Oceans From Here
Chris Bennie | Dean Cross | Julia Davis | Emma Hamilton
Honey Long + Prue Stent | Izabela Pluta | Grant Stevens
Kai Wasikowski | John Young Zerunge
Oceans from here explores the aesthetics of water, from mountain glaciers to the open seas, as it ebbs and flows as a global life force. This simple and abundant compound has the power to define planetary geography, etching the landscape and separating the continents. Water moves through disparate sectors of the globe in various states – as mist, rain and snow.
The floating cliffs of ice in John Young Zerunge’s photographs of the Antarctic echo the aesthetics of traditional Chinese landscape painting. Kai Wasikowski travels to the melting glaciers of New Zealand in search of the source of the Pacific Ocean, while Emma Hamilton heads north to frame the horizon of the Arctic seas.
From visceral and cerebral to sacred and somatic, water has inspired human creativity and provoked metaphysical thought. Julia Davis’ aerial views of the shore are meditative, while Izabela Pluta explores the depths of mythology. Water also tempers our response to the
environment and connects us to place. Dean Cross symbolically returns to his Indigenous heritage and Country through the act of applying and removing ochre to his half-immersed body. Yielding yet also powerful are the ‘Instagram-perfect’ photographs taken by Grant Stevens of cascades, which comment on image reproducibility and the authentic experience.
Chris Bennie touches on how our physical and psychological states are, like the tidal movement of rivers and oceans, affected by the moon’s gravitational forces. In Honey Long + Prue Stent’s performance-based works, human forms emerge from, and are subsumed by, watery environs. We are bound within nature’s cycle as water moves between the environment and our bodies.
Oceans from here touches on the transitory qualities of water as it courses through nature and our bodies. The artists selected for this exhibition have responded to water as a vital element, which flows through the land to the seas and fills the atmosphere of our planet. Several of the artists reinforce notions of an Australian identity so closely tied to the oceans that surround this nation island. Others immerse the viewer in a metaphorical ocean that surrounds, defines and moves through us all.
Currently at Redcliffe Art Gallery, Moreton Bay, Queensland
12 December 2020 – 28 February 2021
This exhibition was originally present in two parts, before touring as one exhibition to venues across regional NSW and Queensland.
ACP Project Space Gallery, Sydney, 7 September – 20 October 2018
Gosford Regional Arts Gallery, 13 July – 1 September 2019
Blue Mountains Culture Centre, 8 May – 20 June 2021
This Education Resource offers the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the unique and diverse practices of the group of creatives and their work presented in the exhibition. The activities and discussion ideas included are designed for teachers and parents assisting Secondary School students (years 7-12).
This learning resource is closely aligned with the Australian Curriculum:
• The Arts: Drama, Dance, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts
• Humanities and Social Science: Geography, ATSI Histories, Society and Culture
• Economics and Business
• Science: Physics and the Environment
Julia Davis, Still from Undercurrent, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Grant Stevens, Waterfalls VII, III, & XI, from The Waterfalls series, 2016. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, and Starkwhite, Auckland
Dean Cross, Untitled triptych (Looking West, Ochred and Life preserver), 2015. Courtesy of the artist