exhibitions

AMRITA HEPI: MONUMENTAL
06.02.2021 – 28.03.2021

Monumental
Amrita Hepi

Exhibition Dates | 6 February – 28 March 2021
Gertrude Contemporary | 21-31 High Street, Preston South


Opening | Friday 5 February, 6-8pm
This is a free event, no booking required. However, capacity limits apply.
First in, best dressed.

Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell. All visitors will be required to register their details on arrival. See additional information on COVID-19 safety measures currently in place here.

 

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Monuments are dialectical. Central pillars that seep into the periphery. Like the horizon line they are steadfast informants of space - stable, grand, expansive and looming. Continuously being built, and yet continuously being rinsed out by retrospective, inertia and rain. 

Monumental is a new suite of works by Amrita Hepi that casts a central colonial figure within a continual sunrise... or is it a sunset? Through performance the monument is serenaded by sound and dance, then destroyed by paddles and cricket bats, and finally replaced by seven people. By creating a dreamscape of dance and demise, Hepi sets her sights on the historical archive of colonial monuments, making them bodily once more.

Monumental was made in January 2020; and kept alive in spirit, action, song and dance through a pandemic; while other monuments around the world began to fall and were decommissioned.

Amrita Hepi is an award-winning First Nations choreographer and dancer from Bundjulung (Aus) and Ngāpuhi (NZ) territories. Her mission as an artist is to push the barriers of intersectionality in form and make work that establishes multiple access points through allegory. Her practice at present is interested in forms of hybridity - especially those that arise under empire. An artist with a broad following and reach, her work has taken various forms (film, performance, sculpture, text, lecture, participatory installation), but always begins with the body as a point of archive, memory, dance and resistance.

This project was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts. 


 

LARA CHAMAS : THE ENTERANCE TO PARADISE LIES AT YOUR MOTHER'S HANDS
06.02.2021 – 28.03.2021

The entrance to Paradise lies at your mother’s hands
Lara Chamas

Exhibition Dates | 6 February – 28 March 2021
Gertrude Contemporary | 21-31 High Street, Preston South


Opening | Friday 5 February, 6-8pm
This is a free event, no booking required. However, capacity limits apply.
First in, best dressed.

Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell. All visitors will be required to register their details on arrival. See additional information on COVID-19 safety measures currently in place here.

 

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Derived from a quote from The Prophet Muhammad, the title of this exhibition strikes out feet and replaces it with hands. Hands allude to the mother’s agency, what she creates, gives, passes on, feeds you with, that’s where heaven lies. This exhibition focuses on the Matriarchs of the artists family lineage, their lives and stories, ultimately, shaping the artists own situation of herself in this timeline. Storytelling features the primary tool of knowledge sharing, passing down recipes, pain, memories.

This exhibition aims to tell a story, and each object flows on to another in a constellation. Featured are semiotic and semantic disruption of visual language and lexicon, splicing the two together to illustrate the ambivalence and juxtaposition between love and war, nurturing and violence, and nourishment and destruction of the body, so prevalent in the Middle East.


Lara Chamas is a first generation Australian-Lebanese artist, based in Melbourne. Her practice investigates topics of postcolonial and migrant narratives, specifically within the context of her cultural identity. Fleeing from civil war, her parents migrated to Australia, where she was born. Her practice explores this in relation to contemporary Australian and global society, and current political issues, such as; colonialism, refugees, racism, otherness, stigma, language, Islamophobia, terrorism and power relations within society. Currently completing a masters by research in fine art at Monash University, central to her research is the expansion on these notions in a more historical and anthropological sense. With discussing geopolitical issues, research and first-hand experience is important to the genuinity of her work. Middle Eastern historical and cultural comparatives provide a surprising amount of relativity and perspective into contemporary Australian culture as experienced
by the artist.

Lara Chamas' exhibition is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.


Image | Lara Chamas, Mumma Making Kibbah, 2020, video still. Courtesy of the artist.