THE HOME OF AUSTRALIAN PHOTOGRAPHY
MGA NEWSLETTER WINTER 2014
photograph: Sandra Davis
MONASH GALLERY OF ART NEWSLETTER Edition no. 48 ISSN 1444-4577 A 0037650N Editor and designer: Mark Hislop Printer: Highlight Printing The MGA Newsletter is free to all Friends of MGA. The views expressed in its pages are not necessarily those of MGA, or Friends of MGA Inc. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct at the time of printing, however some technical inaccuracies or typographical errors may occur.
FRIENDS OF MGA INC. COMMITTEE PRESIDENT: Godfrey Clay VICE PRESIDENT & TREASURER: Noel Denton SECRETARY: Glenys Goricane GRAPHIC DESIGN: Lyra MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: Mel Santangelo MINUTES SECRETARY: Colin King COMMITTEE MEMBER: Janise Sibley Friends of MGA Inc is Monash Gallery of Art’s largest and most important group of supporters. Members are part of a social network that organises events and raises funds to support the continued growth of our great gallery. When you join as a Friend, you become an important part of the life of one of Victoria’s finest art galleries. For membership details go to: www.mga.org.au
COVER IMAGE Marian DREW Melon and Quince in balance 2014 from the series Centrepiece ink jet print 90 x 132 cm courtesy of the artist
ON SHOW: THE ROAD
PREVIEW: 2014 BOWNESS PRIZE
REVIEW: THE RENNIE ELLIS SHOW
FRIENDS OF MGA NEWS
Another year is flying past and we have had some great exhibitions and activities. Our Morning coffee program got off to a good start this year with Susan Van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography at NGV who gave us an insight to Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion, the first Australian survey of his works at NGV. In March our guest speaker was John Arnott from Cranbourne Royal Botanical Gardens and in April Michele McArdle spoke about photography in education. David Kirkpatrick, ambassador for One girl – a not-for-profit organisation raising awareness for education projects in Sierra Leone – was our guest in May. In June, Helen Stitt from RACV talked about photography and cars during the early twentieth century. The popular Terry Lane, ex 3LO presenter and current photography journalist for The Age was our guest in July. Coming up in August is ex-MGA Director Jane Scott who currently heads up Craft (formerly Craft Victoria). See the inside back cover for more details. Thanks as always to our Vice President Barry Sanders, for organising the Morning coffee program and who will sadly be stepping down after ten years on the Friends’ committee – we all thank Barry him for his great work over many years. During the past year, the Friends – as an incorporated association – had to review and adopt new rules as part of its constitution. This was a bit of a nightmare and very time consuming, but I’m glad to say it all went well. Many thanks to Glenys Goricane, our Secretary who now takes on a few more duties, and Noel Denton and Mel Santangelo who helped see it through.
After many months of investigations by MGA’s Stella Loftus-Hills, I’m pleased to say that the new gallery stools – which were purchased by the Friends – have finally arrived and are being put to good use in the gallery. They are lightweight, strong and stylish, and are a great addition to the facilities at MGA. Earlier this year, in February, we held our popular Jazz on the deck concert. Bob Sedergreen, the celebrated jazz pianist, along with some friends provided us with a terrific concert. We had an audience of 105 on the night who all appreciated the music, raising valuable funds for the gallery. We hope to have Bob back at MGA soon. Our next big music event on Sunday 10 August features Tony Gould and Imogen Manins who will give us music from classical (Bach) to movie (John Williams) via show tunes and folk. Tony has long been regarded as one of Australia’s greatest jazz musicians and was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 for his service to Australian music. Booking details on p18 of this newsletter. Many thanks to Noel who arranged these artistes for us. Coming up, our big community event Art in the park is scheduled for early December 2014. Stay tuned for more information closer to the date. We said goodbye to a few of our committee this year: Roberta Ametrano, Brian Aldington, Catherine Tate and Michele McArdle. I would like to thank them for all their work in their various roles. We welcome Colin King who is our Minutes Secretary and Lyra who many of you will have seen at the gallery and is our graphic designer looking after our publications. Once again many thanks to our Director Shaune Lakin and all the gallery staff for their help and advice, and thanks as well, of course, to our committee. —Godfrey Clay, President Friends of MGA Inc.
