14 April 2010
Drawing the longest line from Australia to the Gulf
Dr Irene Barberis, curator of the current RMIT Gallery exhibition Contemporary Australian Drawings 1, will speak about “Drawing Australia – Drawing Across the Gulf: connections between Australia and the Gulf”.
Her half-hour talk at the Gallery on Thursday, 15 April, from noon will celebrate the drawing exhibition and provide parallels with her recent publication Across the Gulf: 25 Gulf Artists for the ARC Biennale, Brisbane.
“My talk ‘draws the longest line’: from the well-established artists of the Australian continent, to the Emirate artists who enjoy the globe’s most incredible luxuries, to the young artist who needs to pretend madness in order to practise her art,” Dr Barberis said.
“In the transdisciplinary world we live in, what is the difference between our ‘home made’ works and the works ‘made at home’ in the Arabian Gulf?”
Dr Barberis will also provide insights into the situation of the contemporary artists of Tibet, which she recently visited for her research.
“People draw; it is something everyone does in some form or other from a very early age. The line connects all artists; each makes their mark in their own way, but it is the making of those marks that define an artist,” Dr Barberis said.
The exhibition Contemporary Australian Drawings 1 brings together 35 of the 75 Australian artists who are featured in the forthcoming publication, Contemporary Australian Drawing, Volume 1, by Dr Janet McKenzie for Metasenta Pty Ltd.
Dr McKenzie wrote the original Macmillan publication on Australian drawing in 1986, in which many of the current exhibiting artists were featured. These include such well known artists as Pam Hallendal, Bill Kelly, Godwin Bradbeer, Jan Senbergs and John Woolsley.
“The integrity of the artist’s practice and drawing is significant, with some artists work remaining close to the forms and enquiry over nearly 25 years and others moving their language to incorporate newest technologies,” Dr Barberis said.
Dr Barberis is the Director of the International Research Hub – Metasenta Pty Ltd, which interlinks universities around the world, and operates out of RMIT University, Hong Kong and University of the Arts London. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Art at RMIT.