The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2016-02-25T01:55:26Z Melbourne-based artist Kathy Temin to create 'The Koala Room' 2016-02-25T01:55:26Z melbourne-based-artist-kathy-temin-to-create-the-koala-room The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) announces the fifth commission for the Bella Room, to create a new interactive installation for people with specific needs, with the appointment of Melbourne-based artist Kathy Temin. The artwork, which will be situated in the MCA’s pioneering National Centre for Creative Learning, will be unveiled in June 2016. Each year with the commission of the Bella Room, an artist is invited to create an interactive and multi-sensory artwork which considers people specific needs, including physical, intellectual, behavioural and sensory disability. This work is part of MCA’s free and innovative Bella Program, created to inspire and engage people with specific needs to explore contemporary art and develop new skills through art-making experiences. For the 2016 Bella Commission, Temin is creating The Koala Room. The work has been developed in consultation with MCA Artist Educators and Bella Program participants. Temin will transform the Bella room into a landscape of green fur grass and trees against blue skies. This overall environment will contain numerous elements, inviting visitors with different specific needs to engage with the work in their own way. One aspect of the work will be a giant felt wall with stick-on trees, koalas and Sydney architectural icons encouraging visitors to create their own landscapes and felt assemblages. Participatory performance is central to The Koala Choir, an integral part of the room. In January 2016, Temin auditioned people across a range of ages, needs and abilities to take part in her Koala Choir. Participants were asked to sing a song with significance to their cultural background, while wearing elements of a koala costume, such as ears, paws or a mask. The product of these auditions, and more to be held throughout 2016, will be exhibited as part of the Bella Commission, further encouraging visitors to adorn themselves with Temin’s koala costumes and perform. MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: ‘We have been working closely with Kathy to develop the work and it’s incredible to see the range of audiences and abilities her practice involves – this artwork is simply not possible without audience contribution. The 2016 Bella Room Commission will prove an empowering and sensory contemporary art experience for over 2,500 participants with specific needs.’ Private and collective memory, identity and loss are themes explored throughout Temin’s practice, informed by her father’s experience of emigration to Australia from Hungary. She often works with fur, creating plush installations that at once evoke the comfort of childhood and create strange and unsettling environments. Through this work, Temin is seeking to explore the tensions and possibilities for creative action that come from hybrid cultural identities. As a nation with a majority of immigrants and a chequered relationship with its Indigenous peoples, experiences of Australian national identity can be fraught. Through performance and participation, The Koala Room seeks to create a place of acceptance and diversity that both celebrates and underscores the rich complexity associated with any particular idea or experience of being Australian. The Bella program was established in 1993 through the generosity of MCA patrons, Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM, and the Jackson family, in memory of their late daughter and sister Belinda. Today the core Bella Program provides enriching and inspiring programs which increase confidence, self-esteem and achievement for children and young people with specific needs aged between 5-18 years, whilst the Bella Plus Program has been developed for adults. Once a month, the Bella Plus Connect Program invites adults, their families and support providers to explore contemporary art in a fun and participant led creative environment. Previous Bella Room Commissions include; David Capra, Teena’s Bathtime (2015), Brown Council, Performance Art (2014), Hiromi Tango, Dance (2013) and Emily Floyd, The Garden (2012). For more information visit Image: 2016 Bella Commission artist Kathy Temin, image courtesy and © the MCA, photograph: Jacquie Manning MCA's First Online Commission by artist Marian Tubbs 2015-10-27T06:16:16Z mca-s-first-online-commission-by-artist-marian-tubbs [Sydney, 27 October 2015] The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is delighted to announce the launch of its first online commission, transmission detox, by Sydney-based and Primavera 2014 artist Marian Tubbs. Image: Marian Tubbs, transmission detox (production still), 2015, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2015, image courtesy and © the artist transmission detox (2015) comprises a series of interlinking websites, combining video, interactive collage and live analytic data. This major new work explores the spatial possibilities of the internet and draws on the artist’s research into the global flow of currency, images and information. The MCA’s relationship with Tubbs began when she was selected to exhibit as part of Primavera 2014: Young Australia Artists. Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of who have gone on the exhibit nationally and internationally. MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said: “This daring new work by Marian Tubbs represents the Museum’s commitment to artists working online and in new media – artforms rarely exhibited in major institutions but forming an important strand of contemporary practice.” “In launching this new commission, MCA takes a leading role in Australia working with new models of digital engagement, joining international peers such as Tate, Serpentine Gallery and New Museum in supporting artists working online and developing audiences for their work.” The artwork takes a nuanced and critical approach to the material conditions which influence the continued expansion and operation of the internet. Many early proponents of the World Wide Web espoused its utopian potential as a space for collaboration and the free sharing of knowledge. While the rapid spread of the internet and social media has surpassed many such expectations, it has done so as the result of corporate interests, predicated on the commodification of information, images and personal data. Drawing together surveillance footage, found video and images, and website infrastructure itself, the work refers to a diverse range of sources, including the Great Pacific garbage patch, consumer aesthetics, and image editing software. In doing so, transmission detox questions the means of production which enable its existence. “In transmission detox, images are hidden and subject matter often distorted,” said Blair French, MCA Director, Curatorial & Digital, “perhaps suggesting that digital images are by their nature evasive; that the transmission of information is not the same as the transmission of knowledge; that the systems we use to communicate are loaded in favour of particular ideologies and the values they sustain. This is a work that encourages you to slow down, listen and think.” Access the work at IMAGESHigh-resolution images available upon request. MEDIA CONTACTSMuseum of Contemporary Art AustraliaClaire Johnson / Myriam Conrie02 9245 24217 / ABOUT THE ARTISTManifesting across internet, video and assemblage-based installations, Marian Tubbs’ art conflates material binaries between body and object, physical and virtual, and high and low culture. Her assemblage-based installations and digital works critique cultural ascriptions of value and act to slow down accelerated modes of looking. The artist’s upcoming and recent exhibitions include Pleasure and Reality, National Gallery of Victoria, 2015; Contemporary Print Culture, National Gallery of Australia, 2015; Riven, Station, Melbourne, 2015; Relational Changes, Christine König Galerie, Vienna, 2015; Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones, Toves, Copenhagen, 2015; Primavera 2014: Young Australian Artists, MCA, Sydney, 2014; Quake 2, Arcadia Missa, London, 2014; and Glean, Minerva, Sydney, 2014. Tubbs has also curated shows including Care (with Dana Kopel) at Interstate Projects, NY and Witness at Minerva. In 2015 she is the inaugural recipient of the MCA’s Online Commission. Marian’s work is held at the National Gallery of Australia, and in local and international collections. Tubbs has published and presented art and philosophy research at international and local conferences. In 2014 she was a contributing author to the philosophy volume Intensities & Lines of Flight, published by Rowman & Littlefield International. Tubbs holds a BFA (Hons) from RMIT, a MFA from UNSW Art & Design, is completing a PhD at UNSW Art & Design, and is a casual academic at UTS, PSM and Art and Design UNSW. ADDITIONAL Corroboree to be held on one of Australia’s most important historical sites 2015-10-20T02:42:10Z corroboree-to-be-held-on-one-of-australia-s-most-important-historical-sites C3West Blacktown Native Institution Corroboree, Saturday 7 November 2015 On Saturday 7 November (5–9pm), the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) through the C3West program will be collaborating with Blacktown Arts Centre and UrbanGrowth NSW to host a Corroboree on one of Australia’s most important historical sites – that of the Blacktown Native Institution – and unveil site-responsive artworks. This third and last on-site event is the culmination of a year-long project, and builds up on the two Blacktown Native Institution Artist Camps which took place in June 2014 and March 2015. Over two weekends of culture, healing and sharing, these events offered an iterative and interlinked series of discussions, art-making workshops and storytelling sessions. Artists Darren Bell, Karla Dickens, Steven Russell, Kristine Stewart, and Leanne Tobin came together with the community, local artists, academics and historians to work towards three intended outcomes: the creation of a website as a keeping place for personal stories about the site (unveiled in March this year, the website went on to win “Best Indigenous Project or Keeping Place” at the 2015 Australian Museums and Galleries National Awards); creative direction for future permanent usage of the site; and the creation of new temporary public artworks to be unveiled at the Corroboree on 7 November 2015. On 7 November, everyone is invited to participate in free family activities, including storytelling, live music, traditional food and a BBQ, children’s workshops, a ‘tear catcher ceremony’ by Leanne Tobin, as well as performances by: Pioneering hip-hop artist Brothablack, who will be composing a song about the history of the BNI site. Brothablack worked with the Blacktown Arts Centre on the Urban Theatre Projects work Back Home (Sydney Festival 2006). Blues & Roots singer Krista Pav, who has developed language research through the Blacktown Arts Centre Performing Arts Program. She will be singing these compositions in language as well as some blues and roots standards. Uncle Wes Marne, a well-loved local storyteller and elder, will be leading storytelling around a campfire. The Blacktown Native Institution was a residential school for Aboriginal and Maori children that operated 1823–1829. Originally located at Parramatta and later moved to Blacktown, it is among the first known sites where Aboriginal children were removed from their parents and institutionalised – a practice that continued in Australia until the 1970s. In 2013, the site was activated through on-site artworks and an exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre. For more information visit and Location: Corner Rooty Hill Rd North and Richmond Rd, Oakhurst. Bus 757 stops on Rooty Hill Rd North. Parking available on site. Please contact us for high-resolution images. Media ContactsMyriam Conrié / Claire JohnsonMuseum of Contemporary Art Australia0429 572 869 / 02 9245 Jodie Polutele Blacktown Arts Centre 02 9839 6245 / 0428 359 514 About C3West Project Partners