LONDON.- Australian art is often associated with the landscape, a looming and defining presence in the Australian psyche. The works presented in Australia: Contemporary Voices dont so much provide an alternative narrative, as highlight the numerous narratives that contribute to the complex, urban, immigrant and sophisticated society that is Australia.
This exhibition aims to show the quality, originality and diversity of work currently being produced in Australia, informed certainly by international ideas but often provincial in the best sense of the word - protected, quirky and speaking with its own voice.
Australia: Contemporary Voices presents work in a variety of media. Sculptors include Alexander Seton and Julia de Ville. Works on paper will be shown by Kim Buck and Maria Kontos alongside paintings by Sam Leach, Michael Zavros and Del Kathryn Barton. Adrienne Doig works with tapestry and Janet Laurence and Joan Ross use a variety of new media.
Archibald Prize winners include Del Kathryn Barton (2013) and Sam Leach. Leach is also a recipient of the Wynne Prize. Sean Cordeiro and Clare Healy represented Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
Geoffrey Cassidy, Guest Curator of Australia: Contemporary Voices, explains his objectives and exhibition focus: The idea is to throw a spotlight on the best of Australian contemporary art. Australian art last had its moment in the sun in the UK in the sixties and seventies, when artists such as Arthur Boyd, Sydney Nolan and Brett Whitely had numerous successful shows at a time when artists had to be here to be noticed. Australia still sits on the periphery of the international art world, both geographically and conceptually. With the Royal Academy of Arts staging it's landmark show Australia this September, the time is right to refocus on the exceptional artistic talent emerging from Australia - and showing a side to Australian art that international observers have not seen - work that shows a breadth of influences as wide as, but not including, the wide brown land."