Artist Statement by Eugenia Lim:
"My work draws from my own cultural heritage – it comes from a specific place to explore wider questions and tensions that all humans face when they brush up against other humans. As a second-generation Australian, my parents migrated here from Singapore during the White Australia Policy (thanks to the Columbo Plan, a Commonwealth scholarship program). I grew up between two cultures; this feeling of in-betweenness has become something that fuels my work – in pluralism, uncertainty and in confounding expectations there is the possibility for cultural shifts and empathy. Because of my appearance, I will be forever-bound to China – a ‘motherland’ I only visited for the first time last year. Being judged on what is skin-deep or surface used to irritate me, but through performance, I’ve come to thrive on using my skin as a screen or mask – a surface that both thwarts easy definition and reveals the complexity of history, culture and identity. Nationalism and stereotypes offer me a powerful existing language to break apart and hopefully to explode. Ultimately, my aim is to insert and claim space and territory for marginal identities within the mainstream, using my own experience and perspective as a feminist Asian-Australian. I hope in some way, that my work will ask my audience to encounter other people – no matter how ‘foreign’ in terms of gender, sexuality, race, religion or politics – as fellow human beings and citizens of the world."
Artist Statement by Eugenia Lim:
'Whirl' centers on spirituality as a force that exists both in its own right and as something that can be (mechanically) produced - a simulacral spirituality, if you wish. The artist is positioned in between the undulating veil and the hairdryer that represents her will, constantly moving and being moved.
This work also borrows from the hyper-real aesthetics of shampoo commercials that often use the language of liberation to sell their products. As a personal anecdote, the encouragement I received immediately after unveiling led me to believe that removing the veil should be a shampoo commercial type experience, which it was not. Whirl explores that memory while throwing into question the inherent assumptions between unveiled/liberated/beautiful and veiled/oppressed/abject.
HOLDING ON, 2015 is a performance piece which captures a struggle between the body of the artist and the body of the ocean as the tide gradually comes in. The artist lies on a concrete slab which stretches out into the ocean; a man-made island. Underestimating the ferocity and strength of the incoming waves, she struggles to maintain her grasp on the island. As the light fades into darkness, it is unknown whether she will be able to hold on or be swept away.
This video was filmed on Tuvalu, in the South Pacific. It is one of the most endangered nations currently facing the impacts of climate change, as each day the tide claims more of the island and submerges peoples’ homes in ocean water.
This video provides a small view of a major issue concerning many people world-wide, and a metaphor for unyielding faith of those confronted by imminent disaster. As day turns to night and untamed waves sweep across the artist’s body she lays prostrate, arms outstretched, desperately holding on to the stone platform, to her island, to the hope of salvation. The waves wash across her body in an almost cleansing motion. Tiatia’s video speaks of the constant and unrelenting faith required of the people of Tuvalu, who confront a monumental challenge each day and struggle against it.
Angela Tiatia explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture.
Tiatia's work has been included in a number of important institutional exhibitions, including After the Fall, National Museum of Singapore (2017/2018); Personal Structures, 57th Venice Biennial (2017); Eighth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT 8), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2015/16); as well as Tūrangawaewae: Art and New Zealand, Toi Art, Gallery of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2018).
She is represented by Sullivan + Strumpf in Sydney, Australia.
In this site-specific video work by artist Matthew Harris, the viewer will encounter surveillance footage of a cartoonish apparition interacting with the Bundoora Homestead mansion and its surrounds. The artist embodies a jumbled amorphous persona, making use of the site’s extensive Indigenous, equine and psychiatric history as they engage with the space.
Matthew Harris is an emerging artist who was born in Wangaratta in 1991. In primary school he won a plastic trophy for photographs. Matthew has exhibited at Wangaratta Art Gallery, BLINDSIDE, Strange Neighbour and the Centre for Contemporary Photography. In 2017 he exhibited with Neon Parc at the ‘Spring 1883’ Art Fair and had a solo show ‘Cream dreams’ at Alaska Projects in Sydney. Matthew lives and works in Melbourne. He likes flowers and long romantic walks by the sea at sunset.
The Blaktism is a satirical video work about the artist's experience obtaining her 'Certificate of Aboriginality' and the overwhelming sense of doubt experienced at the thought of being legitimately certified at 30 years of age. The video presents a baptism-like sacred ceremony whereby a young Quandamooka woman receives the rite to her authentic Aboriginality permitted by everyday Australians. This work translates issues of citizenship, power, prejudice and interrogates the issue of cultural authority in 21st century Australian political and cultural landscape.
Megan Cope is known for her paintings, video work, sculptural installations and site-specific commissions. A Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, her work explores the intricate relationship between environment, geography and identity. Cope’s work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally including at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art; Cairns Regional Art Gallery; Koori Heritage Trust, Melbourne; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Careof Art Space, Milan; and the Australian Embassy, Washington. Cope most recently exhibited in ‘Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art and Feminism’ at ACCA. Cope is a member of Aboriginal art collective proppaNOW.