Local exhibition CURRENTS embarks on an artistic voyage, exploring our intricate ties with water and the environment.
Platform Arts launches its 2024 event lineup with a unique approach, ushering in a series of three programs that delve into critical themes across exhibitions, performances, and community engagement. This innovative thematic model aims to foster cross-sector discussions and contributions, resonating with the evolving cultural landscape of the region.
The first voyage, CURRENTS, spotlights water as both a central character and a vital element, urging spectators to ponder the dynamic interplay between mankind and this life-sustaining resource. Featuring the works of 15 contemporary artists of national and international acclaim, the exhibition promises a journey through the diverse perspectives and interpretations of water’s significance.
- Platform Arts introduces thematic seasons to provide deeper cultural immersion.
- The inaugural program, CURRENTS, delves into humanity’s connection with water, in collaboration with Barwon Water.
- CURRENTS runs from February 10th to March 15th, with a free opening event on Saturday, February 10th, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
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Among the luminaries gracing CURRENTS is Sydney-based Samoan and Australian artist Angela Tiatia, whose creations offer poignant reflections on representation, gender dynamics, and cultural commodification. Notably, Tiatia’s recent accolades include prestigious commissions from the Australian Centre for Moving Image and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Adding an intriguing historical layer to the exhibition is an archival exhibit of artist Bonita Ely’s infamous River Murray Punch performance from 1980. Ely’s unconventional concoction, served in a ‘punch bowl’ mirroring the Murray River’s waters, serves as a thought-provoking commentary on environmental degradation.
Renowned artist James Geurts presents Flood Gauge (2024), a meticulously crafted sculpture cast from a historic flood gauge, immersing viewers in a visual exploration of environmental resilience and transformation.
Local collective Ocean LAB (Fiona Hillary, Prue Francis, and Vicki Hallett) contributes Wrack Entanglements, a captivating installation aimed at fostering community engagement with the rich biodiversity of Australia’s Great Southern Reef, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between humanity and the marine environment.
Other exhibiting artists include Elena Betros Lopez, Georgia Nowak, Jazz Money, Kelping (Lichen Kelp and Dylan Martorell), and Baai film artists (Atil Angeth, Kotnyin Thon, Martha Kudum, and Nyang Mayen).
In the words of Prue Francis from Ocean LAB, “‘Wrack’ is the organic debris deposited onto beaches from tides, winds and waves. The wrack along the Great Southern Reef coastline hosts a diverse range of seaweeds, which are marine alga and provide oxygen, food and habitat to life underwater. Utilising fieldwork equipment, Ocean LAB transforms the species of the wrack into an abstracted series of sounds and imagery, inviting the community to experience the hidden wonders of the wrack zone—a world often imperceptible to our human senses.”
Platform Arts curator, Amber Smith, reflects on CURRENTS as both an artistic odyssey and a clarion call for environmental stewardship, urging viewers to contemplate the profound impact of water conservation and climate change.
“CURRENTS presents important and stirring works that bring the importance of water conservation and protection to the forefront.”
CURRENTS is running from February 10th to March 15th at Platform Arts, with a historical site tour of Stony Creek Reservoir provided by program partner Barwon Water. Visit platformarts.org.au for more information.