On display at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery, Royal Park 9 June - 31 January 2019
Material Memories brought together six interdisciplinary practitioners who are interested in creating work which sits at the interstices between art/craft/and design:
Susan Buchanan contemporary artist/jeweler, Janine Combes contemporary artist/jeweler; Penelope Davis contemporary artist working with photography and sculptural installation; Eli Giannini contemporary artist/jeweler; Robyn Pelan contemporary artist working with ceramics and Sarah Stubbs artist/contemporary jeweller.
Each practitioner has sought to open a discussion and explore methods of materiality, through the mapping of existing objects/species located at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in order to reveal and trace the story of place and visual memory.
QVMAG, beyond the public galleries walls, houses an amazing collection of artefacts, such as rare indigenous butterflies and beetles, whale tusks and bones, snake skins, birds of all descriptions and sizes, small delicate marsupials all beautifully presented methodically catalogued and stored in carefully designed shelves, boxes and storage systems.
In corridors and a warren of rooms is a rich repository of exquisite colonial botanical drawings, specimens and pressings, a family of Tasmanian tigers, shelve upon shelves of shells, crustaceans, corals, mammals, fish, reptiles, insects, and flora of all sizes, colors and genesis.
To be in the presence of all of this is humbling, overwhelming and awe inspiring. We were fortunate to lay witness, to smell to graze to visually feast on such a vast, diverse and considered collection.
Here in the caverns of QVMAG we become acutely aware that we were in the presence of species that have disappeared both metamorphically and physically from our collective imaginations. We were confronted with the past, loss, and longing.
What started as an attempt to understand an object, a form, a species has morphed into trying to make sense to bring into relief a rich and resplendent collection one that is laden with science, history, poetry, narrative, and prose. A collection that speaks of and to a building, its dedicated staff, Launceston and Tasmania. Material Memories is a collective response to confront a collection and to make meaning through the act of making.
The project was made possible by the Australian Government’s regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians where ever they live, better access to opportunities to practice and experience in the arts.