Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

MGNSW IMAGinE Award

MGNSW IMAGinE Award winners 2019


EXHIBITION PROJECTS – GALLERIES
VOLUNTEER ORGANISATIONS OR ORGANISATIONS WITH 2 OR LESS PAID STAFF

Winner

Bega Valley Regional Gallery
South/East Interference Vol.2
Bringing together 6 mid-career contemporary artists from Indonesia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales, this exhibition explored themes of place and identity in an Australasian context.

The exhibition featured the vivacious ceramics of Sri-Lankan-born, Sydney-based Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran; shadow puppets by Sydney and Jogja-based Jumaadi; subversive and comical political paintings by Chayni Henry; Val Wens’ performance and documentary photography; paintings by Yolngu artist Gunybi Ganambarr; and Indonesian artist Dadang Christanto whose works honour victims of crimes against humanity.

“They are stories in progress, small moments in the long narrative arc that unfolds in real time over the course of an artist’s career. The show… presents vivid moments of lives in progress, the thematic unity of this collective self-expression drawing together a web of connecting ideas, approaches and themes.”*

Through promoting diverse responses to place and identity, the exhibition aimed to engage audiences with the complexities of our Australasian context and challenge cultural parochialism.

Highly Commended

Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School
Euan Macleod: Guardian
In this pilot program, Delmar Gallery (in association with 3:33 Art Projects) collaborated with 5 selected year 10 and 11 students from Trinity Grammar School for the inaugural Young Curators program.

Working with award-winning Sydney painter Euan Macleod, student curators Lewis Dobbin, Euan Germanos, Lewis Kanellos, Alexi Little, and James Wang were guided through the process of researching and developing an exhibition of Macleod’s works.

Drawn to the recurring motif of the guardian figure, the students selected over 40 paintings, sketches and preliminary drawings, spanning 1983 to 2019. They afforded a partial but long view of Macleod’s work, that amounted to a refreshing look at how his work has developed over time. Many of the earlier works had never been exhibited before.

Programming for the show included a floor talk by the student curators; a concert by the Muffat Collective; Euan Macleod in conversation with the Gallery curator; four workshops for primary school students; and a talk for a local retirement village.


EXHIBITION PROJECTS – GALLERIES
SMALL/MEDIUM ORGANISATIONS WITH 3 – 10 PAID STAFF

Winner

Hazelhurst Arts Centre
Weapons for the soldier: protecting country, culture and family
Initiated by the young men of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, this exhibition brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian artists to examine complex themes of weaponry, warfare, and protecting country. It is the second major partnership project between the Hazelhurst Arts Centre and APY Art Centre Collective.

Developed during the ANZAC centenary, the exhibition presents a unique dialogue around multi-geographical and multi-generational fights for land, country and culture, and how they relate to resistance, resilience and keeping culture strong. The exhibition featured 52 artworks and was the first Anangu-curated project (a men’s project supported by Anangu women) where young men were empowered to connect with their peers and shape their futures through artistic collaboration and curation – challenging norms while still maintaining cultural protocol.

The exhibition was accompanied by videos of artist interviews, a family trail, exhibition tours, a launch with Anangu performances, artist talks, story time, workshops, and an Art Engage dementia group. Visitors had overwhelmingly positive reactions to the exhibition, noting the impact of the artists’ thought-provoking and powerful messages of resilience, strength and reconciliation.

Highly Commended

UTS ART
Void
This exhibition explored the ways in which artists visually articulate the unknown as space, time and landscape. Curated by Emily McDaniel, Void brought together contemporary Aboriginal artistic practice from across the country.

Encompassing ceramics, sculpture, painting, photography and drawing, Void included the work of ten contemporary Aboriginal artists: Hayley Millar-Baker, Danièle Hromek, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, John Mawurndjul AM, Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher AO, Andy Snelgar, James Tylor, Jennifer Wurrkidj and Josephine Wurrkidj. The artists presented in this exhibition do not simply define the void as denoting a lack, but rather they utilise form to represent the formless.

The exhibition was accompanied by artist and curator talks, a panel discussion and yarning circles featuring First Nations speakers including Larissa Behrendt, Alison Page, Shannon Foster and Danièle Hromek, as well as an exhibition catalogue designed by Yuwaalaraay artist Lucy Simpson and featuring a foreword by Bruce Pascoe. A digital education kit and school workshop program were produced in collaboration between Indigenous educators and Gallery staff.

Highly Commended

Newcastle Art Gallery
SODEISHA: Connected to Australia
Following a 40-year relationship with pioneering contemporary ceramics movement, Sodeisha, this exhibition explored the legacy of the artists and their influences on contemporary Australian and Japanese ceramic arts practice.

In 1979, Newcastle Art Gallery hosted the exhibition SODEISHA: Avant-garde Japanese Ceramics. At the time, Sodeisha had already built a reputation for defying tradition and producing non functional ceramics. In 1981, 58 of these works were donated to Newcastle, making it the most important collection of Sodeisha ceramics outside of Japan.