C3West (for Community, Contemporary Art and Commerce) creates situations for artists to work strategically with business and non-arts government organisations, with a focus on Western Sydney. This specific project is a collaboration between Blacktown Arts Centre on behalf of Blacktown City Council, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and UrbanGrowth NSW. Our media partners are Gadigal Information Service & Koori Radio. Image: Karla Dickens, Loving Memory (production image), 2015, installation view, Blacktown Native Institution site, Oakhurst NSW. Co-commissioned by C3West on behalf of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Blacktown Arts Centre on behalf of Blacktown City Council and UrbanGrowth NSW. Image courtesy and © the artist MCA announces Carnival Australia Chief Executive Ann Sherry AO as new Board Member 2015-10-19T02:53:00Z mca-announces-carnival-australia-chief-executive-ann-sherry-ao-as-new-board-member The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Ann Sherry AO to the company’s board of directors. She became CEO of Carnival Australia in 2007 and led the transformation of the cruise industry which resulted in a remarkable growth trajectory with more than a million Australians a year now taking cruise holidays. She was recently named the overall winner of the 2015 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards from more than 500 entrants for her corporate leadership and promotion of diversity and female representation. Prior to Carnival Australia, Ann spent 12 years with Westpac including roles as CEO of Westpac New Zealand, CEO of the Bank of Melbourne and Group Executive, People & Performance. She was a driver of cultural change, pushed for paid maternity leave and flexible working practices, and created the Jarwun project, to connect skilled corporate volunteers with Indigenous communities. Before joining Westpac, Ann was First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra, advising the Prime Minister on policies and programs to improve the status of women and was Australia’s representative to the United Nations forums on human rights and women’s rights. “Ann is passionate about the arts and culture and has been recognized for her sustained work for women, minority groups and the arts,” said Simon Mordant AM, MCA Chairman. “She will be a fantastic addition to our passionate and driven board.” “All institutions should have engaged and passionate community members to take on board roles in order to assist them realise their ambitions,” Mordant continued. “We look forward to Ann joining our Board to support our vibrant community programs, bring our tourism strategy to the next level and showcase great Australian and international contemporary art to our broad and growing audiences.” In addition to her executive role, Ann holds a number of non-executive roles including ING Direct (Australia), The Myer Family Company Holdings Pty Ltd, Australian Rugby Union and Jawun. She is the Chair of Safe Work Australia, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and Deputy Chair of the Tourism & Transport Forum. In 2004, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community through the promotion of corporate management policies and practices that embrace gender equity, social justice and work and family partnerships. “I am thrilled to be part of MCA,” Ann Sherry commented. “I look forward to working with the Board and Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE to continue to connect a diverse public with the work of Australian living artists, foster creativity and critical thinking, and further position this remarkable institution as an iconic Sydney destination for local, interstate and international art lovers.” Please contact us for a high-resolution image. Media ContactsMyriam Conrié / Claire JohnsonMuseum of Contemporary Art Australia0429 572 869 / 02 9245 Image: Ann Sherry AO, Chief Executive Carnival Australia MCA, Qantas and Tate take contemporary Australian art to the world 2015-09-28T23:49:25Z mca-qantas-and-tate-take-contemporary-australian-art-to-the-world [Tuesday 29 September 2015] The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Qantas and Tate have today announced an unprecedented International Joint Acquisition Program for contemporary Australian art. Made possible through a $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation, this groundbreaking collaboration will increase the international profile of contemporary Australian art as part of the national carrier’s role of championing Australia. The gift will enable an ambitious five-year joint program through which a range of major works by contemporary Australian artists will be acquired for the collections of MCA and Tate, owned and displayed by both institutions. The artworks acquired will range across media and expected to date from the late 1960s through to the present. This will significantly enhance both organisations’ holdings of Australian art, while transforming the opportunities for international audiences to connect with contemporary Australian art and artists. Following the Qantas Foundation’s gift, the MCA and Tate will coordinate the research and acquisition of selected artists’ works. A selection of the first artworks acquired will be presented at the MCA in 2016, before heading to Tate. Qantas Group Executive of Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, said: “As Australia’s national carrier we’re all about taking the best of Australia to the world. We are excited to be working with two leading institutions in the MCA, and Tate, to provide opportunities for global audiences connect with Australian art and artists. “Qantas has a long history of supporting the arts including the Flying Art series and Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Awards, and we are thrilled to be extending our contribution with this program. “We look forward to celebrating Australian artists and their work on the world stage.” Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “One of our core missions is to present Australia’s contemporary artists in an international context, stimulate dialogue and raise their profile globally. So we are very excited about what this collaboration means for Australian artists.” “We are extremely grateful to Qantas – one of the MCA’s long-standing Major Partners – for their incredibly generous gift and visionary support of Australian artists. We are thrilled to be working with Tate – a world leader in collecting and presenting contemporary art from around the world.” Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “In recent years Tate has made great progress in presenting a more international view of art, but this is only possible with the expertise and support of other organisations. Thanks to the generosity of the Qantas Foundation, this new collaboration with the MCA will ensure both collections can represent Australian art at its best and its connections with the wider Asia-Pacific context.” The MCA and Tate will now begin their research with the aim of acquiring a number of major pieces over the next five years. Please contact us for high or low res images or to arrange an interview with MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE. Myriam Conrie / Claire Johnson0429 572 869 / 02 9245 Image: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, with Qantas flight attendants, photograph: Brent Winstone MCA unveils Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy 2015-08-05T06:14:34Z mca-unveils-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-policy The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) has launched the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy setting out quantifiable targets for a major cultural Institution in Australia. The NSW Deputy Premier, The Hon, Troy Grant MP, Minister for Justice and Police, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Racing unveiled the Policy and said: 'I offer congratulations to the MCA in this demonstration of commitment to not only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history but also to the future of contemporary art.’ The Policy launch follows 18 months of development by the MCA Indigenous Advisory Group Committee, chaired by MCA Board member Hetti Perkins, and key staff. The Policy provides a framework for the Museum’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and artists and aligns this commitment with the broader mission and objectives of the Museum. Professor Michael McDaniel a member of the MCA Indigenous Advisory Group said: 'I am delighted that the MCA is making its Indigenous commitment part of its ongoing core business. Rather than in is a separate Indigenous strategy, the Policy commits the MCA to including Indigenous work and targets across all internal strategies.’ MCA Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, Keith Munro said: ‘The Policy brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priorities to the forefront of all MCA business. It will help guide, shape and direct core activity with Indigenous people in mind.’ Through the Policy the MCA affirms its commitment to a set of key principles including; acknowledgment of the unique place, within Australia society and the Museum, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original Australians and ongoing custodians of Country; maintenance of a welcoming, respectful, culturally safe, and non-discriminatory workplace; development of a unique and outstanding collection of contemporary art by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists; ethical research practices founded on respect for Indigenous peoples’ inherent right to self-determination including the control and maintenance of their culture and heritage; development of cultural competency amongst MCA non-Indigenous staff; flexibility and innovation in developing and delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs; and equitable targets and outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment. The Director of the MCA, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said: 'It’s the MCA’s vision to take a leadership role in shaping an Australia that values contemporary work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, this would not have been possible without the support of the MCA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Program Partner Rio Tinto.’ 'Through this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy the MCA also sets out clear objectives for collection development, exhibition programming, commissions of new work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, the extension of learning and public programs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, research activity and employment,’ she continued. The Policy builds upon the MCA’s strong history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, artists and communities. Most recently the Museum commissioned major new works by artists Daniel Boyd and Jonathan Jones, and developed and presented the breathtaking exhibition of paintings Martu Art from the Far Western Desert, the centerpiece work of which, Kulya (2014), was acquired for the MCA Collection. Through its C3West program the MCA is currently working with Blacktown City Council and Urban Growth NSW on the series of Blacktown Native Institution artist camps. Whilst other recent programs have included artist led community workshops in La Perouse and western Sydney, elders morning tea events, professional development programs to arts professionals from the Pilbara in WA to regional NSW, and youth art careers workshops onsite at the MCA and also offsite to students from regional and remote schools in far western NSW (Menindee Central School), North West NSW (Boggabilla Central School) and South Western QLD (Goondiwindi State School). In late 2014 the MCA made three appointments to new roles established as development positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art museum professionals. Nicole Foreshew was appointed Curatorial Fellow for Primavera 2015: Young Australian Artists – the position is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. The positions of Susie Anderson, Assistant