A two-year collaboration between the Australian Museum and Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) has come to fruition with the funding of a major new exhibition, Your Most Obedient Servant, set to tour regional Australia between 2015 and 2017.
The Visions of Australia program, managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, will provide $129,244 to support the development and tour of this significant exhibition.
Your Most Obedient Servant, brings together rarely seen records and objects from the Archives of Australia’s oldest museum with the work of contemporary text-artist, Grant Stevens. The exhibition will provide public access to fascinating and often overlooked collection material and address the programming needs of public galleries throughout Australia.
“This project will make the Australian Museum more accessible than ever, and planned activities such as Your Most Obedient Servant allow us to work more closely with our partners." Kim McKay AO, CEO and Director of the Australian Museum.
In 2012, the Australian Museum and M&G NSW organised an event, supported by Regional Public Galleries Association of NSW, which brought together regional curators from around NSW to the Museum to explore ideas, collaborate, and unlock new ways of presenting the Museum’s collection material that would engage and excite audiences. From this, a regional curatorium was formed, resulting in the proposal by Western Sydney based curator, Victoria Harbutt for Your Most Obedient Servant.
“This project will make the Australian Museum more accessible than ever, and planned activities such as Your Most Obedient Servant allow us to work more closely with our partners. We are thrilled to give communities in suburban, regional and remote areas access to what we have to offer. As seen in our recent Tyrannosaurs exhibition, the Australian Museum has a long standing commitment to using innovative technology, art and culture to showcase our extraordinary collections and scientific research,” Kim McKay AO, CEO and Director of the Australian Museum said.
As Michael Rolfe, CEO of Museums & Galleries of NSW explains, “The crucial funding received from the Federal Government recognises the importance of partnerships in developing projects with the widest possible benefit, which we remain committed to through our touring exhibition program. This exhibition cleverly combines the innovative interpretation of collection material with cutting edge contemporary art, which I’m sure will delight and enthral regional and metropolitan audiences alike.”
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
With concept development and research by Victoria Harbutt with the help of staff from the Australian Museum Archives, Your Most Obedient Servant, examines the fascinating journey from analogue to digital communication and the impact on human interaction.
Your Most Obedient Servant will present selected material from the ‘actual’ to the ‘digital’, as witnessed in the historic mash-up of the exhibition title. Drawing on eighteen decades of communications held in the Australian Museum Archives collection, documents such as telegrams, field diaries, biological drawings, scientific instruments and photography will be juxtaposed with websites, blogs, tweets, film recordings and new works by acclaimed contemporary text-artist Grant Stevens.
During 2013, Victoria Harbutt worked in close collaboration with key staff from the Australia Museum’s Archives department and artist Grant Stevens to develop the exhibition concept. Museums & Galleries of NSW developed the national tour that will be presented in conjunction with Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest in late 2015.
The exhibition will be presented in conjunction with Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest opening on 28 November 2015 from where it will tour to the following regional centres from early 2016:
Cowra Regional Gallery. NSW
19 March – 1 May 2016
Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, QLD
14 May – 9 July 2016
New England Regional Art Museum, NSW
5 August – 16 October 2016
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW
10 March – 30 April 2017
Burnie Regional Art Gallery, TAS
12 May – 25 June 2017
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, SA
20 October – 3 December 2017
Your Most Obedient Servant is an Australian Museum and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition, concept development and research by Victoria Harbutt and organised with Penrith Performing & Visual Arts. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.