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Margaret Whitlam Galleries

Dreaming Tracks II & Portraits and Possesions II

Dibirdibi

Amanda Gabori
2009
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen
Dreaming Tracks II exhibition

The Real Thing (The Price is Right series)

Fional Hall
1994
Photograph
81cm X 55cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

The Real Thing (The Price is Right series)

Fiona Hall
1994
Photograph
81cm X 55cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

A Glimpse of Being

Lindy Lee
1997
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Photocopy Paper
166cm x 147.5cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Don, Flight Attendant

Anne Zalhalka
2009
Playing the Game Series
Tyoe C Photograph
88 cm x 63 cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Karo, Performer

Anne Zahalka
2009
Playing the Game Series
Type C Photograph
122 cm x 87 cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Wesley, Entrepreneur

Anne Zahalka
2009
Playing the Game Series
Type C Photograph
88 cm x 63 cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Dave Cubby does Margaret Bourke White

David Cubby
1999
Photograph
40 cm x 60 cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Leger's Portrait of My Mother

Ian Burn
Gift of Mrs A.Burn donated 1996
Lithograph on Paper
150 cm x 120 cm
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Black Pieta

Sylvia Huege de Serville
2003
Acrylic on Linen
Portraits and Possessions II exhibition

Venue
First Level, West Wing, EZ Building Female Orphan School, Parramatta Campus (View Map)
Date
14 Mar - 17 Jun 2011
Open
By appointment only.

Dreaming Tracks II

The exhibition, Dreaming Tracks II, revisits the Aboriginal concept of the Dreaming via the University's own art collection. The Dreaming is a European term used by Aborigines to describe the spiritual, natural and moral order of the cosmos.

The continent of Australia is covered by an intricate web of Dreaming. Some relate to a particular place or region and belong to those who reside there, other Dreamings travel over vast distances and connect those whose lands they cover. Thus people may be connected to several Dreamings. The events of the Dreamings provide the great the themes of Aboriginal art.

Aboriginal art which is derived from a Dreaming, is a knowledge system where only those authorized to hold the knowledge are able to produce and interpret the many layers of meaning represented in it. Within a particular painting, each motif may have several levels of interpretation, depending upon a person's stage of initiation.

The first Aboriginal artworks acquired by the University were a gift to one of its foundation institutions, Milperra College of Advanced Education from the Aboriginal Arts Board in the early 1980s. This gift comprised of paintings on bark, board and canvas, as well as other Aboriginal artefacts such as spears, boomerangs and a shield.

The University has actively continued to collect Aboriginal art, which is a strength within its collection. This exhibition contains the University latest acquisitions.

Artists featured include:

  • Kathleen Donegan
  • Amanda Gabori
  • Sally Gabori
  • Ningura Naparulla Gibson
  • Lilly Kelly Napangardi
  • Netta Loogatha
  • Birribee Mungari
  • Mitjili Napurrula
  • Polly Naglae
  • Nyayati Stanley Young

Portraits and Posessions II

This exhibition features works from the University's own art collection, amd serves as a contemporary survey of how artists place both themselves and "others" within the canon of western art through the complex genre of portraiture.

Portraits not only make value judgements about a specific individual portrayed but also suggest the rank, class and even the race of a person is often conveyed by the "possessions" that accompany them in the portrait, such as clothing, objects, as well as the general setting they are placed in, which can all be considered to be giving information about them, either factual or symbolic.

Within this exhibition, there are examples of self portraits by artists, notably Mike Parr's etchings, depicting him as distorted, stretched and twisted, which are reminiscent of his famous performances of self mutilation and endurance. In contrast to these, is the playful self portrait of David Cubby, senior lecturer in photography at UWS, depicting himself as another photographer, Margaret Bourke-White.

There are also examples of of artists depicting other artists, such as Pia Larsen's' portrait of Patrick White and Kevin Connor's drawing of Robert Clipper outside his house at Birchgrove and of course the more formally commissioned portraits, such as Brian Dunlop's drawing of Joyce Wiley, the first Chairman of Milperra College of Advanced Education and Luis Martinez's, three portraits of the former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable, Mr Gough Whitlam Ac QC.

Finally, there is a strong history of allegory within the tradition of portraiture, the figurative treatment of one's subject under the guise of another. This is apparent in Fiona Hall's familiar religious figures of the Loan (Buddhist holy man) in the "Real Thing" which is a photograph of a sculpture made out of presses coke can. In using symbols, the artist is commenting on contemporary society and its increasing devotion to items of convenience.

In conclusion, the underlying premise of this exhibition is to essentially enable the viewer to consider the role that portraiture plays in both self-definition and contemporary identity politics.