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Carriageworks launch immersive and participatory large-scale art installations

Carriageworks launch immersive and participatory large-scale art installations
January 7, 2020

Carriageworks has unveiled major new immersive and participatory artworks commissioned from Australian contemporary artists, Rebecca Baumann, Daniel Boyd and Kate Mitchell. The works will be presented free to the public, opening on 8th January as part of the Sydney Festival. An illuminated text work by Reko Rennie will launch later in January.

While each installation varies across subject and form, all use light and explore time. The artists employ light in different states across Carriageworks– natural, projected, photographic and LED.

Carriageworks Head Curator Visual Arts Beatrice Gralton advises that “both the concept and experience of time is used to examine solar movement, deep space, census data and perceptions of history.”

Carriageworks Director and Chief Executive Blair French noted, “Carriageworks is committed to working closely with artists to develop and present ambitious work that engages audiences with contemporary ideas and issues.

“We begin 2020 with major site-specific artworks that both illuminate the history and architecture of this site and demonstrate Carriageworks’ commitment to social and cultural diversity. Two of these artworks are by Aboriginal artists, reflecting the importance of Carriageworks Aboriginal Arts Strategy to our overall Artistic Program.

“During 2020 we will support art-making, presentation and conversations led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities with a specific focus upon South-Eastern Aboriginal Australia.

“Carriageworks will celebrate the continuation of Aboriginal presence and place through a number of ambitious programs and multi-arts projects, with the presence of Reko Rennie’s REMEMBER ME at the entrance to Carriageworks from January 2020 – January 2021 a constant reminder of the continuing impact of invasion.”

Gralton added “Carriageworks is a site imbued with history, yet each of these projects are firmly anchored in the present day. They reflect the capacity for artists to navigate a cultural compass that embraces paradox and shapes beauty in a troubled world.

The artworks are as follows:

REBECCA BAUMANN RADIANT FLUX (8th JANUARY – 14th JUNE 2020)

“I think of colour as being emotive in the sense that it has the ability to go beyond conscious thought, to create a heightened sense of feeling in the body.”  Rebecca Baumann

Radiant Flux is Rebecca Baumann’s response to the unique light and space of Carriageworks’ architecture. Spanning over 100 metres in length and nearly 15 metres high, every glass surface of the building’s exterior has been covered by Baumann with dichroic film. This luminous material simultaneously transmits tones of blue, magenta and yellow, and reflects gold, green and blue. When viewed from different angles the colour range shifts dynamically, ensuring the work is never experienced in the same way twice.

Known for her mesmerising kinetic sculptures, installations and performance works, Radiant Flux is Baumann’s most ambitious project to date. Simultaneously immersive and participatory, the perception of the building’s immediate environment seen through the glass creates a visual ambiguity between what is inside and outside. As the sun passes over the building, filtered light moves through the space like a sundial, throwing dense hues of colour across the floors and walls, and drawing attention to the heritage and contemporary architecture of Carriageworks.

DANIEL BOYD: VIDEO WORKS (8th JANUARY – 1st MARCH 2020)

Daniel Boyd is a Kudjala/Gangalu artist who works across painting, video and installation. VIDEO WORKS is a site-specific reconfiguration of three major video installations produced by the artist between 2012-18.  

VIDEO WORKS proposes an immersive journey through time and space, an experience that simultaneously evokes the molecular properties of matter and the expansiveness of the universe. A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4 (2012); History is Made at Night (2013); and Yamani (2018) will map the walls of the gallery with Boyd's infinite cosmos of dynamic compositions and prismatic colour. The artist’s signature motif of the circular lens is used to fragment and disrupt Eurocentric perspectives of history, revealing that knowledge is both lost and found through information shared and obstructed. Set to scores by Ryan Grieve and Leo Thomson, VIDEO WORKS is an experience that is both otherworldly and grounded. The works will commence simultaneously and continue to loop in an ever-changing sequence of image and sound.

