Out of Nowhere Exhibition and Curator’s Update
Galleries are places that can delight, infuriate and sometimes confuse visitors. The job of a curator is to present the work and provide cues that assist the stray that wanders into a gallery using signage, interpretive information, catalogues etc. Often galleries sit within a precinct; tourist, cultural or art precinct. Salamanca in Tasmania, The Rocks in Sydney and Brunswick Street in Melbourne are all examples of precincts that have become synonymous with culture, the arts and good coffee. But how does a gallery survive when it is not within such a precinct, but in a remote location?
Redeveloping the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery meant not only designing new spaces, it meant establishing new programs and new ways of doing things. We set up a residency and cartoonist, Jon Kudelka was happy to be our guinea pig. We established an exhibition program and researched visitor needs and staff logistics to determine the best design. This exploration led us to an exhibition program where each exhibition spans four months in the galleries. The distance they travel and effort they make to deliver and set up the exhibitions is then outweighed by the fact that they won’t have to turn around in a couple of weeks to uninstall the exhibition. This amount of time increases the chance of artists selling work, increases their exposure to visitors who are coming from across the world and also enables them to attach an artist talk, residency or even a workshop throughout the time that the exhibition is open.
Having five galleries that are available as part of the exhibition program also provide ample opportunity to provide diversity in the exhibitions that are offered. This means that I can program some exhibitions that a little risky and maybe challenging for audiences, against other exhibitions that are more accessible and easy for the viewer.
One such exhibition that is a combination of the two is about to open at the gallery. I have been working with three contemporary Tasmanian artists, Amanda Kay, Jerome Dobinson and Natasa Milenovic to develop a wonderful exhibition titled Out of Nowhere. This comprehensive exhibition will fill three of the galleries with artwork that expresses the impact of roadkill in Tasmania.
It has been months of planning, debating and decision making to get to this point. Out of those weeks and months of debate and art making, has emerged a wonderful body of work by these extremely committed artists.
My role has been to work with the artists and make decisions about arrangements of work that will present the art at its best and provide the audience the best access; visually and intellectually to the exhibition. Out of Nowhere includes visual art and audio installations, sculptures and paintings. It invites us into each of the three galleries which all have a theme; Impact, Transformation and Resolution. The artists have provided an environment, the facts and figures, the colour and texture and the space to absorb and respond to this major exhibition. Their aim is to leave the visitors more informed and mindful, especially when they are traveling the island.
This is an exciting exhibition which will intrigue and delight visitors of all ages. I can’t wait to see it installed and to travel through the space. There is plenty of time to view it as it opens on 1 October and runs to 5 February 2018.