Our current exhibitions The road: photographers on the move 1970–85 and Rod McNicol: memento mori are the latest in an extended sequence of exhibitions curated by MGA since August last year. Over the last ten months we have developed and presented 15 exhibitions – some expansive surveys, others tightly focussed studies, all engaging with the work of living Australian photographers. We hope you are enjoying the ride! Coming up next is the annual Bowness Photography Prize, where the MGA Foundation will once again help us celebrate the work of Australia’s best contemporary photographers – this year featuring the work of 48 finalists. Join us at a special cocktail party on the night of 4 September to celebrate with the artists, judges Angus Trumble and Siri Hayes, and the trustees of the MGA Foundation who will present the winner of this year’s Bowness Photography Prize with a $25,000 cheque. Following the Bowness Prize is one of the most important exhibitions ever staged by MGA – Fem: 1970–90, which brings together the work of 16 artists and considers the relationship of photography and feminism in Australia from 1970–90. The first exhibition to look at this subject during this key period in Australian photography, Fem: 1970–90 draws on MGA’s nationally significant collection and loans from artists, and will be as entertaining as it is groundbreaking. Our ambitious program wouldn’t be possible without the significant support we receive from our community. While MGA is owned and generously funded by the City of Monash, we need to raise significant levels of income
from other sources. Our annual fundraising dinner has for the last 15 years made a huge contribution to these efforts. All up, the annual dinner has raised over $750 000, and this year was another stellar year. This year, through the incredible generosity of artists and 155 attendees, we raised $71 136 – thanks also to the combined skills of MC Brian Nankervis and auctioneer John Albrecht of Leonard Joel, and the event committee comprising Cr Katrina Nolan, Annie Chester, Paula Maclean, Anne-Maree Pfabe, Tammy Crupi and Bianca Laycock. It was a tremendous night, with a wonderful atmosphere, wines provided by Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, cuisine by Food & Desire and entertainment made possible by our valued event sponsors NextGen Rentals, Clearlight Shows, Highlight Printing, CPL Digital and Photofile. Vital funds were also raised through the generous support of Food & Desire, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, the Australian Ballet, Estee Lauder, Aveda, Eco Tan, 2 Bros Brewery, Alan Maclean, RACV and Clara May. We welcome Big Kitchen Events to the MGA community. BKE have recently assumed operation of our café and under the stewardship of Masterchef’s Gary Mehigan will no doubt develop our beloved café into one of the key venues for coffee and food in our area. Visitors to MGA will have noticed changes already, and by mid-August the new café will be in full swing and no doubt a great place to meet. We have recently welcomed Colin King and Lyra Hui to the Friends of MGA committee. Both Colin and Lyra are long-standing friends of the gallery and we look forward to working with them as we continue to develop the gallery’s audience and the membership base of the Friends, our most active, visible and important supporters. — Shaune Lakin, Gallery Director
THE ROAD: PHOTOGRAPHERS ON THE MOVE 1970–85
ROD MCNICOL: MEMENTO MORI 13 JUNE–31 AUGUST 2014
13 JUNE–31 AUGUST 2014
THE ROAD: PHOTOGRAPHERS ON THE MOVE 1970–85 13 June– 31 August 2014 ROD MCNICOL: MEMENTO MORI 13 June– 31 August 2014 BOWNESS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 4 September– 12 October 2014 FEM: 1970–90 17 October– 7 December 2014
The road is one of the great subjects in Australian visual culture. In many of our greatest films, books and works of art, the road is a place where personal identity is negotiated, where the national story unfolds, and where culture, technology and nature come together at times in extraordinary ways. Presenting the work of eight prominent Australian artists, The road: photographers on the move 1970–85 shows the relationship between photography and the road in Australian culture during the 1970s and ‘80s. During this period photography helped to make sense of the particular experience of movement made possible by faster cars and better roads; at the same time, it helped to demonstrate the challenges to life and culture that accompanied suburban expansion and the rise of the road in Australia.
