Dancing Umbrellas is an exhibition of moving image, performance, painting and object-based works created by emerging and established contemporary Australian artists. The fanciful leitmotif of ‘dancing umbrellas’, inspired by a two-channel video installation by young Melbourne artist Belle Bassin, introduces the exhibition’s performative and theatrical theme, and the playful surreality of many works.
Movement, light and elements of performance are variously utilised by the artists to explore ideas about perception and time, and to evoke a sense of otherworldliness or dreams. In creating their imaginative worlds, these artists reference cultural artefacts and ideas as various as a surrealist play by Picasso, 1960s and 1970s counter-culture and fashion, shamanic spiritualism, internet selfie culture and the romantic sublime as depicted in Japanese anime.
Artists featured in the exhibition include: A Constructed World, Belle Bassin, Rebecca Baumann, Damiano Bertoli, Peter Cripps, Leslie Eastman, Dale Frank, Briony Galligan, Minna Gilligan, Alexander Knox, James Lynch, Taree Mackenzie, Gabriella Mangano & Silvana Mangano, Viv Miller, Giles Ryder, Michelle Ussher and Justene Williams.
“In making their works the artists in Dancing Umbrellas draw widely from both popular culture and art history, giving these fields of knowledge equal weight,” says Curator, Sue Cramer. “The liberty to freely associate images and ideas and to creatively mix content from different sources and periods, first claimed by the Dadists and the Surrealists, is fundamental to their approach to making art.”
“As appropriate to our digital age, the works displayed participate in the constant flow of information between past and present, apprehending time not as a linear continuum, but as circular, layered, and paradoxical.”
Luminous moving images sit alongside paintings, sculptures and collages to create a layered and multi-dimensional experience for the viewer.
Dancing Umbrellas: An Exhibition of Movement and Light
Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen
Exhibition continues to 5 June 2016
Admission fees apply
For more information, visit: www.heide.com.au for details.
Image: Belle Bassin, It’s easier to see your skin, 2013 – still taken from dual channel video – Courtesy of the artist