TarraWarra Museum of Art reveals 2020 program

TWMA Kate Beynon Masks of the Ogre DancersTarraWarra Museum of Art has revealed its exhibition program for 2020, with highlights including a collection show offering a new appraisal of the work of leading women artists; a major new Sidney Nolan exhibition dedicated to his explorations of myth from the Trojan War to Gallipoli; and the TarraWarra Biennial 2020, curated by Nina Miall.

Victoria Lynn, Director, TarraWarra Museum of Art, says the program continues the Museum’s focus on providing a relevant and meaningful voice, and presenting new and unexpected ideas within a global context.

“Combining some groundbreaking exhibitions with our ongoing public programs amounts to a very exciting year for visitors to TarraWarra Museum of Art in 2020,” says Ms Lynn.

“Alongside our female-focused collection show and Sidney Nolan exhibition, we are presenting an immersive installation by contemporary artist Heather B. Swann, based on her interpretation of the myth of Leda and the Swan, and a joint exhibition of Jenny Watson and Yhonnie Scarce, curated by Hetti Perkins.”

“We’ve been thrilled with the response to our 2019 program, which included the 2019 Archibald Prize, ASSEMBLED: The Art of Robert Klippel (showing until 16 February), TarraWarra International 2019: The Tangible Trace, and presentations of work by Tracey Moffatt and Katie West, and we look forward to welcoming visitors new and old to TarraWarra Museum of Art throughout 2020,” Ms Lynn added.

For more information about TarraWarra Museum of Art, visit: www.twma.com.au for details.

Image: Kate Beynon, Masks of the Ogre Dancers 2014–15 (detail) synthetic polymer paint on linen 185 x 165 cm. TarraWarra Museum of Art collection, Acquired 2015 – courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne

TarraWarra Museum of Art 2020 Exhibition Program:

Making Her Mark: Selected Works from the Collection
29 February – 16 April 2020
Making Her Mark: Selected Works from the Collection offers a new appraisal of the work of leading women artists held in the collection of TarraWarra Museum of Art. The exhibition explores the themes arising from works by women artists in the collection – such as memory, landscape and abstraction – and also includes a modest selection of works by male artists that amplify these images, ideas and styles. In this way, art by women is not seen as a category, but rather as a catalyst.

Making Her Mark provides the opportunity to make new comparisons across decades: Jenny Watson and Charles Blackman; Louise Hearman and Godfrey Miller; Kate Beynon and Howard Arkley. Rather than a dialogue about precedent and influence, this exhibition presents a nuanced conversation about image, composition and mark-making where women take centre-stage.

Other artists from the TarraWarra Museum of Art collection presented in this exhibition include Janet Dawson, Rosalie Gascoigne, Denise Green, Melinda Harper, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Joanna Lamb, Janet Laurence, Rosslynd Piggott, Hilarie Mais, Aida Tomescu and John Nixon. Curator: Victoria Lynn

Sidney Nolan: Myth Rider
2 May – 26 July 2020
Developed by TarraWarra Museum of Art, Sidney Nolan: Myth Rider brings together more than 100 works by Sidney Nolan from the period 1955–1966, during which the artist grappled with the subject of the Trojan War, its parallels with the Gallipoli campaign, and its origins in the myth of Leda and the Swan.

Throughout these interconnected series, Nolan employs his remarkable visual and mental acuity to meld classical allusions, literary sources, historical references, and his own personal response to war and its disastrous consequences, to convey a series of powerful insights into the broader mythic and universal dimensions of human conflict. Combining compelling subject matter and a highly inventive approach to a wide range of media, the rich array of works in this exhibition reveal Nolan’s innate understanding of and facility for mythopoesis—the making of myth—whereby past and present, ancient and modern, legend and history are conflated and vividly reimagined.

Although exhibitions of Nolan’s Gallipoli series have highlighted his references to classical sources, this will be the first exhibition to show these works in the context of the development of the artist’s vision of the tragedy of warfare from his early works on Hydra (1955–56), through his Leda and Swan series (1958–60), and culminating in his large scale statements on Greek mythology (1966). Curator: Anthony Fitzpatrick

Heather B. Swann: Leda and the Swan
2 May – 26 July 2020
Heather B. Swann: Leda and the Swan is an exhibition of new sculptures and paintings by Canberra-based contemporary artist Heather B. Swann, who is renowned for her large-scale, meticulously crafted and highly expressive sculptural forms.

Swann’s new installation at TarraWarra Museum of Art is an immersive, experiential work, woven out of her own contemporary reading of the myth of Leda and the Swan and emerging from artist residencies in Rome and Athens. The artist’s close study of Graeco-Roman antiquities and emulation of the forms of classical figurative sculpture is embodied in her use of fragmentation, repetition and mismatched scale.

Taking its name from the story of Leda and the Swan, the work invites audiences to explore the actions, emotions and social-moral codes of this ancient, ambiguous and chilling narrative. At the same time, the work recognises and salutes the historical achievement (and presence in the adjacent gallery spaces) of Sidney Nolan, Australia’s great modernist myth-maker. Curator: Anthony Fitzpatrick

TarraWarra Biennial 2020
15 August – 3 November 2020
Taking the meaning of ‘Tarrawarra’ – a Woiwurrung word that translates approximately as ‘slow moving water’ – as its departure point, the TarraWarra Biennial 2020 explores ideas of duration, suspension, withdrawal, stillness and the elasticity of time.

Against the backdrop of the hyper-accelerated rhythm of modern life, characterised by the relentless hum of instantaneous communications and a 24–hour news cycle, the artworks featured in this exhibition mark a very different sort of time – one which connects with deeper geological and cosmic currents, or to natural cycles and rhythms – seeking to restore a deep-rooted connection to land and earth, to ancient knowledge and to long-forgotten lore.

Featuring 24 artists from across the country and a number of new site-specific installations, the TarraWarra Biennial 2020 considers the broader arc of history against the pull of the accelerated now, attentive to notions of place, subjectivity and community, and to an idea of the present as a site of multiple durations, pasts and possible futures. Curator: Nina Miall

Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce
21 November 2020 – 8 March 2021
Curated by Hetti Perkins, this exhibition of new works by Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce is both a love song and a lament for country; a fantastical alchemy of elemental materiality – of earth, water, fire and air.

Watson’s ochres, charcoal and pigments, pooled and washed upon linens, will offer a natural affinity and synergy with Scarce’s glass works and their fusion of fire, earth and air. Together these artists present a panoptic and holistic portrait of country where the creation and experience of art is mnemonic for the lived, remembered and inherited history of the First Peoples.

From March to May 2020, an iteration of this exhibition will be presented at Ikon Gallery, an internationally acclaimed contemporary art venue situated in Birmingham, United Kingdom.