Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of young Australian artists aged 35 and under. Since 1992, the Primavera series has showcased the works of artists and curators in the early stages of their career, many of whom have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally.
Curated by 2015 MCA Curatorial Fellow and Sydney-based Aboriginal artist, Nicole Foreshew, the artists in this year’s Primavera extract earth materials, work with sound, video and installation and create assemblages reflecting strategies of survival and the revival of forms of cultural production.
Hailing from four states and territories across Australia, the young artists in this year’s exhibition are: Abdul Abdullah, Heather Douglas, Taloi Havini, Vincent & Vaughan O’Connor, Steaphan Paton and Lucy Simpson.
“The practices foregrounded in this exhibition, and the cultures and conditions of life, work and history that they emerge from, are situated within a broader experience of a resurgent ‘Global South’, within which peoples belonging to a diversity of cultures question received ideas of identity, culture and power,” says Foreshew.
“The importance of this extends to Aboriginal art-making in the ‘South’ or South Eastern region of Australia. There is a commonly held perception that cultural practices and activities have ceased, or have changed too much to have any value or visible relevance to broad audiences.”
“Yet as the work of artists in this year’s Primavera demonstrates, Aboriginal art practices emerging from the wreckage of first contact and generations of colonial impacts are assuming an increasingly important role in the continuation of our nation’s cultural strength.”
With a reputation for uncovering new artistic talent, this year’s Primavera artists join the ranks of some of Australia’s leading contemporary artists including Shaun Gladwell, Gail Hastings, Jess MacNeil and more recently, Rebecca Baumann, Kate Mitchell, Marian Tubbs and Paul Yore.
Nicole Foreshew is a Sydney-based Aboriginal artist born in 1982. She is a member of the Wiradjuri nation, in Central West NSW, and works across a range of mediums, from photomedia, design to sculpture, film and video, and is the 2015 Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
In 2014 Nicole was awarded the Parliament NSW Aboriginal Art Prize and the Arts NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship for her project Grounded. In 2012 she was resident artist at the Darling Fonderie studios, Montreal in partnership with Parramatta Artist Studios and the Canadian Council for the Arts, 2012 and was awarded NSW Parliamentary Prize College of Fine Arts (COFA) Professional Development Award in 2012.
Nicole has also taken part in several notable group shows across Australia and internationally, most notably in Maamungun Compatriots, a group exhibition with works by Michael Riley and Jonathan Jones at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi Australia’s Oz Fest Festival in India in 2012, Shadowlife at Bendigo Art Gallery, curated by Natalie King and Djon Mundine, 2013, and a major public artwork commission born in darkness before dawn, for Place Projections, Eora Journey, a City of Sydney arts initiative, 2013.
Primavera is an annual exhibition for young Australian artists aged 35 years and under. It was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and 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. The exhibition commemorates Belinda Jackson by celebrating the creative achievements of talented young artists who are in the early stages of their careers.
Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks (Sydney)
Exhibition continues to 6 December 2015
For more information, visit: www.mca.com.au for details.
Image: Vincent & Vaughan O’Connor, Millionth Acre (production image, detail) 2015 laser etched and oxidised steel plates, pine saplings (pinus radiata), copper wire stock, nickel silver wire stock, amplifier components, speaker cones, custom electronics, deer antler, digital holograms, 3D prints, plywood. Image courtesy and © the artist – photo by Nicole Foreshew