in its eleventh year, the TarongaFoundation has been committed to preserving and conserving endangered species both through zoo-based programs and in the animals’ native habitats.
The work generated through the Artists in Residence program this year will be on exhibition at the University Gallery from 20 July until 13 August. Donated works will then be exhibited at the Byron Kennedy Hall in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, from Friday 19 August until Sunday 21 August. The auction, by Bonhams Australia, will be held on the afternoon of Sunday 21 August with all proceeds supporting the Taronga Foundation’s conservation projects.
Five Miles from the Sea is a look at the incursion (Five miles from the Sea) of non-indigenous Australians and their resulting mark on the land. Whether it is the erosion of the land or the erosion of the quarter acre block, how are we shaping and living in the hinterland? Who lives five miles from the sea? What does it look like though the eyes of ten diverse artists, some from different parts of the globe, who have indeed made Australia their home?
Adriane Strampp : Artist Statement
In considering the impact of European settlement in Australia, one of the most invasive and damaging migrants (other than European man), is the rabbit.
Although originally arriving with the First Fleet in1788, it was Thomas Austin, formerly of Somerset, who is held historically responsible for the spread of rabbits when he released 24 rabbits and 5 hares at his property Barwon Park, near Geelong in 1859.
A lack of predators and mild winters provided an ideal climate for year-round breeding and by the 1900’s the feral rabbit population had reached plague proportions across Australia. Despite the rabbits’ devastating impact on native flora and the environment, the introduction of foxes as a remedy only worsened the situation as the foxes found indigenous birds and marsupials easier prey. In 1907 the infamous rabbit-proof fence was built in WA, a futile attempt to control the spread of rabbits, and later in 1950 Myxomatosis was introduced, causing a slow and painful death that ultimately the rabbits became immune to.
In 1863 the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria set up on Phillip Island a breeding colony for hares sent from London by the Zoological Society. Although introduced at the same time as rabbits, hares had less of an impact on the environment being slower to breed and non-burrowing, and their spread was limited to the more temperate climate of South-Eastern Australia.
This work is from a series of recent drawings titled The Animal Gaze, examining the fragile relationship between animals and the human race. The hare stares back at the viewer, a symbol of strength and vulnerability, segregation and marginalisation. We are both migrants to this land and the animal gaze serves to remind us equally of our imposition on their world.
The Victorian Acclimatisation Society was founded in 1861 in order to introduce European plants and animals in order to make the alien environment economically productive, and to feel more like home. It folded 11 years later as the extent their damage was realised. (Source: Museum Victoria)
Adriane Strampp’s work Hare (In memory of Marcus) 2010 has been acquired for the Kedumba Collection of Contemporary Australian Drawings.
19. Hare (In memory of Marcus)
“An iconic, enigmatic work that reminds me of the enquiry that Durer was capable of. The artist placed the hare in a believable space without rendering a background. Placing all the importance on the animal itself.”
Speech by Peter Sharp
Judge of the Kedumba Drawing Award 2010
Blue Mountains Grammar School,
Artists have been invited to respond to seven considerations regarding the compelling nature of painting. The title refers to the whole of this exhibition as constituting a discreet body of ‘painting’, one that might inclusively construct, amongst other things, a local constellation. This constellation might then be referred to as ‘painting’, and be located within a local universe called ‘art’; in time this constellation might become known, but probably only to its very particular inhabitants, as the ‘painthing constellation’.
Painting. Painting, pain thing: painthing. Maybe this has happened to you too; you’re driving along a suburban street or you’re reading the label on the back of a tin of crushed tomatoes somewhere in a dim corner of a supermarket and suddenly a word, actually any word but this time it’s this word, gets caught on the sieve-like structure that divides your perception of ordinary action from an extraordinary something. Immediately the word as-it-is jumps out at you and you see it in its entire absurdity, its un-meaning, its limp body superimposed on the frenetic buzziness of the universal attraction and repulsion going on all around you. Then you begin to examine it, prod it for signs of its former life. Nothing. Something very surprising suddenly happens; its body becomes slowly absorbed into the phrenesis of action and reaction, memory and meaning, membrane and pulsing core. It continues to offer itself to this whole until the shape you once knew emerges elsewhere as another; different, but somehow the same. And then you try and understand (what else can you do, you’re stuck in a long check-out queue) how this word-—this painful thing actually—can simultaneously be both itself and other. You look around; people are still in the queue, shelves still stacked, fluoros still buzzing, cars still silently gliding by outside, tired smiles still being offered. And then you realize that almost everything (you think almost because somehow you feel it cannot be quite this absolute) is both itself and some other thing; inalienably itself, yet distantly other. Is a constellation like that? Are the celestial bodies and dust particles that form it simply an infinite collection of collections of otherness, each component offering a kaleidoscopic fragment of the whole, yet each simultaneously desiring both breathless proximity and vast expansive space in which to, utterly and defiantly, be that one thing it feels itself to be? And, what of breathless proximity? Ah, that, the as one-ness thing. I can’t speak of that. It’s not in my nature, I resolutely surmise, as I get to the check-out just in time.