IN PERSON / EXHIBITION

‘We, Us, Them’

Date 18.02.2022 - 17.04.2022
Location Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Date 03.03.2022 - 21.05.2022
Location Belfast Exposed Photography, 23 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2FF

Overview

A yard with white walls and fruit trees, with assembled cooking pots and gas bottles – a domestic space, a home. A young woman floats in a river, as her hair floats and splays across the surface – she is above, but also captured by, the deep brown waters. A woman breaths out, her breath etching the glass in front of her – an indelible mark of presence. Hands form intricate shapes, caught in movement, language and motion intertwined. A dancer’s body extends in a leap, rigid, and at the same time, supple – a temporary form made permanent. These impressions form the multifaceted artistic response to pressing questions of identity, community and collaboration explored in We, Us, Them.

We, Us, Them represents the first outcome of a collaborative relationship between Belfast Exposed (Belfast, UK) and Centre for Contemporary Photography. Conceived as part of the 2021-22 UK/Australia Season and reflecting this collaborative structure, the project is driven by the question of ‘what does it mean to represent a community?’ In exploring collaborative outcomes, CCP and Belfast Exposed have positioned We, Us, Them as a platform through which a diverse group of artists explore personal reflections on collaboration, communal history, identity and place.

A parallel exhibition will take place at the Centre for Contemporary Photography Australia in Melbourne from the 18 February to the 17 April 2022 and at Belfast Exposed from 3 March to the 21 May 2022.

About the Exhibition

Working in Tjuntjuntjara, in the Great Victoria Desert, WA, Maureen Donegan, Timo Hogan and Janine Hogan (with Louise Allerton) will present recently produced photographic and video work exploring their community’s use of sign language, a language that has existed alongside spoken Pitjantjatjara. Producing their work in collaboration with Milpa Space, Spinifex Arts Project, this body of work is driven by the next generation of young artists in Tjuntjuntjara, and reflects their interest in digital photography and video.

Anu Kumar dives into her personal archive, documenting her experience as an Australian of Indian descent. Presenting a reflection on the understanding of place, and the position of diasporic communities, Kumar’s intensely personal documentative photography acts as a lyrical celebration of her extended family, and the signifying importance of place and home.

Cate Consandine’s hybrid sculpture and video work The Departure explores the binary conditions of restraint and release, aggression and refuge, contraction and openness. Informed by the physicality of a community of senior female dancers, and acting as an archive of dance form and function, the work celebrates an repository of movement – a commemoration of a community of energy, kinetics and the strength of age.

Blow Back by Julie Rrap will be presented outside of New South Wales for the first time as part of We, Us, Them. These portraits represent a collective performative act that uses breath as an action that is both gentle yet provocative. Operating as a localised form of expression for the community of women artists in Sydney that make up the subjects of the work, the performers open mouths mock the endless images of women posed in this way to suggest their receptivity; like a vessel waiting to be filled.

Representing Belfast Exposed, Deirdre Robb and Leslie Cherry will present a hybrid photographic and audio installation, collaboratively developed with Irish traveller communities. With the Irish governments recent recognition of Irish Travellers as First Nations peoples, this project amplifies the many voices throughout Traveller communities, and considers their place in history and in shaping their culture and country.

Acknowledgements

We, Us, Them is supported by the UK/Australia Season and is a collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Arts Council for Northern Ireland.

Artists

  • Raphaela Rosella, alongside four First Nations community collaborators, will examine the power and authority of the archive. First Nations communities are regularly victims of the implicit control of bureaucratic archives and power structures – in Rosella’s three-channel video work, they construct a narrative which sights community members as the builders of their own archive, retaking the power of these organisational structures, and resisting and remaking themselves through this.

     

  • Anu Kumar will present the first exhibition drawn out of her personal archive of photography documenting her experience as an Australian of Indian descent. A reflection on the understanding of place, and the position of diasporic communities, Kumar’s intensely personal documentative photography acts as a lyrical celebration of her extended family, and the importance of place and home.

     

  • Cate Consandine’s hybrid sculpture and video work The Departure explores the binary conditions of restraint and release, aggression and refuge, contraction and openness. Informed by the physicality of a community of senior female dancers, and acting as an archive of dance form and function, the work celebrates a repository of movement stored – a commemoration of a community of energy, kinetics and the strength of age.

     

  • Composite image

    Julie Rrap will present her key recent body of work Blow Back, outside of New South Wales for the first time. These portraits represent a collective performance act that uses breath as an action that is both gentle yet provocative. Operating as a localised form of expression for the community of women artists in Sydney that make up the subjects of the work, the performers open mouths mock the endless images of women posed in this way to suggest their receptivity; like a vessel waiting to be filled.

     

  • Helen Sloan with the support of Belfast Exposed will undertake an exploration into Belfast’s Irish Traveller communities to produce a series of co-authored portraits of their maternal leaders. Capturing the essence of these communities as they define their place within a shifting sense of local, regional and national identity in post-Brexit Northern Ireland.

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