Another Day in Paradise is a major exhibition of works by Myuran Sukumaran. It presents the significant body of work he produced while incarcerated in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison, Denpasar and during the final 72 hours of his life spent on Nusa Kambangan Island. For Myuran, painting was a means of communicating with the world and a redemptive practice. He produced work prolifically under unimaginable and extraordinary circumstances, leaving an artistic legacy that speaks to the power of art to heal, and proving that people can change.
The five new Australian commissioned artworks are explorations of Myuran’s life and practice, the nature of incarceration and the death penalty. They respond to and build on the powerful paintings Myuran produced during his short career, and speak to justice systems in Australia and globally.
Another Day in Paradise invites us to consider how art has the power to provoke change and how justice could be sought if, rather than punishment and penalty; human rights and rehabilitation were at its core. This exhibition is on display until 16 September.
The Paul Guest Prize, now in its eight year, is a major national prize for drawing. The Prize was initiated by former Family Court Judge and Olympic rower, the Honourable Paul Guest QC and encourages artists from across Australia to engage with the important medium of drawing in contemporary art practice.
This year’s winner is Laith McGregor for his work This old island. Judge Roger Butler, eminent curator from the National Gallery of Australia, said of the drawing: ‘This is an enigmatic work – simply pencil on paper. At a distance you see two eyes and a nose in a gigantic face that dominates the image. But as you get closer a Pacific Island scene appears. A man with net, huts, palm trees and mountains. The face disappears altogether – it is not overlaid on the drawing at all but it is formed by the blank unworked areas. It is not there, but always there.’ The Paul Guest Prize is on display until 9 September.
In its final weeks, New Histories, is an exhibition which challenges us to consider the historical record, and in particular the history of western art. Ten contemporary artists reimagine historic works from the 19th and early 20th century Australian and European collection of Bendigo Art Gallery. Informed by technological, social, environmental, political and historical events that have occurred since the original work’s creation, artists in the exhibition revisit interpretations of Australian and European histories through the lens of contemporary culture.
Working across mediums of performance, sound, film, painting and textiles, historic and contemporary artworks will be reframed in a series of installations throughout the contemporary and heritage courts of the Gallery. New Histories challenges the nature of art as historic record and the role of the artist as documenter, and commentator of the world. New Histories concludes on Sunday 28 July.