The first major survey of leading Australian-born, Philippines-based artist David Griggs, Between Nature and Sin brings together at the Campbelltown Arts Centre, portraiture, photography and film developed in Manila, Griggs’ adopted home over the last 12 years.
Curated by Megan Monte and presented nationally by Museums & Galleries NSW, Between Nature and Sin draws on political imagery, underground media, local histories and subcultures, featuring brazen use of colour and haunting stories of love, loss and death. Fuelled by his lived experience as an Australian artist residing in Manila, Griggs’ explores the darker undercurrents of human existence and the entrenched social issues of the city, and the community of Manila.
The exhibition will also see the premiere of Griggs’ major feature length film Cowboy Country – one of his most ambitious projects to date which further exposes the profound personal impact of Manila’s culture and people on his practice and way of life. The film was a collaboration with Filipino film royalty, including Soliman Cruz, the late Dante Perez, and Melanie Tejano.
“David Griggs landed in Manila twelve years ago after receiving an AsiaLink residency and decided to make it his home,” said Campbelltown Arts Centre Director Michael Dagostino. “He immersed himself in the vibrant street and underground culture, gaining an intimate knowledge of city’s social hierarchies and cultural fabric.”
“Twelve years in the making, Between Nature and Sin is poignant narrative layered with personal stories, tribulations and defining moments of adjusting to life in Manila, a city he says ‘tests him constantly’ but inspires him to keep creating.”
In addition to Cowboy Country, other exhibition highlights include Griggs’ project New York London Paris Rome Manila City Jail (2009), which was produced collaboratively with inmates of the Manila City Jail in Recto, Manila. Plus, Zombie Kiss and Frat of the obese, which combine borrowed motifs, symbols of popular culture and street stories stolen from the Manila underground scene to articulate the unjust political and social structures of the Philippines, through the eyes of the artist.
Born in Sydney in 1975, David Griggs has studios in both Sydney and Manila, where he has worked on-and-off for 10 years. He has been a finalist in the 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2016 Archibald Prizes. He has a Master of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from UNSW Art + Design and a Bachelor of Visual Art (Painting) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. He has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and South East Asia, including Institute of Modern Art, Artspace, AGNSW, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Manilla Contemporary.
In 2003, Griggs was awarded the Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists, the Willoughby City Art Prize in 2001; and in 1997 he won the Sir William Dobell Art Scholarship. His work is held by the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; University of Queensland and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney collections. David Griggs is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Gallery Ecosse, NSW and STATION Gallery, Melbourne.
David Griggs: Between Nature and Sin
Campbelltown Arts Centre, 1 Art Gallery Road, Campbelltown
Exhibition continues to 15 October 2017
For more information, visit: www.c-a-c.com.au for details.
Image: David Griggs, Zoloft Nation, 2009 (detail) – courtesy of Germanos Collection
Note: After showing at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Between Nature and Sin will tour to nine galleries across Australia, including Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Redland Art Gallery, Cairns Regional Gallery, Lismore Regional Gallery, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Orange Regional Gallery and Burrinja Cultural Centre.