RIVER CAPITAL COMMISSION 2020 | NATALIE THOMAS | STAGE FRIGHT
Gertrude Contemporary | 21-31 High Street, Preston South
Exhibition Dates | 26 November 2020 – 24 January 2021*
Open Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm or by appointment
Gertrude Contemporary will be closed 21 December – 6 January 2021
*subject to Victorian Government public health restrictions
Gertrude Contemporary is pleased to announce the second River Capital Commission, an annual commissioning initiative developed in partnership with and through the generous support of River Capital. This partnership enables Gertrude to work with leading artists to commission a major new project to be presented as a flagship exhibition withinour artistic program.
For the River Capital Commission 2020, Gertrude is honoured to be working with Melbourne-based artist Natalie Thomas to present Stage Fright. This exhibition will be the first solo artist project presented across all of the gallery spaces at Gertrude since the organisation relocated to Preston South in 2017.
Artistically active for over two decades, Natalie Thomas is a figure committed to producing, performing for and participating in art, attempting to broaden its dissemination, while casting acute scrutiny upon the artworld itself. Stage Fright takes cue from this particular moment in history, with all of the separately experienced anxieties determined by isolation, fear for our welfare and susceptibility to economic fragility. In its title, the exhibition acknowledges the amplified apprehension of the present moment and the near future. Yet it also signifies the apprehensive moment of the return, not merely for the artist, but for the spaces of art the world over, all tentatively resuming in an entirely reshaped reality.There is no business like show business, and now more than perhaps ever before, it is business as unusual.
Thomas maintains a diverse and independent practice that maintains storytelling as the basis of culture. Her work engages with the mass media and its role in how we see each other and the world. nat&ali (1999–2005) was a collaboration that riffed with riot grrrl strategies. nattysolo (one woman, one camera, no film) is an ongoing endurance performance project that manifests in equal measures as social pages and social archive, fusing gossip and innuendo with astute cultural criticism.
Selected solo exhibitions include: The Audition, Caves, Melbourne (2019); Finding the Field, True Estate, Melbourne (2019); Let’s Go Clubbing, Ankles, Sydney (2018); Project Space Life, West Space (2013); Yesterday’s News, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne and Canberra Contemporary Art Space (2012); For what it’s worth, Hell Gallery, Melbourne (2009); and Not only but also, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2004). Selected group exhibitions include: The National 2019, Carriageworks, Sydney; Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2017); The End of Time. The Beginning of Time, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2017); The Joke, Neon Parc and Bus Projects, Melbourne (2016); Deadpan, Goulburn Regional Gallery (2015); and The Financial Report, Artspace, Sydney (2013).
The River Capital Commission is an initiative developed in partnership with River Capital, a Melbourne-based investment firm with a commitment to investor andcommunity success.
Image | Natalie Thomas, Find better rich people, 2020, Acrylic on paper, 62 x 80 cm. Courtesy of the artist