Wesley STACEY The road 1974–75 1 of 305 chromogenic prints 9.0 x 12.7 cm (each) Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection courtesy of the artist
Rod McNicol’s photographic practice has always concentrated on portraiture as a genre that highlights mortality. For over three decades McNicol has been inviting people from his inner-city community to put their lives on pause for a few moments and stare into the lens of his camera. The portraits that McNicol has captured in the stillness of his studio are both tender and brazen; they are faces that function as witnesses to the inescapable passing of time. This exhibition is a survey of McNicol’s extended portrait project, from his early blackand-white prints through to his most recent colour portraits. Presented with support from Arts Victoria and The Gordon Darling Foundation.
Rod MCNICOL Tariro 2011 from the series Newcomers to my village ink-jet print courtesy of the artist
BOWNESS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE FEM: 1970–90 4 SEPTEMBER–12 OCTOBER 2014 17 OCTOBER–7 DECEMBER 2014 Established to promote excellence in photography, the annual non-acquisitive William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation. Now in its ninth year the $25 000 non-acquisitive prize has become one of Australia’s most coveted photography prizes. It is also one of the country’s most open prizes for photography, accepting filmbased and digital work from amateurs and professionals. There are no thematic restrictions. This year 48 finalists from all over Australia have been selected for exhibition at MGA. The winner will be announced at a gala cocktail party on Thursday 4 September.
This is the first exhibition to consider the relationship of feminism and photography during one of the key periods in Australian culture: the 1970s–‘90s. During his period the relationship between photography and feminism was in some ways interdependent – photography helped feminism, and feminism helped photography. Photography promoted political and social action, and helped women to document and communicate inequality and social and cultural achievement. At the same time, photography as a practice greatly benefitted from the technical innovations, critical frameworks and increased accessibility introduced by photographers involved in the feminist movement. FEM: 1970–90 will feature vintage prints of important photographs, many of which have not been seen for decades. Artists in the exhibition include: Micky ALLAN, Pat BRASSINGTON, Virginia COVENTRY, Sandy EDWARDS, Anne FERRAN, Sue FORD, Christine GODDEN, Helen GRACE, Janina GREEN, Fiona HALL, Ponch HAWKES, Carol JERREMS, Merryle JOHNSON, Ruth MADDISON, Julie RRAP, Robyn STACEY.
This year’s judges are: artist, Siri Hayes; Director, National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Angus Trumble and MGA Gallery Director, Shaune Lakin. BOWNESS PRIZE FINALIST 2014 Marion DREW Melon and quince in balance 2014 from the series Centrepiece ink jet print 90 x 132 cm courtesy of the artist
Robyn STACEY Ice 1989 from the series Redline 7000 silver dye bleach print 104.0 x 175.3 cm Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 2012
THE ROAD: PHOTOGRAPHERS ON THE MOVE 1970–85 MICKY ALLAN VIRGINIA COVENTRY GERRIT FOKKEMA JOHN GOLLINGS TIM HANDFIELD IAN NORTH ROBERT ROONEY WES STACEY UNTIL 31 AUGUST
The road is one of the great subjects in Australian visual culture. In many of our greatest films, books and works of art, the road is a place where personal identity is negotiated, where the national story unfolds, and where culture, technology and nature come together at times in extraordinary ways. The road: photographers on the move 1970–85 brings together a range of photographic projects that explore the road as experienced by many Australians in the 1970s and ‘80s. The exhibition announces the road-trip as the quintessential Australian journey, highlighting the challenges to life and culture that accompanied suburban expansion and the ways that Australians embraced the road during the 1970s and ‘80s. Using a range of strategies the photographers in the exhibition helped to make sense of the particular experience of movement and landscape made possible by faster cars and better roads, in a way only photography could. The road: photographers on the move 1970–85 features some of the most significant photographic projects produced by Australian photographers during this period. Wes Stacey’s mythic series of over 300 photographs The road presents an epic travelogue of road trips made by the artist in his Kombi Van during 1973 and 1974. Also featured is John Gollings’s monumental, ten-metre long streetscapes of Surfers Paradise Boulevard from 1973 and Robert Rooney’s iconic Holden park, featuring the artist’s Holden car parked in 20 different locations across Melbourne. The exhibiton also features work by two of Australia’s most important feminist photographers, Micky Allan and Virginia Coventry, who both challenged many of the gendered assumptions about the road, automotive travel and Australian life during the ‘70s and ‘80s.
