This month we are sad to say goodbye to our national tour of David Griggs: BETWEEN NATURE AND SIN, this vibrant exhibition gave Australian audiences access to an outstanding survey of contemporary visual art by one of Australia’s leading artists. The exhibition has travelled over 14,000 km to 10 venues across Australia from 2017 to 2019, engaging over 78,000 visitors nationwide with its themes of humanity, politics and symbolism drawn from street culture and influenced by Griggs’ collaboration with artists in Manilla, where he lived and practiced for many years.
David Griggs explores the darker undercurrents of human existence. His work, predominately portraiture, focuses on the human condition; drawing on political imagery, underground media, local histories and personal experience. His work is often collaborative, engaging directly with communities while remaining sensitive to the ethical and moral obligations this demands. Over the last decade Griggs has resided in the Philippines and has created a significant body of work traversing painting, photography and film that reveals the social hierarchies and underground culture of his adopted home.
Developed by Campbelltown Arts Centre and curated by Megan Monte, BETWEEN NATURE AND SIN brought together key works produced during this time and was the first major Australian survey of this leading artist’s practice. The exhibition also included the premiere of Griggs’ feature film, COWBOY COUNTRY.
David’s artworks are distinct, vivid and chaotic. It is hard not to be captured instantly by the colour, the content, and the sheer size of some of his works! – Megan Monte, Curator, BETWEEN NATURE AND SIN
Griggs’ bold figurative work afforded many points of engagement for audiences – street and skate culture referenced in his paintings and videos drew in young people, and his collaborations with artists and locals in Manilla, and immersion in the culture whilst living there, resonated with Filipino communities within Australia.
The artist travelled to many tour venues across the country – speaking at openings, delivering public programs and speaking to local media. This was a great experience for Griggs who relished the opportunity to discuss his work with regional audiences:
‘in each new place we visit the exhibition changes which means I keep getting to re-evaluate the exhibition which has been interesting.’ – David Griggs
Audiences across Australia were enthusiastic in their responses to the exhibition:
“What a great surprise seeing this superb exhibition of Griggs’ work here in Cairns. Powerful and thought provoking, I find myself drawn to the large-scale artworks’
“Vivid, challenging, empowering! We see people in varying states of injury, poverty, celebration and beauty”
“Loved the David Griggs! It was the best experience I have had”
BETWEEN NATURE AND SIN closes December 1 at Bunjil Place Gallery, Vic. We would like to thank Campbelltown Art Centre for partnering with us on this tour, as well as Megan Monte for putting together such a wonderful survey of works and for her constant support throughout the past two years. Most importantly we would like to thank David Griggs for his powerful work, his engagement with the tour and generosity in speaking about his practice to regional audiences.
A Campbelltown Arts Centre exhibition presented nationally by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.