ArtsHub News: What regional galleries are showing in 2019

There is a vibrancy across our regional gallery network that encourages one to travel, while also extending the engagement of local audiences through exhibitions that are dynamic, thinking and relevant. ArtsHub has taken a scan across the calendar at this early point in the year, to see what is on the books.

We encourage all regional and metropolitan galleries to keep our readers up to date with their activities – one of the comments we most hear at ArtsHub is that it is so hard getting press coverage and visibility on what you are doing. Help us help you.


Bendigo Art Gallery offer another exclusive blockbuster in 2019, this time turning to the Royals. Tudors to Windsors (16 March – 14 July) traces the history of the British monarchy through the outstanding collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Spanning monarchs from the 17th century to the present, it examines the ways in which royal portraits were impacted by both the personalities of individual monarchs and wider historical change.

Later in the year, the gallery takes an aesthetic pendulum swing with the exhibition Slippage, which examines the collaborative practice of Australian born Chinese Vietnamese ceramicist and contemporary artists, Hwafern Quach and Phuong Ngo (18 April – 5 May). Consisting of 4,440 celadon glazed mooncakes cast from traditional hand-carved moulds sourced from North Vietnam, this work comments on China’s expansionism, and current position on and in the South China Sea. Overall Slippage, examines the cycles of history in conjunction with current geopolitical and economic discussions.

Queen Elizabeth I (The ‘Ditchley’ portrait) By Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, c.1592 © National Portrait Gallery, London

And in November, Bendigo Art Gallery will present the first edition of Going Solo: First Nations (November 2019 – February 2020, artist announced March) extending their popular annual program to provide a unique opportunity for a First Nations artist living and working in regional Victoria and working alongside the Gallery’s First Nations Curator.

William Delafield Cook A Haystack 1978 (detail), TarraWarra Museum of Art collection, Gift of Eva Besen and Marc Besen AO 2001

Closer to Melbourne, the TarraWarra Museum of Art kicks off the year with the first Victorian showing of Tracey Moffatt’s photographic series Body Remembers 2017 and video work Vigil 2017 from 57th Venice Biennale (23 March – 19 May). It will be shown with an exhibition curated by Anthony Fitzpatrick, Thought Patterns: Selected Works from the Collection, which takes its cue from a chart featured in the publication for Moffatt’s Biennale exhibition that outlines the intriguing constellation of influences, ideas, memories and phenomena, in the work of artists such as Russell Drysdale, Rosalie Gascoigne, Aida Tomescu, William Delafield Cook, Louise Hearman, Charles Blackman and others.

Katie West, muhlu garrwarn / cool time hot time 2017, installation view, VCA Graduate Exhibition, 2017. Photo: Lucia Rossi. Courtesy of the artist.

Also unveiled in March, Curator Anthony Fitzpatrick takes a serious look at the fibre practice of Indigenous artist Katie West with the exhibition Clearing (23 March – 19 May). The exhibition is comprised of floor to ceiling textile works, cushions and seating, all naturally dyed using plants collected from the local region, as well as key texts by Indigenous writers. This new multisensory installation has been commissioned by TarraWarra as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019.

Highlights for Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2019 include the phenomenal VR commission by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward: Terminus (9 November 2019 – 1 March 2020), which tours from the National Gallery of Australia, and earlier in the year the exhibition, An idea needing to be made: Contemporary Ceramics (27 July – 20 October)

Heide presents the solo exhibition of Melbourne artist, Danica Chappel Thickness of Time (until 24 February, pictured top), Curated by Sue Cramer. Chappell works in an observational and exploratory way to ‘abstract and re-interpret’ concepts of photography. She uses elements of collage and wet darkroom techniques to create non-figurative motifs, drawing upon and extending the photographic experiments of the early twentieth-century avant-garde. It is one of many solo exhibitions across the gallery landscape in 2019.

The 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (SMFACA) returns to Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) 22 June to 1 September, with the winner announced Friday, 21 June 2019. Six shortlisted artists will present their new bodies of work. For 2019 they are: Julie Bartholomew, Stephen Bird, Greg Daly, Lynda Draper, Juz Kitson, and Isadora Vaughan.

Paul Yore, Map, 2012, wool tapestry, 90 x 101cm, Wangaratta Art Gallery Collection, © the artist.

But before that descends on the gallery, Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms, questions the art / craft position through the work of 18 contemporary Australian artists who utilise craft based materialities with a political intent. Showing until 17 February, it will then tour regional Australia through NETS Victoria.

A highlight of the calendar is the exhibition Solid Light: Josef Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski, presented by McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (1 April – 14 July). The Polish-born Australian immigrant became pivotal in the development of Australian experimental and new media art, pioneering electronic art, he made innovations in computer and laser technology, including kinetics and sound, which he applied to visual art, music and theatre. He was the first artist in Australia to use television as an artistic medium, and arguably the first in the world to use lasers in a stage production. Solid Light will be the first major survey of his practice.

A partnership with Midsumma Festival sees two new exhibitions and an artist residency coming to Bundoora Homestead Art Centre in 2019. Pinkwashing is a striking new installation by Melbourne artist Richard Harding, transforming the entrance to the Homestead with large-scale vinyl images in vibrant pink. Juxtaposing images of celebration with archive footage of targeted attacks on people of difference, Pinkwashing examines the unique challenges that still confront LGBTIQA+ people. It is paired with Dapper, which examines the cultural stereotype of the Dapper Queer and the allure of the queer gaze. Both showing until 3 March.

For Geelong Gallery, it turns to the centenary of the influential Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture in 2019 with the exhibition Bauhaus centenary – Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack (23 February to 26 May), a student at the school before his detention and then deportation to Australia.

Another highlight for Geelong is the exhibition John Wolseley and Mulkun Wirrpanda: Molluscs / Maypal and the warming of the seas (30 March to 2 June 2019) curated around the 2016 gift of a ten-metre long, six panel panoramic watercolour The pearl fisher’s voyage from Ise Shima to Roebuck Bay, 1985–89, for a new immersive installation in which Wolseley and senior Yolgnu artist Mulkun Wirrpanda, extend their decade-long collaboration.

The gallery is also a recipient of the national touring exhibition, Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series (2 March to 26 May).

For more on this article, and to read about other regions, please visit ARTSHUB