IMAGES (from top left) Wes Stacey The road (installation shot) 1974–75 Virginia Coventry Service road (installation shot) 1976–78 Micky Allan Mock-up for My trip 1976 (installation shot) 1976 Wes Stacey’s The road (detail) 1974–75 3 of 305 chromogenic prints 9.0 x 12.7 cm (each) Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection courtesy of the artist
BOWNESS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 4 SEPTEMBER– 12 OCTOBER 2014
48 of Australia’s best photographers are in the running for the prestigious $25 000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for 2014. This year’s judging panel comprises artist Siri Hayes; Angus Trumble, Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and Shaune Lakin, MGA Gallery Director. Shaune Lakin, MGA Gallery Director said on behalf of the judging panel: ‘What I love about the Bowness Prize each year is the chance to look at work from all corners of Australia, by photographers covering the broad church that is Australian photography. This year the judges looked at over 2 500 images and selected a field of finalists that represents the best of contemporary Australian photography in all its forms.’ The winner of the $25 000 prize will be announced during a special cocktail party at MGA on Thursday 4 SEPTEMBER 2014. Finalists for the 2013 $25 000 Bowness Photography Prize are: Todd Anderson-Kunert, John Bodin, Jessica Brent, Ross Calia, Andrew Chapman, Danica Chappell, Rowan Conroy, Nici Cumpston, Tamara Dean, Shoufay Derz, Marian Drew, Lesley Duxbury, Cherine Fahd, Sean Fennessy, Gerrit Fokkema, John Gollings, Lee Grant, Mike Gray, Janina Green, Kristian Häggblom, Petrina Hicks, Shane Hulbert, Ingvar Kenne, Mark Kimber, Aldona Kmiec, Katrin Koenning, Christopher Köller, Annika Koops, Agata Krajewska, Ashlee Laing, Owen Leong, Georgia Metaxas, Graham Miller, Sarah Mosca, Harry Nankin, Matthew Newton, Zorica Purlija, Clare Rae, Kate Robertson, Julie Rrap, Emily Sandrussi, Vivian Cooper Smith, Darren Sylvester, Salote Tawale, Claudia Terstappen, Justine Varga, Anne Wilson and Yiorgo Yiannopoulos.
IMAGES (opposite) Georgia Metaxas Anonymous portrait #1 2013 pigment ink-jet print on cotton paper 40.0 x 33.0 cm courtesy of the artist Julie Rrap Self-portrait with mouche 2013 pigment ink-jet print on cotton paper 127.0 x 105.0 cm courtesy of the artist
ABOUT THE JUDGES Siri Hayes is a Melbourne-based photographer. Her work features in many public collections and she has been the recipient of several photographic prizes, including the Olive Cotton Award. Her most recent exhibitions include Back to nature scene, Heide Museum of Modern Art; All you knit is love, CCP, Melbourne; and Melbourne now, NGV. Angus Trumble was appointed Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in December 2013. He was curator of international art at the Art Gallery of South Australia from 1996 to 2001, a Fulbright Scholar at New York University and most recently the Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Universityâ€™s Center for British Art, Connecticut. Shaune Lakin is Gallery Director of MGA.
