Contemporising the Modern - Photography from the 20th and 21st Century

08 July – 27 August 2017

Contemporising the modern showcases 50 photographic works that speak of Australia in the 20th and early 21st centuries collected by Russell Mills and donated to the Murray Art Museum Albury, MAMA in 2015. The collection explores the development of Australian photography and its coming of age in a period when photographers were investigating and pushing the boundaries of the acceptance of photography as a pure art form. The collection brings together iconic artists and artworks of the period including Max Dupain, Olive Cotton, Jeff Carter, Roger Scott and Trent Parke.

The Russell Mills Foundation was formed in 2015, on the death of Russell Mills, a nurse and public servant who nurtured interests in reading, art, music and theatre that grew into passions for festivals, books, art, photography, 20th-century architecture, musical theatre and arts philanthropy. The Foundation is a legacy of Russell's ideals. It supports opportunities for Australians to be challenged and enriched by experiences and ideas, and to find inspiration for promoting a fairer, smarter and more engaged community.

Max DUPAIN (1911–1992) <br /> Silos through windscreen, 1965/2005

Max DUPAIN (1911–1992)
Silos through windscreen, 1965/2005
silver gelatin photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

Petrina HICKS (1972) - Lambswool - from the series The Descendants, 2008

Petrina HICKS (1972) - Lambswool - from the series The Descendants, 2008
Lightjetprint photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

Olive COTTON (1911–2003)<br /> Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind, c.1939

Olive COTTON (1911–2003)
Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind, c.1939
silver gelatin photograph
Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation, 2015
MAMA collection

The Russell Mills Foundation


Exhibition: 13 May – 27 August 2017
Opening:  12 May 2017

Creatures; animals, both real and fantastic, have been both enduring and integral components of human storytelling, occupying a place in art since the Stone Ages. Throughout this time, animals in art have served as vessels, having been used to communicate environmental issues, narratives concerning life and death, in a celebration of nature’s beauty and power, as well as reflecting sentimental attachments. Ever present in the human psyche, animals connect us to the wild and anchor us in the domestic. Whether artists have used them literally or figuratively, with or without human subjects, animals in art make meaning in a vastness of ways, capable of carrying a rich variety of symbolic associations, commanding compositions that irrevocably bond nature and culture.

Take a walk on the wild side as you discover the creatures of the Max Watters Collection.

Image: Suzie Marston, Portrayal of the Watters Persona 1993, acrylic on cotton duck, Max Watters Collection.

Travis De Vries: Lost Tales – Walking with Gods

Darc Ridjerul, 2017, Oil on canvas

Opening night 6pm Friday 7 July 2017

8 July - 27 August 2017

Multidisciplinary artist, writer and creator Travis De Vries’ upcoming collection of work borrows and twists the tropes of mythology, graphic novels and traditional story telling to reimagine the stories of Australia’s First People.

A collection of new paintings, stitched together in a wall-to-wall tapestry, with prose, sculptural and audio-visual elements; Lost Tales: Walking with Gods is an opportunity to engage and experience aeons old stories in a completely new light. These works echo the studies of Joseph Campbell or the worlds of Neil Gaiman, they will resonate deep in the heart of the Australian psyche through our connection to the myths and legends of the Indigenous people; gods, demons and creature that haunt us and the clash these ideas have with the more recent western mythologies to come to Australia.

"I am creating new mythologies that grow and change all the time. Presented as a whole; each painting is connected to all of the other and together they form a story set in the small town of Glen Innes in northern New South Wales. You’ll see motifs from the local area and in this exhibition I explore the idea of gods from both western and Australian Indigenous pantheon mixing with each other and the local populace. This is a look inside the worlds that exist in my head, a sprawling place where all manner of creature from our psyche runs rampant. A god from one of the Norse pantheons has hitched ride to Australia at some time in the last couple of centuries. Whilst here though he has been in a fight with a local deity and now has amnesia, he can't remember that he is a god. All the memories he has are hints and flashes from the old days, mostly rituals and sacrifices and that is slowly sending him insane. He wants to remember and he begins to act out the flashes of memory that he has by kidnapping local children and performing ceremonies. It's dark, a little disturbing but I love the play between the local mythology and the introduction of western mythologies, and I love to see what happens when these things mix."

Image: Darc Ridjerul, 2017, Oil on canvas


National Association of Visual Arts
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