KATE MITCHELL: ALL AURAS TOUCH (8th JANUARY – 1st MARCH 2020)

“Beyond the stresses and pleasures of day to day life, beyond physical and emotional highs and lows, beyond desires and wants, bills, the incessant stream of news, beyond the digital realm and all other forms of entertainment and distractions there is an organic connection that we all share as human beings; a living, breathing natural biology that connects us all on a deeply visceral level. It appears as though we are all experiencing the human condition individually but really we are all connected by the human condition, like interconnecting links on a chain forming a vast net. And since, All Auras Touch is not made in a vacuum, it seems a very timely reminder of our deep and fundamental connection to all and to take responsibility and care for the fragile networks within which we function.” -  Kate Mitchell

All Auras Touch presents a snapshot of contemporary Australia in colour. Taking the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations as the starting point, artist Kate Mitchell will photograph the aura of one representative for each of the 1023 officially recognised occupations (as recognised in the 2016 census). Captured using the Aura Camera 6000 – an ‘electromagnetic field imaging camera’ invented by American innovator Guy Coggins in the 1970s – each aura portrait will replace an occupation placeholder. As each job title is swapped out over the course of the exhibition, all auras touch.

 The role of work is both subject and process in Mitchell’s practice. Mitchell’s art is her labour. Known for her often humorously staged action-based performance work, the artist tests the relationship between art and life as she collects and catalogues each participating sitter’s aura. To complete the undertaking Mitchell must perform multiple roles: she is at once a conceptual artist, photographer, archivist and counsellor. The first, which does not appear as one of the 1023 census occupations, officially exists as unrecognised labour.  

In All Auras Touch Mitchell considers the relationship between what we do and who we are. A picturing of the sitter’s ‘psyche’, the aura photograph, appears as an ethereal portrait awash in colour. For Mitchell colour is a means to connect what we feel to what we see. Interested in interpretations of colour, Mitchell uses aura photography as a visual device to conjure up the immaterial and unseen. Through colour All Auras Touch questions how our work defines and connects us.

 Privileging how we feel over what we do, the evolving installation makes each census occupation become indistinguishable from the other. Pixelated placeholders – an empirical representation of working Australia – are replaced by an empathetic imagining of the workforce. In an era where empathy is lacking in public discourse, All Auras Touch reminds us that we are all complex beings made up of the same matter.  

REKO RENNIE: REMEMBER ME (JANUARY 2020 – JANUARY 2021)

The completion of Reko Rennie's REMEMBER ME has been delayed by unforeseen installation issues compounded by recent environmental conditions.  

REMEMBER ME will launch in late January 2020 and will remain on display until January 2021. Please register with Articulate to attend the launch of REMEMBER ME.

For almost two decades, Reko Rennie has made art that references his identity as a Kamilaroi man living and working in an urban environment. Working broadly across painting, sculpture, video and installation and with a practice firmly grounded in the origins of street art and graffiti, Rennie’s signature style is one of high-key colour and complex composition. His finely tuned visual language adapts the shapes and symbols of his Kamilaroi culture with Australian colonial history, interwoven with text and camouflage patterning.

Commissioned by Carriageworks, REMEMBER ME is one of Rennie’s most stripped-back, minimal installations to date. Spanning some 25 meters in length and 5 meters tall, this monumental work is both searing and tender. In the 250th year since Captain James Cook’s first landfall at Kamay Botany Bay and the HMB Endeavour’s charting of the east coast of Australia, Rennie has created a present- day memorial in recognition of the frontier wars, the massacres and the survival of the original sovereigns of this country – the Aboriginal people of Australia. He asks us to consider the personal impact of our past and how history is made today.

Image top of Daniel Boyd immersed in his VIDEO WORKS and above of Kate Mitchell and her installation All Auras Touch with a suggestion of Rebecca Baumann’s Radiant Flux installed in the adjacent room. Images by Karen Sweaney, Editor of Australasian Leisure Management taken at the Media preview on 6th January 2020.

Related Articles

20th June 2019 - Carriageworks to celebrate 2019 Naidoc Week with Klub Koori

28th May 2019 - Carriageworks names Blair French as new Chief Executive

15th February 2019 - Carriageworks and Kaldor Public Art Projects partner for major art presentation

8th December 2018 - Carriageworks announce New Public Artwork commissioned for South Eveleigh

20th November 2018 - Carriageworks unveils its most ambitious visual arts project

13th November 2018 - Carriageworks commences search for new Director


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