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Thom Roberts Counts Trains - The National: New Australia Art 2019, Carriageworks

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Thom Roberts identifies as a Studio A artist and a Countrylink Express train. Thom identifies himself and all those in his social network as a train type. He sees trains as people and people as trains. Accordingly, for The National Thom produced a series of 16 paintings depicting eight personalities, painted in both forms as person and train. The 'train-people' are friends, fellow artists and personalities that have left an impression on Thom. These paintings were captured and enlarged to looming proportions. The work now hangs strikingly from a repurposed truss at the entry to Carriageworks, 'a bedroom for trains' as Thom would say. As a train devotee this is particularly fitting.

The National 2019: New Australian Art is a celebration of contemporary Australian art. The second of three biennial survey exhibitions, it showcases work being made across the country by artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds. Through ambitious new and commissioned projects, the 70 artists featured across three venues respond to the times in which they live, presenting observations that are provocative, political and poetic.

The National 2019 runs across Carriageworks, Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of NSW until June 23.

Photographs by Karla Hansen and Mitchell Bingemann.

Lisa Scott - One Night Only at the ADC, March 2019

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On March 18 at the Australian Design Centre Lisa Scott presented an intimate showing of her very personal work. A delicate textile and text based dress inspired by the artists' lifetime of journal writing. Encompassing Lisa's vulnerability and courage, the work juxtaposes her fairytale dreams with the often unsettling reality of lived experience.

Lisa’s mentor, artist Stella Rose McDonald, shared these words on the evening;

“Lisa congratulations on your night tonight. Your Dress, inscribed with the words from your ongoing journals, is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with us. It is an important act and one that many artists cannot do as fluidly and beautifully as you do. 

Lisa writes as a daily practice. She writes about her life, her friends and family, about the many special occasions she shares with them and the many physical and emotional struggles she is faced with. Lisa’s writing is diaristic - detailing the minute details of her everyday. In working briefly with Lisa two years ago to re-imagine her writing and guide her to consider various new formal directions for her writing, I found myself appear suddenly on the pages as I entered Lisa’s life, and many of you who are here tonight will find yourselves there too. 

Lisa writes breathlessly, with little concern for the tug a war between now and then, past, present or future. In Lisa’s telling of it, life overlaps in messy and important ways. Something happy can immediately follow something sad. Hope can stand next to disappointment. Life can be dark and beautiful. This is something we can all understand. Lisa writes with great compassion and hope, she writes in order to, in her own words, make people understand what life is like for people living with a disability; how much harder they have to work and live and be understood. 

This is important work. Lisa does this work everyday through art making, through writing, through talking and thinking with others in her community. There is an emotional logic to Lisa’s work which traces lines of inheritance between Lisa’s past, her present and her future. 

This exhibition traces the difference between private thought and public action, between the weight of experience and the joy and power of living and dreaming. Thank you Lisa and congratulations.”

Photographs by Georgia Quinn and Meagan Pelham.

 

Previous Years' Exhibitions:

2018

2017

2016

2015