What's On

Exhibitions coming up

Mervyn Bishop

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pours soil into the hands of traditional land owner Vincent Lingiari, Northern Territory 1975, type R3 photograph Art Gallery of New South Wales Hallmark Cards Australian Photography Collection Fund 1991 © Mervyn Bishop / Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

1 February – 12 April 2020

Mervyn Bishop is arguably Aboriginal Australia’s most prolific photographer. Through capturing personal images of family and friends, intimate portraits of members of the Aboriginal community, and defining moments in Australia’s political and social history, he has helped shape our understanding of Australia today. This exhibition, which brings together photographs from the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection and material from the artist’s archive, is a celebration of his life and work.

An Art Gallery of New South Wales touring exhibition


First Class 19

First Class 18 installation view

14 February – 5 April 2020

Now in its 12th year, First Class is a much-anticipated annual exhibition project celebrating the high calibre of work produced by students from the Hunter and Central Coast regions. First Class 19 is selected from nominated Higher School Certificate Visual Arts submissions produced in 2019 and curated around a theme that emerges from the selection process.

Curator: Helen Willis


Case study: Guan Wei

Guan Wei - Fish God 2017 - Bronze, 42 x 56 x 62cm, image courtesy the artist and ARC ONE Gallery © Guan Wei/Copyright Agency, 2019 Melbourne.

15 February – 5 April 2020

In line with its commitment to education and youth programs, MAC yapang is pleased to present a further exhibition in the popular case-study series. Previous studies have featured Anne Zahalka, Janet Laurence, Ben Quilty, Judy Watson and Fiona Hall respectively. In 2020, the focus is on leading Australian-Chinese contemporary artist Guan Wei, whose sculpture No1 Sky Pig, installed on the Warners Bay sculpture walk,is a favourite. Referencing the HSC curriculum, art educator Carol Carter curates a thought-provoking exhibition with an accompanying case-study publication specifically for senior school students.

Curators: Carol Carter and Meryl Ryan


Hardenvale our home in absurdia

Hardenvale NAS courtesy the artist

11 April – 7 June 2020

Hardenvale is a large-scale immersive environment created by three leading contemporary drawing practitioners: Catherine O’Donnell, Kellie O’Dempsey and Todd Fuller. Constructed with wall drawings, paste-ups, found objects, hand-drawn animations, sound and performances, the space is full of connection and disconnection, sameness and difference, comfort and disquiet.Hardenvaleinvites the audience to connect with their own diverse experiences, memories and emotions associated with domestic space and living on the cultural fringe.

Curators: Catherine O'Donnell, Kellie O'Dempsey and Todd Fuller

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council forthe Arts, its arts funding and advisory body and with s upport from Create NSW, an agency of the New SouthWales Government. In its development phase,Hardenvalewas also supported by the The NSW Artists' Grant which is administered by the National Association for theVisual Arts (NAVA). This project was also supported by the Parramatta Artist Studios andBundanon Trust Artist in Residence program.


Body Language

Jeremiah Bonson (Jinang/Marung peoples) Warrah Bun Bun 2010. Synthetic polymer paint on wood. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2010 © Jeremiah Bonson, licenced by Elcho Island Arts.

18 April – 14 June 2020

As a direct response to the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, the National Gallery of Australia is touring Body Language which explores the identity of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, identity is a source of strength and reliance and there are many ways in which they identify: what they believe in, how they look, how they feel and how they see themselves in society. An exhibition for all the family, Body language explores the iconography of language as expressed through symbols and patterns and includes works that explore these themes.

Curator: Kelli Cole

A National Gallery of Australia touring exhibition.


Concrete: art design architecture

Sanné Mestrom, Untitled (Self Portrait, Underground) 2017, bronze, concrete, steel, 156 x 100 x 83cm. Image courtesy the artist and Sullivan + Strumpf.

13 June –9 August 2020

The final exhibition in the touring series with specific materials as the hero. CONCRETE ... is brings together products, projects and artworks that reflect many of the current preoccupations with concrete in the fields of art, design and architecture in this country.

Featured artists: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Adam Goodrum, Alex Lotersztain, Anna Horne, Baldasso Cortese Architects, Candalepas Associates, CHEB – Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa, Convic, Durbach Block Jaggers Architects, Edition Office, Elvis Richardson, Glenn Murcutt, Kyoko Hashimoto and Guy Keulemans, Inari Kiuru, Jamie North, Megan Cope, Rhiannon Slatter, Tom Borgas, Sanne Mestrom, SMART Design Studio, WOOD Melbourne.

A JamFactory touring exhibition project curated by Margaret Hancock Davis and Brian Parkes.

CONCRETE: art design architecture is supported by Visions of Australia funding through Australian Government’s Department of Communications and Arts and the South Australian Government through the Department for Innovation and Skills. The Principal Sponsor for CONCRETE: art design architecture is Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia, the peak body for the cement, concrete and quarry industry in Australia.


Violent Salt

Karla Dickens (Wiradjuri People) Quartered 2017. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Mackay Regional Council Art Collection

13 June –9 August 2020

Bringing together contemporary artists of diverse cultural heritage from across Australia, this exhibition reflects on the experiences of the marginalised, the underrepresented and the silenced. It reflects on issues surrounding racism and discrimination against Indigenous Australians and minority groups as well as the lack of respect for culture and the natural environment.Violent Saltinvites artists to speak their truths about these experiences and offers an opportunity for understanding and connection, while seeking to celebrate and honour Australia’s unique multiculturalism and landscape.

Featured artists: Abdul Abdullah, Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Daniel Boyd, Megan Cope, Karla Dickens, S.J. Norman, Yhonnie Scarce and Jemima Wyman.

Curators: Yhonnie Scarce and Claire Watson

An Artspace Mackay touring exhibition curated by Yhonnie Scarce and Claire Watson.

Violent Salt has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.