REVIEW THE RENNIE ELLIS SHOW OPENING: SATURDAY 5 APRIL 2014
In one of the most memorable opening lines at MGA in recent years, special guest photographer William Yang stated, ‘I didn’t know heterosexuals have so much fun!’ ‘Peter Pan with a Pentax’, said Michael Caton of photographer Rennie Ellis to an audience of around 300 at MGA for the opening of The Rennie Ellis Show on 5 April. The quote came from the legendary Philip Adams, a friend and supporter of Rennie’s throughout his career. Speakers at the official opening included renowned photographer and critic Robert McFarlane, Sydney artist/ social chronicler/diarist William Yang and actor Michael Caton. All commented on Ellis’s youthful effervescence and inquisitive nature. ‘He was always there, but was never pushy or judgmental, which was probably why he got so many extraordinary pictures’ said Caton. Yang perhaps summarised it best: ‘Rennie was a good photographer, but more importantly was a warm human being, and it is his humanity that comes across most strongly in the photographs he produced.’ Words and text by Bill Bachman
IMAGES clockwise from top left William Yang | Michael Caton | William Yang | MGA staff member Lyra Hui with Michael Caton | Sylvie Ellis (Rennie Ellisâ€™s daughter) and friend Joel | Sylvie Ellis and friend Joel | Robert MacFarlane, Michael Coyne, Stepehn Dupont William Yang and Manuela Furci | Photography by Lyra (and Michael Caton)
MGA is the only public gallery in Australia dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Australian photography. Over the last few years MGA has been building its holdings of photographs from the 1970s–80s, with a special emphasis on work by Australian women photographers. Merryle Johnson is a Victorian photographer who was particularly prominent during the 1970s and ‘80s. Her work has been well collected by the major public collections and has been included in many important exhibitions. Along with Micky Allan, Ruth Maddison, Leonie Reisberg, Kate Breakey and Robyn Stacey, Johnson was part of a generation of women who used handcolouring to reinvigorate documentary photography and bring a decidedly female perspective to the medium. In early 2014, Johnson donated 41 beautiful examples of her work from the 1970s and ‘80s to MGA. These photographs add to the four works by Johnson already held by MGA and mean that MGA now holds the most significant collection of her work in Australia. MGA plans to include some of these works in an exhibition of feminist photography later this year, and to showcase the donation more specifically during 2015. This major donation comes on the back of a number of similarly generous gifts to the gallery by Australian artists who see MGA as the proper place for the safekeeping and long-term care of their work. Substantial collections by a range of significant artists, including Wesley Stacey and Ingeborg Tyssen, have recently been donated to the gallery by the artists or their next of kin. These artists understand that MGA will work hard to create awareness of and appreciation for their work.
‘...part of a generation of women who used hand-colouring to reinvigorate documentary photography and bring a decidedly female perspective to the medium’
ABOUT THE ARTIST Merryle Johnson (b. 1949 Australia) graduated from Bendigo College of Advanced Education in 1969 with a major in painting. She took up photography in 1970 and it subsequently became central to her professional life, both as an arts educator and an exhibiting artist. Johnson’s approach to photography is informed by her broader training as an artist. This is particularly evident in her use of hand-colouring and sequencing. While the subject matter of her images is largely drawn from everyday life, she employs artistic devices to bring a sense of drama and fantasy to documentary photography.
Merryle JOHNSON The performance: tiger on floor (detail) from the series Circus1978–80 two hand-toned gelatin silver prints 10.0 x 31.0 cm; 10.0 x 14.7 cm courtesy of the artist
7–8.30PM TUESDAY 19 AUGUST FREE event, all welcome. Bookings preferred T: 03 8544 0500 Celebrating MGA’s most recent publication The existential portrait we’ll look at portraiture in photography books. We encourage all forms of photobook, whether it’s a compilation of your travels, work of a favourite photographer, or an unique artist book, bring it along! MGA has partnered with PHOTOBOOKCLUB.ORG for this event.
FRIENDS OF MGA
Melbourne’s first Photobook Club meets every second month on the third Tuesday. Scheduled dates for 2014 are: 19 August & 21 October
WIN A SET OF SIGNED MGA PUBLICATIONS! Friends of MGA who invite a non-member to sign-up for a new membership go in the draw to win one of four sets of recent MGA publications. Drawn 1 December 2014 All books are personally signed by the photographer. Catherine Bell Rod McNicol Claudia Terstappen
Stella with Thomas Dean Loftus Robinson
STAFF NEWS It was with great delight that Stella Loftus-Hills announced the arrival of her baby boy, Thomas Dean Loftus Robinson, born 28 February, 2014. Stella said ‘We think he looks like a Thomas, and Dean is a bit of a family tradition for first born males in Toby’s family (it’s Toby’s middle name).’ Thomas is a little darling – a real cuddly koala! He sleeps relatively well day and night and is becoming quite a keen feeder. Thomas is now nearly six months old and is quite the gallery visitor, having visited MGA on many occassions. Stella will be returning to her position one day a week at the end of August. The new face at reception is Neil Pinnick. Neil comes to us from Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and has a broad range of gallery experience including curatorial and administrative roles. Welcome Neil! Yi-Fang Lu, our regular casual staff member at MGA takes on Stella’s role on Saturdays. One of our longest serving and popular staff members, Lucy Whitehill recently left MGA. Lucy held many positions at MGA including most recently Exhibition Coordinator. Lucy leaves us to take on a business partnership supplying the ballroom dancing industry. As the many Friends who have known Lucy know, this new business venture is in a field she is passionate about and achieved national success as a dancer. Good luck Lucy!
