For the past 27 years the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP) has encouraged both excellence and creativity in contemporary Australian portraiture by asking artists to interpret the look and personality of a chosen sitter, either unknown or well known.
Founded by Doug & Greta Moran and family in 1988, the DMNPP is an annual Australian portrait prize. Currently with an annual first prize of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the Prize is an important part of Australia’s Arts calendar.
Benalla Art Gallery was selected as the only Victorian venue to present this prestigious prize.
Image: Wendy Sharpe, Self Portrait with Ridiculous Hat, oil on linen, 2014.
Eva Ponting (Gunditjmara), Lyn Thorpe (Yorta Yorta), Naomi Ota (Japan/Australia), Cynthia Hardie (Yorta Yorta)
Developed for Collisions – A Cross Cultural Artist’s Collaboration, a partnership project between Gallery Kaiela & SAM Shepparton Art Museum.
Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations provided an opportunity for artists from a diverse range of backgrounds to come together and collaborate in the making of art. The project involved a number of local Indigenous artists partnering with established contemporary artists, collaborating side-by-side, or in response to each other’s practice. The participants included North-East Indigenous weavers Aunty Cynthia Hardie, Eva Ponting and Lyn Thorpe with Naomi Ota, a Melbourne-based installation artist whose work uses fabric, hand made fibre paper and other fibrous materials. Through the sharing of ideas, narratives and techniques, the artists engaged in an exploration of cultural difference and similarity, conflict and connection, forging relationships in a dialogic exchange that departs from the art-making process.
Unfolding over several months the project was a journey - as the artists charted the treacherous waters of cross-cultural identity politics, intersected by the post-colonial wake. The project reimagines the scientific notion of a ‘collision’ as a creative act; an encounter between particles resulting in the exchange or transformation of energy.
This collaborative installation combines organic and man-made materials, with diverse cultural historic, artistic traditions and expertise such as weaving and making of fibrous textiles. The installation incorporates coolamons, Indigenous vessels traditionally used to carry food or cradle babies. Their inclusion pertains to spiritual birthplace, the cycles of life and gathering sustenance. These suspended mobiles refer to blood lines, genealogy and a sense of universal connectivity.
Discover a fascinating selection of shorts, newsreels, propaganda and feature films produced by the developing, local film industry, as well as a selection of international content. See how the war was presented on the big screen, and explore the melodramas and comedies that offered entertainment and escapism to those on the home front.
A collaboration between ACMI and The National Film & Sound Archive of Australia.
Image: Lottie Lyell in The Church and the Woman (1917), directed by Raymond Longford. Courtesy NFSA
Vista presents the work of six painters with connections to North East Victoria whose practices engage with the landscape and ways of seeing.
Anthea Kemp and Tony Flint’s works present dramatic renderings of places of personal significance and the impact of human habitation. Robert Hirschmann and Kirstin Berg’s layered constructions explore the forces that occur in nature and how these mirror psychological and physical experience. Ivan Durrant’s dark photorealistic paintings of interiors of shearing sheds are pierced through with intense light flooding in through gaps in walls and ceilings. Nina Machielse Hunt engages with the rich history of the region and its stories of the gold rush and bushranger heritage.
Image: Anthea Kemp, Ranges, 2015, oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist.
Acclaimed Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo painted 30 portraits in 30 days of well known figures from across Australian arts, science, entertainment, politics, philanthropy and sport. Portraits include film director Baz Luhrmann, AFL legend Ron Barassi, actress Asher Keddie, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, champion Australian Rules footballer Heritier Lumumba and many others.
Image: Vincent Fantauzzo, 30/30 portrait montage. Courtesy of the artist and Wonderment Walk.
Colour and Movement will present paintings from the CBUS Collection of Australian Art and the Benalla Art Gallery collection. The exhibition will navigate developments in Australian art in the twentieth century, exploring the journey through Australian impressionism, modernism, abstraction, postmodernism and contemporary painting. Colour and Movement will include many of Australia’s most significant artists and provide audiences with opportunities to gain a greater appreciation of their work.
Image: Elioth Gruner (1882 - 1939), Field, 1917, oil on board. CBUS Collection of Australian Art.
Dreamcrossed presents artists’ depictions of the body as a site of imagination, both as an excavation of identity and a surface embellished through ornamentation.
Among the many artists represented, the exhibition includes the fanciful hybrid characters of Jacqui Stockdale, the tortured and tormented figures of Albert Tucker, the languid nudes of George Bell and Mike Parr’s discomforting scratched and smeared prints of the body.
Drawn from Benalla Art Gallery’s collection, this exhibition includes photography, painting, drawings and prints.
Image: Jacqui Stockdale, Rama-Jaara The Royal Shepherdess, 2012, C type print. Courtesy the artist & This is No Fantasy, Melbourne.
The world is not a foreign land brings together work by Timothy Cook, Djambawa Marawili, Ngarra, Rusty Peters, Freda Warlapinni and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu.
Crossing three geographically and culturally distinct regions—the Tiwi Islands, the Kimberley, and North-eastern Arnhem Land—each artist presents sometimes strikingly different perspectives on what constitutes Indigenous contemporary art. However, seen together, their work also reveals a series of productive and meaningful relationships; a network of connections that ask audiences to reconsider how certain objects and, by extension, certain practices, might relate beyond the confines of existing categories.
Image: Timothy Cook, Kulama, 2013, natural pigments and acrylic binder on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Jilmara Arts & Crafts Association, Melville Island, Northern Territory. Private collection, Sydney.
The John Twycross Melbourne International Exhibitions Collection comprises approximately 200 objects bought by wealthy wool merchant John Twycross at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition and 1888 Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition. This collection is a remarkable snapshot of late 19th century taste and style and includes examples of decorative, functional, and novelty objects and works of art exhibited in the Austro-Hungarian, British, German, Italian, Japanese, British Indian, and Minor Courts.
Prior to being donated to Museum Victoria, many of the works in this collection spent time in the North-East. Thirty-four objects have been selected for display at Benalla Art Gallery. They offer the contemporary viewer a rare insight into Melbourne’s first World Fair.
The John Twycross Collection is presented in association with Museum Victoria.
Image: Urns - Wedgwood, Classical Figures, England, circa 1880, ceramic Wedgewood urns featuring classical figures in salmon pink, blue and white, John Twycross International Exhibitions Collection, Museum Victoria, Photo: Benjamin Healley.
Amanda Marburg’s distinctive paintings are the end product of an extended process involving photography and model making. Her method is to build plasticine figures and structures before photographing the strange worlds she creates against studio backdrops, which then act as the final basis for her paintings.
This exhibition is an interactive participatory play space for children and parents. Several stations are available for plasticine modelling alongside Amanda’s paintings inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales. This creative space is full of activities and books designed for children to explore and have fun with art.
Image: Amanda Marburg, Zebra Parrott, 2015, oil on linen. Courtesy of Olsenirwin, Sydney and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.