Just Not Australian

Just Not Australian presents work by Australian artists at the forefront of national debate and practice. This exhibition brings together 20 artists across generations and diverse cultural backgrounds to deal broadly with the origins and implications of contemporary Australian nationhood. Showcasing the common sensibilities of satire, larrikinism and resistance so as to present a broad exploration of race, place and belonging, Just Not Australian interrogates what it means to be Australian at this challenging point in time.

Just Not Australian engages with the moral and ethical undertones of the loaded rejoinder ‘un- Australian’ – a pejorative now embedded in our national vocabulary that continues to be used to further political agendas and to spread nationalistic ideals of what it means to be Australian. Far from a simple comparison, a consideration of what’s not Australian ultimately leads to questions of what is, and the artists in Just Not Australian consider this in detail.

This exhibition begins its national tour from 2020 which marks the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage to Australia, a timely moment to interrogate Australia’s colonial history and the complexities of presenting and representing national identity.

 


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Soda Jerk Gordon Hookey
Abdul Abdullah Richard Lewer
Hoda Afshar Archie Moore
Tony Albert Vincent Namatjira
Cigdem Aydemir Nell
Liam Benson Joan Ross
Eric Bridgeman Tony Schwensen
Jon Campbell Raquel Ormella
Karla Dickens Ryan Presley 
Fiona Foley

 


Artist to Artist: Liam Benson & Cigdem Aydemir Podcast

For more M&G NSW podcasts and to subscribe click here

Interview with Artist, Tony Albert – video by M&G NSW

 

Interview with Artist, Ryan Presley – video by UQ Art Museum

 

Interview with Curator, Talia Linz – video by M&G NSW


LEARN MORE

Interview with Soda Jerk, excerpted from the Just Not Australian catalogue

I Prefer Imagining, Just Not Australian catalogue essay, by Clothilde Bullen

Just Not Australian, Art Almanac, by Talia Smith

Just Not Australian, Art + Australia, by Chloe Jones

Just Not Australian, The Saturday Paper, by Lauren Carroll Harris

Artists can’t help swearing in Just Not Australian, Art Guide Australia, by Rebecca Shanahan

How artists are rethinking nationhood in turbulent times, by Gina Fairley, ArtsHub

Just Not Australian asks how we define and project our identity, on ABC RN, presented by Ed Ayres

Terror Nullius review, The Guardian by Luke Buckmaster

Soda Jerk: Terror Nullius, Artlink review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Soda Jerk’s Terror Nullius on ABC RN, The Hub on Screen presented by Jason Di Rosso

Soda Jerk in conversation on OCULA

‘Un-Australian’ and beyond, via thought-provoking art, Sydney Morning Herald by John McDonald

‘Just Not Australian’, a touring exhibition by Kirsty Francis in A Rich Life


CULTURAL MEDIATION

M&G NSW has developed a training pack accompanying the Just Not Australian tour which presents a package of resources collated and developed by Museums & Galleries of NSW, with contributions from Aneshka Mora, to assist tour venues, front-of-house staff, educators and volunteers navigate the themes, ideas and issues in the exhibition.

Cultural mediation can be engaged to translate the broad themes and manage the difficult conversations that this exhibition may ignite, as well as provide a vocabulary and further reading to encourage an inclusive and culturally safe space. You can read more about cultural mediation here and find more cultural mediation resources and videos here.


 

 


ITINERARY

Tweed Regional Gallery and The Margaret Olley Arts Centre, NSW 18 September – 8 November 2020
Wollongong Art Gallery, NSW 21 November 2020 – 7 February 2021
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW 20 February – 5 April 2021
Maitland Regional Art Gallery. NSW 8 May – 1 August 2021
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW 14 August – 26 September 2021
NorthSite Contemporary Art Centre, QLD 5 November 2021 – 5 February 2022
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, QLD 19 February – 3 April 2022
Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Moreton Bay, QLD 17 April – 18 June 2022
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, SA 2 July – 4 September 2022
Walkway Gallery, Bordertown, SA 17 September – 30 October 2022
New England Regional Art Museum, NSW 18 November 2022 – 29 January 2023

 


 

Just Not Australian was curated by Artspace and developed in partnership with Sydney Festival and Museums & Galleries of NSW. The exhibition is touring nationally with Museums & Galleries of NSW.