D. E ON ert, P ST conc ust to O P uoGOULD ug , yet DUO TONY T A N ld D 10 E ate V u y d E Go da re ur o C n u I y Su SUNDAY . AUGUST t ll . 2014 10 d u a f e US Ton 6.00PM o ce t ART ed to a GALLERY nc se OF n M he ulMONASH e u T hed ed nno logi veni sc tpon be a apo con in MANINS DELIGHT y & IMOGEN DETAILS os TONY GOULD l y e p 6pm 10 August 2014 AUDIENCES er rWITH is an THEIR PERFORMANCES OF c 5pm doors & bar open n BACH, AND PORTER ON PIANO si GERSHWIN fo s e AND t Cheese & fruit platters W esCELLO. u g available at the bar Friends of
TICKETS Bookings essential: $20 Friends of MGA $25 non-member $10 under 18s T: 03 8544 0500 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Long regarded as one of Australia’s greatest ever Jazz musicians’ —John Barns, 3MBS FM ‘One of a rare breed of pianists not frightened of showing his emotions when he plays. —Leon Gettler, The Age
NEW FRIENDS Janette Anderson Fredrick John Ball Russell & Louise Berglund Kalli Ioannou Booth Laura Brinson Andrew Brown & Bernadette Lane Bevelee Bryceson Lesley Buttery Margaret Cameron & John Lee Zillah Carlin Jonathan Carmichael John Carruthers Wendy Clarke John Cobb Sue Constable John Crossley Jim Davidson Carolyn De Wet Meredith Dellar Matilda Difuluio Donna Doyle Brad Smith & Taki Eleftheriou Gail Ellis Amy Foy Lyra Hui Bianca Jacq Milnda Jayathilake Bill Jones Michael Ke Miranda Koroknai Anna Larsson John Lee Sandra Matheson Rona Meuris Margaret Mitsikas Susan McNab David Morgan-Brooker Tomas, Christina & Mark Muzzin Merle Parker Heather Phillips Sue Ryman-Kiernan Jenni Sampson Parveen Sharmar Steve Smith Andrew Spurling Sophie Stanton Claire Stock Anna Strahan Brook Tayla Claudia Terstappen Ann Tonks Pier Vido Diana Wentworth Chris Zygouris
MORNING COFFEE SPEAKERS MONDAY 18 AUGUST Jane Scott, CEO, Craft Victoria Former Director at MGA, Jane is now head of Craft (formerley Craft Victoria)– a peak organisation for contemporary craft and design. Craft showcases the best work by Australia’s leading designers and new talent.
MONDAY 15 SEPTEMBER Start your week with a friendly morning tea and listen to our guest speaker.
MONDAY 20 OCTOBER Alison Fraser, Veterans Affairs, Dept of Premier Alison Fraser has a long history of arts and event management. She has also been a teacher, gallery director, art school administrator and occasional writer. Currently she is Manager, Community Engagement at Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic).
MONDAY 17 NOVEMBER Sue Thompson from the Lilydale Historical Society on Dame Nellie Melba. Ms Sue Thompson, a former journalist, author, historian and long-time promoter of the history of Lilydale and District will talk about the Society’s extensive archive on Dame Nellie Melba and her contribution both locally and internationally. 10.00am morning tea: talk begins 10.45am $10 Friends of MGA/$5 talk only $12 non-member/$6 talk only Bookings essential T: 8544 0500