We are delighted to announce funding through the Visions of Australia program for our upcoming national tour of Void. Visions of Australia is the Australian Government’s program to support audience access to Australian arts, particularly in regional and remote Australia. Touring to eight galleries across five states and territories, Void brings together contemporary Aboriginal artistic practice from across the country including works by Mabel Juli, Freddie Timms, Pepai Jangala Carroll, James Tylor, Hayley Millar-Baker, Andy Snelgar and Jonathan Jones among others.
Void is curated by Wiradjuri curator Emily McDaniel and developed in partnership with UTS Gallery, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery and M&G NSW. The exhibition features works across drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and photography exploring the many ways in which artists create form for the formless, manipulating positive and negative spatial relationships to visually articulate the undefined void.
We sat down with curator Emily McDaniel to talk about her concept for the exhibition and the artists selected.
‘We live in an age where a great deal is possible. So much has gone wrong, so many lives crushed, so much land wasted, poisoned, despoiled, but can you hear a different drum? Let us use this momentum of communication and let us begin with this exhibition, let us consider these stories about your homeland.’ Dr Bruce Pascoe in the Void catalogue essay, first published by UTS, 2018
Void considers many stories and asks many questions yet allows space for all to look, engage and absorb. From Mabel Juli’s painted dust lands and dark clouds of the Milky Way to Thancoupie’s knowledge carved ‘story pots’, the exhibition is of incredible aesthetic beauty but beyond this, is the depiction of country, a country that we all now share, resonating with audiences Australia wide.
In her review of Void in Artlink, Professor Larissa Behrendt comments: ‘My old Aunties used to say, “the silences are more important than the words.” It is a reminder that what might be seen as empty in one culture may have deep meanings in another. It provokes reflection on the way in which we deal with absence and silence – and that even the concept of “empty” is filled with meaning and context.’
Emily McDaniel is an independent curator, writer and educator from the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri nation in central New South Wales. She has curated many exhibitions including Measured Response at NAS Gallery and Walan Yinaagirbang | Strong Women at Firstdraft.
Recently, Emily worked as the Coordinator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Learning Programs at the MCA (2009-2019). Formerly, she was an Aboriginal Emerging Curator for the Australia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017), the Assistant Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the AGNSW, and Aboriginal Emerging Curator for the 18th Biennale of Sydney.
An exhibition curated by Emily McDaniel, in conjunction with UTS Gallery and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, presented nationally by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.