APY art inspires evocative new campus exhibition

Creative impressions of nature’s wonders inspired by the Ernabella Arts Archive are on display at Flinders University.

Opening in time for the University’s annual community family day SpringFest (6 October), PERIPHERAL DISTURBANCE: Wandering Between Worlds collections project is a striking exhibition comprising three site-specific installations.

Developed by New Zealand-born, Aldinga-based artist Gail Hocking, the exhibition quietly reflects upon her research into the resilience of Anangu women who navigate change through their art practices.

Ms Hocking’s works cross sculpture, installation and new media, using a novel material language to visually and poetically explore the impact of time and non-human forces on the communities and environments that we live in.

The Guildhouse and Flinders University Art Museum initiative provides South Australian artists with unique opportunities to research and respond to extraordinary State collections.

Artist Ms Hocking explored the Ernabella Arts Archive, featuring about 750 works by artists from Pukatja (Ernabella) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of far north-west South Australia.

Guildhouse Chief Executive Officer Emma Fey and Flinders University Art Museum Director Fiona Salmon say that providing access to the Ernabella collections helps artists through direct engagement with works of art, and these artists’ responses facilitate fresh ways of seeing and understanding artworks and their histories.

“Gail Hocking is an alchemist of matter. She manipulates materials into new forms which vibrate with meaning,” says Flinders University Art Museum Collections Curator Ms Nic Brown.

“The exhibition is inspired by her interpretation of the ‘expression’ of the Ernabella Arts Archive and filtered through the lens of her personal experience and beliefs,” she says.

Ms Hocking was recently awarded a Guildhouse Catapult mentorship which will support her work with accomplished sound artist Sasha Grbich.

The walking tour of the exhibition, featuring discussions with Gail Hocking and Nic Brown, will be held during SpringFest, starting at 2pm from the Lake at North Ridge, near the central Plaza, on 6 October 2018.

This will be followed at 3pm by the official launch ceremony on Level 2 of the Student Hub, delivered by author Nicholas Jose.

The exhibition will continue until 30 November, with a special public event being hosted on Tuesday 16 October.

The ‘Unearthing Cultural Collections’ will be a conversation between Ms Brown, Ms Hocking and Heidi Kenyon, held from 10am to 11.30am on 16 October at the Flinders University Art Museum (Ground floor, Social Sciences North, Bedford Park).

This talk will be followed by a tour of the Flinders University Art Museum collection stores. More details are available online.

The Collections Project is a collaboration between Guildhouse and Flinders University Art Museum that provides artists with the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s collections and staff to create new work for exhibition.

Guildhouse is the leading South Australian organisation supporting and creating connections for South Australian visual artists, craftspeople and designers for 52 years.

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