Thursday, December 1, 2011

*invading the space*

Space Invaders, National Gallery of Australia Touring Exhibition in Dubbo NSW till March 2012

It's funny how some things collide. 
'Collide' you say? What do mean...

Well... let me start with my time in Dubbo.
Already you have seen the lovely home I stayed in while I was away....and which I have now dubbed 'The Western plains weatherboard!' It was blue, it was big and it belonged to Caroline and Josh, a couple who generously invited me to come and visit.  Their move to Dubbo was instigated by a fantastic job opportuntiy for Caroline at Dubbo Regional Gallery, a gallery which has just experienced the most beautiful face lift that I have seen in a very long time! A reno so beautiful that I had to keep reminding myself of where I was.  I felt like I was in a major city centre. 

It is now a brilliant big space that can now play host a huge array of shows, by local and national artists'. And in the few days that I was there the staff were installing 'Space Invaders', a touring exhibition of Contemporary Australian Street art that was acquired and curated by The National Gallery of Australia. 

Phibs creating an amazing mural in two days! And let me tell you it was a scorchingly hot weekend...
Hard labour indeed!

Space Invaders, drawn entirely from The NGA permanent collection, surveys the last 10 years in Australian street art. Featuring 150 works by over 40 artists',  the show is a massive assemblage of different materials, textures, ideas and politics. 

Starting its journey at the end of 2010 in Canberra, Space Invaders finishes its tour in Dubbo, serving as a shock therapy for the bush in all things city... and in all things street.

I had heard alot about this show from my good friend who works at The NGA as she had been bunny hopping around the country with the crates for the past two years. So I was lucky to be able to see it here... and meet a few of the artists involved such as Phibs + Jumbo who flew into town to complete two murals for the show... (images above+below)

Jumbo creating his mural on the other side of the wall to Phibs.

It was really interesting to be there for the opening too and gauge the local reaction to an exhibition that was something 'different'  for the Dubbo community. And I think they really loved it. 
Caroline as photographer, at the opening of Space Invaders on the Friday night...
The amazing curator Kent, giving great 'Jazz Hands' while delivering his speech at the opening...
Stickers, paste up and a view of Ghostpatrol and Miso in the back ground...

Now... back to explaining the way things collide at the same time. 
In this exhibition of Contemporary Australian Street art I was able to see some beautiful artworks by some Australian artists that I have spoken to you about many moons ago... artists' such as Ghostpatrol + Miso who have taken off in the last few years. 
Ghostpatrol Paste ups...

It is amazing how far they have grown in the last five years or so.... I remember being introduced to Ghostpatrol a few years back, when I saw his work in a group exhibition in Canberra. And now he is showing a collection of beautiful paste up drawings in a major touring exhibition, while simultaneously being seen on a Melbourne inner city laneway.  

All of the artists' in this show have started to take their stickers, paste ups,graffiti works, stencils and aerosol murals off the laneway brick walls in Melbourne + Sydney, and place them in a new world .... the white walls of major galleries. And audiences are starting to see their art in a whole new light.

Educating new audiences in regional places such as Dubbo is just the next step.

Kent standing next to the painting 'X-ray man-machine pointing a ray gun at the amphibians 2010'
by Jumbo + and Zap

But while this show was a bit of a new sensation for Dubbo, back home in Sydney there was an even bigger event taking place that featured all these exhibiting artists...and more... 

It was called Outpost, and it was a huge new Street art festival at Cockatoo Island.  A couple of days ago I took myself on a ferry to see this amazing show... and boy... was it HUGE!! 

And in a funny way it brought me straight back here... to The Space Invaders it all started to collide...! 

Everything right here...  right now... is pointing to this urban scene. From the street, to the regional gallery, and now to Cockatoo Island.... it is all turning to graffiti for its colour, its vitality and its humour! 
And you know what?
Im kinda liking it!

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