Working in a range of disciplines, across four states in Australia and residencies overseas; the artists, who are aged 35 and under, in this year’s exhibition include: Jacobus Capone (WA), Adam John Cullen (VIC), Nicole Foreshew (NSW), Teelah George (WA), Laura Hindmarsh (TAS), Elena Papanikolakis (NSW), Tom Polo (NSW) and Kynan Tan (WA/NSW).
Since 1992, Primavera has kick-started the careers of young arts practitioners. For the 26th edition of Primavera, curator Sophia Kouyoumdjian will work with artists to explore the theme of ‘Ancient Futures’. Each work in the exhibition considers existence, from the personal to the universal, in relation to archives, collections or the act of collecting.
Jacobus Capone’s practice incorporates performance, photography, video installation, painting and site-specific work. Characteristically evocative and poetic, his work frequently combines physically demanding durational performances with majestic, sublime landscapes.
Adam John Cullen is a Melbourne-based visual artist, largely working with sculpture and installation. Key themes explored across his practice are ideas of commodity exchange and trade, as well as the personal histories of found objects.
A Sydney-based Aboriginal artist Nicole Foreshew, a member of the Wiradjuri nation, Central West NSW, works across a range of mediums, from photomedia, design to sculpture, film and video. Throughout her practice the artist explores links to place, cultural memory and ancestry.
Teelah George is a Perth-based artist working primarily in painting, drawing, print and installation. She employs archives and collections as a point of departure and questioning within her practice, drawing on the parallel ambiguities between historical record and visual art.
Laura Hindmarsh’s practice is interdisciplinary and performative often taking the form of moving image. In each incidence the work is an interrogation of the chosen medium, often pushing the mode of production and the body’s engagement in this process to a point of exhaustion or collapse. Working with processes of embodiment, repetition and layering, Hindmarsh highlights and questions established modes of representation and knowledge systems.
Elena Papanikolakis works across painting, collage, drawing and photography. Her recent work involves explorations of disparate found imagery and text, as well as material of personal and cultural significance.
Tom Polo uses painting and painted environments to explore how conversation, doubt, gesture and ways of looking are embodied within abstracted acts of portraiture. Frequently incorporating text and figurative elements, his works draw on acute observations, absurdist encounters and personal histories. An ongoing interest across his practice is the emotional and performative relationships between people within social space.
Kynan Tan is interested in networks, data, relationality and digital systems of control, exploring these areas through digitally-derived artworks. His works engage with digital aesthetics, code and data, and take the form of multi-channel audio-visual performances, installations, sculptures, sound, and 3D simulations.
“The momentum and excitement is building for Primavera 2017,” said MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE. “Sincere thanks goes to Sophia, who brings her knowledge and experience of working directly with artists at Parramatta Artists Studios to curate what we can already tell will be a thought-provoking exhibition, featuring the work of eight of Australia’s most interesting young artists.”
Kouyoumdjian has worked in the arts sector for over 15 years across directorial, curatorial and exhibition management roles and is currently the Coordinator of Parramatta Artist Studios. Previously she worked as the Acting Director and Curator at Blacktown Arts Centre and has comprehensive experience in Western Sydney’s contemporary art community.
“Exhibited works will question natural and human-made archives, from the physical to the digital; of mining the earth to mining of data, thought and processes; of the capturing of history as well as its making; and how the archaeological and the act of erasure can reveal fundamental notions of the human condition,” said Kouyoumdjian.
“I am honoured to be working with MCA and eight fantastic artists. This project has allowed me to engage with these artists in their studios, study their artistic practices, and collaborate with them to create something extraordinary to share with the community.”
Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM, Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda – a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29.
Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia, 140 George Street, The Rocks (Sydney)
Exhibition: 23 August – 19 November 2017
For more information, visit: www.mca.com.au for details.
Image: Jacobus Capone, Dark Learning (still), 2015, multi-channel video, high definition, colour, sound, 23 minutes – image courtesy and © the artist