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Undertow

Australian artists come together to explore our complex relationship with the ocean

  • Dates:Feb 4 - Apr 25
  • Time(s):Opening Fri 4 Feb 6.30pm Exhibition Fri 4 Feb – Mon 25 Apr Mon – Sun 10am – 5pm
  • Venue:Fremantle Arts Centre

Details

  • Hosted By:Perth Festival
  • Ticket Price:FREE
  • Venue:Fremantle Arts Centre

Description

"A wave crashes upon the shore, the forces of deep oceans far and wide propelling it towards the coastline. Each and every wave writes a story, a history, as it crashes upon sandy or rocky shores. The undertow pulls backwards, out to sea, in a counter current full of tension and unease as the next wave gathers power and tumbles forward, ready to write another story. Undertow is about what sits below, what can’t always be seen, but is always felt. It is about going against the current, about deep reflection upon our worlds and lives and more than anything, it is about not resting comfortably in any truth which is not our own.   – Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Curator   Flanked by deep waters, our state and nation’s connection with the coast is complex and multilayered. From narratives of the beginning of time, of creation, to our collective imaginings of the future, the waters that surround our island continent and the oceans and seas of our global community are sites of tradition, transience, terror and turmoil.?  In the context of Australia, these expansive waters take up appropriate space in the anthologies of our continent, they are economic highways, pathways to freedom, colonial carriageways, vessels of knowledge – they are entities of promise, but also of betrayal.??Undertow?explores the relationships we have with the oceans and seas, ever-changing bodies of water in constant flux, as places of arrival and departure, places of transformation and as places of deep ancestral connection.  Undertow brings together artists working in a range of modes and materials, from large format cyanotype, to glass neon, site-specific intervention, photography, sculpture, installation and film to celebrate the many ways artists explore and document our worlds, creating new ways of reflecting upon history and reality and in doing so offering us new ways to consider and connect narratives and experiences.    Extending upon her recent creative exploration, Badimia and Yued artist Amanda Bell presents a new installation that employs sound, glass neon and sculptural form to express the deep and lasting impact of colonialism in the here and now. Artist and storyteller Ron Bradfield Jnr explores the confluence of two seemingly opposing salt-water experiences – the first of being a Bardi man from the Kimberley and the second as a member of the Australian Navy. This significant body of work documents the interplay of these worlds and Ron’s deep affinity with saltwater Country.   Interdisciplinary artist Sam Bloor will produce new works both on-site and beyond the walls of Fremantle Arts Centre that explore our coastline and the oceans beyond as a site of asylum and safe passage, interrogating Australian nationalism and border politics. These works challenge audiences to consider the necessity for generosity and compassion at a moment in time when our borders have never been so ferociously defended.   Quandamooka mother and daughter team Sonja and Elisa-Jane Carmichael (QLD) present newly commissioned works that speak to saltwater life, inherited custom and the making traditions of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland). These quietly poetic yet deeply resonant works offer moments of reflection, while reaffirming the significance of matriarchy and collective practice in the maintenance and transference of cultural knowledge and making practices.   Angela Tiatia’s poetic film works offer us a poignant and timely reminder of the imminent threat of a changing climate upon Pacific island communities and low-lying island communities globally.   Individually the artists in Undertow speak to and from their own unique experiences, ideas, concerns and histories, each offering a sense of who they are and the spaces they occupy in the worlds we share. From a wider view however, the artists are interrogating issues which impact all our lives, from persecution, migration, nationalism, systemic racism, custodianship of Country and the continued threats of climate change and sea level rise – collectively expressing a deep care and concern for humanity and the natural world at a time of unprecedented instability and disruption. "

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