For the 2019 exhibition, Professor Kevin White (Australia) and Satoru Hoshino (Japan), an original Sodeisha member, engaged five Australian (Alterfact, Julie Bartholomew, Penny Byrne, Juz Kitson, and Kenji Uranishi) and five Japanese (Takashi Hinoda, Satoru Hoshino, Yusaku Ishida, Rokubei Kiyomizu, and Hideo Matsumoto) contemporary ceramists, alongside 32 Sodeisha artists from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection.

The exhibition included a bilingual catalogue; a commissioned performance, Crawling through mud (reinterpreted from the original by Kazuo Shiraga in 1955); masterclasses with Satoru Hoshino; Japanese Omatsuri; VR demonstrations; Art Cart events for children; and guided tours. Overall, the program was highly successful with over 16,000 visitors.


EXHIBITION PROJECTS – GALLERIES
LARGE ORGANISATIONS WITH 11 OR MORE PAID STAFF

Winner

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new
Developed and presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of South Australia and Maningrida Arts & Culture, this exhibition presented the work of one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, master bark painter John Mawurndjul AM, with an accompanying bilingual (Kuninjku and English) monograph publication and a dedicated website.

The exhibition, led by the artist in close collaboration with the curatorial team, reunited bark paintings and sculptures from national and international collections made across a 40-year period and shared the stories of Kuninjku culture and significant locations surrounding the artist’s homelands in western Arnhem Land.

This project was ground breaking in positioning Kuninjku Aboriginal language throughout the exhibition as a first language. Bilingual throughout, it describes in Kuninjku (and then English) the artist’s places of cultural significance known as kunred, as well as ancestral spirits – or Djang – that resurface time and time again in his art-making.

Public programs created multiple pathways for audiences to engage with the project, including artist talks, panel discussions, and tailored family, youth and school programs which engaged educators and students with deeper insights into contemporary Indigenous art practice.


EXHIBITION PROJECTS – MUSEUMS
VOLUNTEER ORGANISATIONS OR ORGANISATIONS WITH 2 OR LESS PAID STAFF

Winner

Berrima District Museum
A Butcher A Baker A bunch of Makers
This exhibition celebrated Southern Highlands artisans in the Museum’s new state-of-the-art digital gallery. Combining breathtaking photography, video and handmade artworks spanning 70 years, it showcased the very best talent of the region including work by sculptor David Ball, weavers Natalie Miller and Brooke Munro, painter James King, metal artist Heidi McGeogh, and leatherworker Trevor Jones. Local photographer Ashley Mackevicius shot all the imagery included in the show.

A Butcher A Baker a bunch of Makers engaged visitors with its unique juxtaposition of beautiful age-old skills with technology. Viewers were entranced by local makers sharing their love of everything from breadmaking to basketry, weaving, ceramics, painting inspired by the history of the area, silversmithing and leatherwork, all told through audio, video and photography on digital screens.

The exhibition was very well received and school holidays were especially successful with the exhibition open every day. Many locals commented that they didn’t know about the Museum prior to the exhibition. Since the opening of the new Digital Gallery, local community visitation


EXHIBITION PROJECTS – MUSEUMS
SMALL/MEDIUM ORGANISATIONS WITH 3 – 10 PAID STAFF

Winner

Orange Regional Museum
All in a Day’s Work
This exhibition was developed in partnership with the Orange & District Historical Society and coincided with their 70th anniversary year. The exhibition provided an intriguing window into the nature and experience of work in Orange from 1955 to 1974, featuring 79 photographs from the Central Western Daily newspaper archives which have over 1.2 million negatives.

Curated by staff from the Historical Society, the exhibition is educational and aesthetic, bringing together often beautiful historic images with engaging stories of the past. Through innovative exhibition design, the images are displayed in multiple ways – on stylised workbenches with interpretive text and as immersive digital projections.

This multi-layered approach is enhanced with oral history interviews, and All in a Day’s Play, a colourful interactive activity designed by artists Biddy Maroney and Sonny Day of WeBuyYouKids that invites children (and the young at heart) to investigate the workplaces, uniforms and equipment of yesteryear.

Public programs included an exhibition opening, a curators floor talk focused on the value of regional community partnerships and historical narratives, and programs exploring contemporary photojournalism.

Highly Commended

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
The Albert Chapman Collection: remarkable minerals from the Australian Museum
Complementing the permanent display of the Sommerville Collection, featuring some of the finest and rarest minerals and fossils in the world, the display of the Albert Chapman Collection adds over 570 additional minerals to the Museum’s offering. This landmark combination, forming the single temporary exhibition, makes for the largest and most significant display of valuable and rare minerals in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Albert Chapman Collection was able to travel to Bathurst while its permanent home, the Australian Museum, undergoes significant renovations. For this exhibition, staff from both organisations collaborated closely on the design, curation, delivery, installation and promotion of the exhibition. The Australian Museum’s Mineralogy and Conservation teams advised on the project and the Exhibitions team worked to re-use and re-design the showcases to fit within the new display space.

The unification of the collections for this exhibition is highly fitting. Fellow collectors in the 20th Century, Albert Chapman was in many ways a mentor to Warren Sommerville. Both collections are of great cultural significance and highly regarded for their mineralogical diversity and integrity, aesthetic appeal and high Australian content.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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