Digital Producer, and Nadeena Dixon, Artist Educator – Indigenous Programs, have been funded through Arts NSW and the Australian Government through the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) program. The MCA’s future will see prescribed levels of employment rates reflecting, at a minimum, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander working population and the extension of this with exceptional professional development opportunities. The MCA will consider this policy in the preparation and review of all MCA initiatives, programs and strategies. For more information visit ABOUT THE MCA INDIGENOUS ADVISORY COMMITTEEThe MCA is committed to developing its policies and programs in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities. In keeping with this an Indigenous Advisory Group (IAG) was established and has been meeting since 2003. It’s aim is to advise the MCA on ways to reflect the needs and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and audiences in all areas of its work. The Group advises on issues that are pertinent to the MCA’s core role; exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists. Today the group consists of principally of artists and arts professionals from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community including: Joanne Brown, Darryl French, Nancia Guivarra, Michael McDaniel, Bob Morgan, Djon Mundine, Hetti Perkins (Chair) and Matt Poll. ABOUT PROFESSOR MICHAEL MCDANIELProfessor Michael McDaniel is an Aboriginal man who is a member of the Kalari Clan from the Wiradjuri nation of Central New South Wales. Michael’s involvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education spans more than two decades. Michael has previously been the Professor and Dean of Indigenous Education at the University of Western Sydney and the Director of Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University. Michael also previously taught at UTS, where for some years he was Director of Indigenous Programs within the School of Adult Education. Michael is also a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC). On a number of occasions Michael participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as part of the NATSIHEC delegation. ABOUT HETTI PERKINSChair, MCA Indigenous Advisory GroupHetti Perkins is a member of the Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon Aboriginal communities and currently resident curator at Bangarra Dance Theatre. Perkins has worked with Indigenous visual art for twenty five years and was previously senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Hetti is chair of the Charlie Perkins Trust for Children and Students and a trustee of the Michael Riley Foundation. She is a board member of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and deputy chair of Ninti One, a not-for-profit company that builds opportunities for people in remote Australia. ABOUT KEITH MUNROKeith Munro is Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Keith is a descendant of the Kamilaroi (Gomeroi/Gamilaroi/Gamilaraay) people of north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland. Selected projects he has worked on include a retrospective of Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO, Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land, In the Balance: Art for a Changing World, They are Meditating: Bark Paintings from the MCA’s Arnott’s Collection and Paddy Bedford. Keith has written commissioned texts for various publications and cultural organisations. Australian artists' Haines and Hinterding first Museum survey 2015-06-19T06:45:09Z australian-artists-haines-and-hinterding-first-museum-survey Energies: Haines & Hinterding25 June – 6 September 2015FREE exhibition The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is thrilled to present Australian artists David Haines’ and Joyce Hinterding’s first major museum survey, from 25 June 25 to 6 September 2015. Featuring collaborative projects, solo works by both artists and a new MCA Commission, Energies: Haines & Hinterding is a comprehensive presentation of their multisensory art practices. Curated by MCA Curator Anna Davis, this free exhibition spans experimental, digital, electronic and traditional media and brings together: interactive cinema, installation, virtual reality, sound, video, sculpture, aroma, photography and drawing.  The artists, who live in the Blue Mountains and both teach at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, have been working together for over fifteen years. They are captivated by the unseen energies that surround us – including very low frequency (VLF) radio waves, television signals, paranormal events, satellite transmissions and psychic forces – and seek to reveal them to audiences through work that draws upon aspects of science, the occult and philosophy.  Energies: Haines & Hinterding will take over the MCA’s Level 1 Galleries and expand beyond the gallery walls, with graphite antennas stencilled on the building’s glass facade, attracting electromagnetic energy from the atmosphere. Many of the works are also connected to energies beyond this space, such as television signals and radio waves, some emanating from stars in the Milky Way. A wide range of public programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition, including artist talks, free art-making workshops, a three-day Energies in the Arts international conference co-presented with the University of NSW Art & Design (13–15 August), the August ARTBAR, a sun viewing workshop utilising solar telescopes, an aroma composition workshop, Art Baby tours, and Junior Art School workshops for budding artists, as part of the MCA’s school holiday program. Every Thursday from 2–8pm and every weekend from 11am–4pm, visitors will also be invited to discover an innovative project using the virtual reality platform ‘Oculus Rift’, with next-generation headsets and headphones enabling them to explore two of Haines’ and Hinterding’s four-channel video works inside a virtual space. MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said, ‘The MCA is committed to supporting Australian artists of today through our Collection, exhibitions and public programs. This exhibition enables the work of two fantastic artists – whose teaching and generosity contribute greatly to Sydney’s art community – to be available to a broad audience, many of whom will discover their practices for the first time.’ Expanding on their earlier game-based works, Haines’ and Hinterding’s latest work Geology (2015), commissioned by the MCA especially for this exhibition, uses computer-game technologies and a Kinect system for gesture-based interaction to create incredible simulations of the natural and supernatural world that the audience can explore. Geology was inspired by a research trip the artists made to the badly damaged Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu in New Zealand after the devastating Christchurch earthquake of 2011. They describe it as an investigation of ‘how culture interacts with chaotic forces’. Projected at over 16 metres wide in high (4K) resolution in one of the MCA’s double-height galleries, Geology is an amplified interactive cinematic experience. Its imaginary terrain has several different levels to explore, each one taking the audience deeper underground to discover hidden arcane energies. The first level is a seemingly endless rocky landscape, an immense vista flooded with golden light that we float across like spy drones over Afghanistan. Like the earthquake-damaged gallery in Christchurch, the landscape of Geology is filled with cracks and voids that we soon discover are portals into different worlds. One level is a  psychedelic underground space of energy, sound and vibration. This level looks like a sparkling crystalline cavern, filled with reflective structures and huge floating rocks. Haines and Hinterding taught themselves to ‘code’ in 3D computer programs over fifteen years ago and have been working in the area of 3D simulation ever since. They use computer game engines in a different way to conventional game makers - in that there is no killing and the audience is free to explore the virtual world. Other works in the exhibition include Telepathy (2008), a bright yellow anechoic (echoless) chamber with a dark futuristic interior that visitors can enter to experience an absence of sound, The Levitation Grounds (2000), a video installation featuring huge floating trees now re-imagined as a work that can be viewed through virtual reality technology, and the enigmatic installation EarthStar (2008), which includes a video projection of the sun’s surface, antennas that detect radio waves from solar winds and two ozone fragrances. More at #EnergiesMCA MCA and Audi celebrate three years of vibrant programming for ARTBAR 2015-05-25T02:17:00Z mca-and-audi-celebrate-three-years-of-vibrant-programming-for-artbar With a new wing to explore and Sydney’s growing taste for late-night art programming, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) introduced MCA ARTBAR driven by Audi three years ago in 2012. Elevating the gallery experience with events that stimulate collaboration, inspiration and fun, ARTBAR has made contemporary art accessible for new audiences. To date, up to a thousand revellers each month have experienced this award-winning event, with many returning to the MCA for another visit. On the last Friday of each month the MCA invites an artist to curate a night of art, performances and music, taking over the entire wing of the building; ARTBAR is therefore a unique happening every month. Iconic Sydney Harbour views from the MCA Sculpture Terrace, a monthly themed cocktail, bands and DJs plus a rotating list of creative talent mean that no two nights are ever the same. ARTBAR’s diverse range of offerings appeals to all tastes. Over 600 program elements have occurred including life drawing classes, artist-led yoga, stand-up comedy acts, film screenings, a Cat Café, a Beyoncé dance masterclass and more recently parkour stunts in the Galleries. 36 artists from across the country have taken up the challenge of curating this monthly collision of happenings, from Perth, Brisbane, and Melbourne to Western Sydney. Contributing artists include Shaun Gladwell, Daniel Boyd, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Brook Andrew and Karen Therese amongst others. MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said, ‘Artists are central to all our activities and from that perspective, ARTBAR really is an event like no other. It’s become one of our most successful public programs, playing a crucial role in our mission to connect a diverse audience with the work of living artists. ARTBAR truly is… art but not as you know it.’ ‘We’re extremely thankful to Audi who have been with us since the beginning of ARTBAR. Our partnership shares strong values like innovation and collaboration.’ Macgregor continued. Anna Burgdorf, General Manager of Corporate Communications for Audi Australia said, ‘The Audi brand has long been a passionate supporter of contemporary art, design and innovation in Australia, and overseas. The concept of MCA’s ARTBAR really is the ideal match for our brand and it allows us to engage and interact with a sophisticated, art-loving audience and offer inspiring experiences to the community. As the founding sponsor of the event series, we are incredibly proud to contribute to the vibrancy of Sydney’s cultural life.’ Friday 29 May will mark the third birthday of ARTBAR with MCA Collection artist Rebecca Baumann curating the event. Baumann is a Perth-based artist working predominantly in kinetic sculpture, installation and performance. Her work is characterised by an ongoing fascination with colour, the complex workings of human emotion and the cultural rituals surrounding happiness and celebration. The night will be decked in confetti, dipped in colour and illuminated in light as the night plays off Baumann’s much loved artworks such as Automated Colour Field (2011) and Confetti International (2007/2011). On the night, guests can have their nails painted by burlesque star Lauren La Rouge and listen to garage rock wave with Sydney band Los Tones. Coinciding with Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, Baumann’s work will not only be inside the Museum but also transforming the MCA façade for the artist’s Vivid Sydney collaboration with Paris-based art and design company Danny Rose. MCA ARTBAR driven by Audi Curated by Rebecca Baumann Friday 29 May, 7–11pm For more info: $20/$15 MCA Members and Concessions in advance (booking fees apply) $25 at the door (subject to availability) Over 18s only Upcoming Events Friday 26 June – Dara Gill Friday 31 July – Renny KogersFriday 28 August – Haines & Hinterding Friday 25 September – Primavera Edition Friday 30 October – Hissy Fit Friday 27 November – 2015 Finale #MCAARTBAR Media Contacts Claire Johnson / Myriam Conrie02 9245 2417 / 02 9245 / MCA announces Kerry Gardner as new Board Member 2015-04-24T00:43:43Z mca-announces-kerry-gardner-as-new-board-member The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melbourne-based documentary filmmaker and arts philanthropist Kerry Gardner to the company’s board of directors. “With a background in commercial marketing, Kerry brings a wealth of local and international experience – from broadcast and filmmaking to publishing and hospitality,” said Simon Mordant, MCA Chairman.  “She has been a passionate champion of the arts throughout her career and will be a great addition to our board.” “A successful museum needs engaged and influential community members to take on board roles in order to assist with its long-term institutional goals,” Mordant continued. “We look forward to working with Kerry to support the MCA in showcasing great Australian contemporary artists internationally.” Kerry Gardner is a Melbourne-based Writer/Director of fresh new Australian documentary films shining a new light on Art, Design and Architecture. Her films have been shown in a number of local and international film festivals including the Canadian Film festival ‘Female Eye’ in Toronto and the Sonoma Film Festival in California. Her current directorships include the Australian Children's Television Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the University of Melbourne’s Australian Institute of Art History. She is a Founding Patron of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale and Ambassador for the Natalie Miller Fellowship for Women in Film. She is also member of the Arts and Humanities Committee of the Myer Foundation / Sidney Myer Fund, and Global Ambassador (Asia Pacific) for the Global Fund for Women in New York. Her past board directorships include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Victorian Women’s Trust, Deputy Chair of both Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Malthouse Theatre Company, the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (Steering Committee) and director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. She holds a Masters in Film and Television from the VCA/University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma of Marketing from the RMIT. “I am inspired by the world-class innovative cultural educational programme run by MCA’s talented staff, and I am truly honored to join the MCA board,” Kerry Gardner commented. “For decades, the MCA has taken a leadership role in shaping an Australia that values contemporary art and artists, and I look forward to working with the Board and Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE to support this core mission.” MCA Announces C3West Blacktown Native Institution Artist Camp #2 2015-03-13T03:39:42Z mca-announces-c3west-blacktown-native-institution-artist-camp-2 On March 21-22, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will be collaborating with Blacktown Arts Centre and UrbanGrowth NSW in the second of a series of three artist camps on the Blacktown Native Institution site, shaping the future of one of Australia’s most important historical sites.  Aboriginal artists and community will come together over two days of culture, healing and sharing to provide firm creative direction on future uses of the site through facilitated discussion and planning activities, involving Aboriginal experts such as Jason Glanville (CEO, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence). Local artists will have the opportunity to work closely with project artists Darren Bell, Karla Dickens, Steven Russell, Kristine Stewart and Leanne Tobin, through workshops and art-making. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders, artists and community members will also be invited to share stories and archival material. Old photos, clippings and documents will be scanned on the spot with a portable archiving station, for inclusion in the soon-to-be-launched Blacktown Native Institution website – a keeping place for personal stories and histories about the Blacktown Native Institution.  The Koori Radio team will be onsite broadcasting both days and collecting oral histories. The general public are invited to celebrate culture with art-making and music on the afternoon of Sunday 22 March. At 3pm, artist Karla Dickens will present a talk about her work, followed by a drop-in weaving workshop with the Jungah Weavers, a BBQ and an all-ages event featuring MajikHoney (X Factor) and Soul Benefits. The Blacktown Native Institution was a residential school for young Aboriginal and Maori children that operated from 1823 – 1829. Originally located at Parramatta and later moved to Blacktown, it is among the first known sites where Aboriginal children were removed from their parents and institutionalised – a practice that continued until the 1970s. In 2013, the site was activated through a series of on-site artworks and an exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre. The Blacktown Native Institution Artist Camps are an iterative and interlinked series of discussions, workshops, and storytelling sessions. Over three camps on the site (November 2014, March and June 2015), artists Darren Bell, Karla Dickens, Steven Russell, Kristine Stewart, and Leanne Tobin will come together with the community, local artists, academics and historians towards three intended outcomes: the creation of a website as a keeping place for personal stories and histories about the site, creative direction and innovative solutions for future permanent usage of the site, and the creation of new temporary public artworks to be unveiled at the third camp in June 2015. LOCATION: Blacktown Native Institution, corner Rooty Hill Rd North and Richmond Rd, Oakhurst. Parking available on site. Bus 757 stops on Rooty Hill Rd North. Free shuttle on Sun 22 March from Mount Druitt and Blacktown stations (5-7pm) PUBLIC ACTIVITIES Artist Talk with Karla Dickens: ‘The Power of Art in Place’Sun 22 March, 3–4pm (RSVP essential) Hear from acclaimed artist Karla Dickens as she discusses how history, gender and Aboriginal culture have inspired her work.Learn to weave with the Jungah WeaversSun 22 March, 4–6pmLearn traditional Aboriginal weaving with artists and master weavers Kristine Stewart and Steven Russell. Materials provided. Drop-in session. All experience levels welcome. Genext: Madang Gurrung NgurraSun 22 March, 5–7pm (free event, all ages, BBQ provided)Featuring MajikHoney (X-Factor) and Soul Benefits. An evening of music and art-making led by MCA’s Genext team, giving young creatives the freedom to discuss, explore and make art. BOOKING / ENQUIRIES:  Blacktown Arts Centre – Ph 02 9839 6558 – E: About C3West: C3West (for Community, Contemporary Art and Commerce) creates situations for artists to work strategically with business and non-arts government organisations, with a focus on Western Sydney.  Project Partners: This specific project is a collaboration between Blacktown Arts Centre on behalf of Blacktown City Council, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and UrbanGrowth NSW. Our media partners are Gadigal Information Service & Koori Radio. Announcing Major Exhibition by Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry 2015-03-06T05:16:44Z announcing-major-exhibition-by-turner-prize-winner-grayson-perry Announcing major Grayson Perry exhibition at the MCA 10 December 2015 – 1 May 2016 The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) has announced today that it will stage a major exhibition of works by Grayson Perry, one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists and winner of the 2003 Turner Prize. Presented as part of the 2015-2016 Sydney International Art Series, this Sydney-exclusive exhibition will be Perry’s first major survey in the Southern hemisphere. With a keen eye for detail and a love of the popular and vernacular, Grayson Perry is known for his ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries. An astute chronicler of contemporary life, he infuses his artworks with a sly humour and reflection on society past and present. Various themes are explored through Perry’s multi-faceted practice including the history of taste and social class in Britain, religious and folk iconography, and representations of gender and sexuality. Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said that: ‘Grayson Perry is one of best known British artists of his generation. With his strong commitment to audiences and his media presence, Grayson’s appeal extends beyond the art world. It is exciting to be welcoming him and his work to Sydney for the first time in the region.’ The artist’s highly decorated ceramic pots in particular reveal a panoply of imagery ranging from the highly personal to the political, their subjects including his own childhood and family, the art world, Biblical stories, the Royal family, and images of warfare and sexual fantasy. Embellished with photographic transfers, graffito drawing and text, they draw viewers in with their unique combination of pathos and wit. Perry’s transvestism and feminine alter ego Claire – described by the artist as ‘a central plank of [his] creative drive’ – emerges through his practice as a recurring visual motif. A contemporary of the YBA (Young British Artists) generation, he has forged a distinctive career that sits apart from the cooler theoretical approach of some of his peers, favouring a more flamboyant, accessible aesthetic that blurs the division of high art and popular culture. Curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, the exhibition will introduce the full spectrum of Grayson Perry’s practice from the late 1980s to the present.  It encompasses a diverse and comprehensive selection of the artist’s ceramic works, sculptures in iron and bronze, prints and drawings, and his ambitious, large-scale tapestries including the fifteen-metre Walthamstow Tapestry (2009) and the six-part tapestry cycle The Vanity of Small Differences (2012), created by Perry alongside his acclaimed Channel 4 television series In the Best Possible Taste. The exhibition is contextualised by a selection of photographs and costumes, as well as sketch books and video documentation. Grayson Perry will be present for the opening events, delivering a keynote lecture to introduce his exhibition. The Sydney International Art Series brings the world’s most outstanding exhibitions exclusively to Sydney, Australia. Created by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the Sydney International Art Series is a signature event on the NSW Events Calendar. Tickets on sale in winter 2015. ABOUT THE ARTIST Grayson Perry held his first solo exhibition in Britain in 1984 and has exhibited his works internationally since the early 1990s. He was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 2003, and in 2011 combined his own works with historical artefacts from the British Museum collection in Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman. He has made numerous television appearances, hosting his own Channel 4 series In the Best Possible Taste – Grayson Perry in 2012, then Grayson Perry: Who Are You? in late 2014, along with his solo exhibition on the theme of portraiture and British identity at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2013 he delivered The Reith Lectures, BBC Radio 4’s annual flagship talk series by leading international thinkers, to widespread critical acclaim. Follow Grayson Perry on Twitter: @alan_measles