04.04.2020 – 24.05.2020

Amrita Hepi

Opening | Friday 3 April, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 4 April – 24 May 2020

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.

04.04.2020 – 24.05.2020

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

Opening | Friday 3 April, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 4 April – 24 May 2020

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 a 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 genuinely of her work. Middle Eastern historical and cultural comparatives provide surprising amount of relativity and perspective into contemporary Australian culture as experienced by the artist.

06.06.2020 – 26.07.2020

Octopus 20: Future Anterior
Brook Andrews, Penny Byrne, Juan Davila, Marco Fusinato, Eugenia Lim and Paul Yore
Curated by Nik Papas

Opening | Friday 5 June, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 6 June - 26 July 2020

Initiated in 2001, the Octopus series of exhibitions supports ambitious curatorial practice, through engaging an invited curator annually to develop a project that draws upon their research interests and provides a platform for new forms of exhibition making. In 2020 Gertrude is delighted to be working with Nik Papas. Incorporating installation, sculpture, textiles, paintings, and performances, Octopus 20: Future Anterior is a major exhibition showcasing the relationship of artists to political engagement, through a focus on issues of sovereignty, security, and Australian border control.

This insight into the works of Australian artists takes as its starting point a key series of paintings, silkscreens, and works on paper by Juan Davila. Covering a span of nearly twenty years, this series of artworks speak of the desperation and hopelessness experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in Australian detention centres. Artists Brook Andrews, Penny Byrne, Marco Fusinato, Eugenia Lim and Paul Yore also explore how such events are made to register in the name of national security and public order. Taken together, these artists draw from personal or inherited experiences to provoke questions about the present social order and to reimagine artistic practice as a vehicle of protest, cultural activism, and advocacy. Future Anterior also includes films by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra, whose practice offers testimony to the physical, phenomenal, and experiential facets of migrant politics, border control, and the detention of refugees.

Image Credit | Marco Fusinato, The Infinitive 3, 2015, white uv halftone ink on black aluminium

08.08.2020 – 20.09.2020

Lines In The Sand: Recent Art From Israel and Palestine
Yossi Atia and Itamar Rose (Israel), Emad Burnat (Palestine) and Guy David (Israel), Nira Pereg (Israel), and Larissa Sansour (Palestine)
Curated By Mark Feary

Opening | Friday 7 August, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 8 August - 20 September 2020

Featured artists: Yossi Atia and Itamar Rose (Israel); Emad Burnat (Palestine) and Guy David (Israel), Nira Pereg (Israel), and Larissa Sansour (Palestine)

Lines in the Sand brings into focus a selection of artists from or working in one of the most contested regions in the world to reflect upon ideas of sovereignty, disputed territories, political and religious division, individual agency and strategies for collaboration. The project seeks to give equal voice to both sides of the territorial divide to consider border politics and power relationships in this region, and their global reverberations. Drawing on Gertrude’s Artistic Director, Mark Feary’s, recent research trip to Israel and Palestine coordinated by New York-based organisation Artis, this exhibition brings into focus practices emanating from the region, with particular emphasis on artists looking at shared spaces and possibilities for collaboration. Presented as an exhibition removed from the region, Lines in the Sand considers what a pathway towards peace and a two-state solution might look like.

Image Credit | Yossi Atia and Itamar Rose, The Jewish Arab State, 2007, single-channel video

03.10.2020 – 08.11.2020

River Capital Commission 2020:
Natalie Thomas

Opening | Friday 2 October, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 3 October - 8 November 2020

Initiated in 2019, the River Capital Commission is a new initiative developed in partnership with private equity firm River Capital. The Commission provides significant production funding for a solo artist (or collaborative) to present an expansive exhibition across all of the gallery spaces at Gertrude. Following the inaugural River Capital Commission by Sydney-based artists Consuelo Cavaniglia and Brendan Van Hek in 2019, Melbourne-based artist Natalie Thomas has been invited to develop the River Capital Commission 2020. Thomas has been active since the late 1990s, working for a decade with collaborator Ali Sanderson as Nat and Ali, and later as part of the collective DAMP, before focusing on a solo artistic practice. In recent years Thomas has been included in a number of important institutional exhibitions including The National, Carriageworks, Sydney, 2019; Unfinished Business, ACCA, Melbourne, 2018; and The Financial Report, Artspace, Sydney, 2013.

The River Capital Commission will be Thomas’ most significant solo exhibition to date and will bring into focus her unique interrogation of the Australian institutional landscape. Often incorporating humour and with a basis in extensive research, Thomas holds the art world to account with particular emphasis on the historical and present marginalisation of female artists.

Image Credit | Natalie Thomas, Postcard from the Edge, 2019, HD video, MDF, fan p


21.11.2020 – 20.12.2020

Gertrude Studios 2020
Kay Abude, Hoda Afshar, Darcey Bella Arnold, Andrew Atchison, Justin Balmain, Georgia Banks, Catherine Bell, Sarah Brasier and Matthew Harris, Ann Debono, Narelle Desmond, Mikala Dwyer, Sam Geroge and Lisa Radford, Joseph L. Griffiths, Amrita Hepi, James Nguyen and Jason Phu.

Opening | Friday 20 November, 6-8pm
Exhibition Dates | 21 November - 20 December 2020

Gertrude Contemporary concludes the year with its annual Gertrude Studios exhibition, a mainstay of the exhibition program since the 1990s, presenting new and recent works and projects being produced within the 16 studios of the organisation. The exhibition enables a collective snapshot of the practices supported within the program, offering the opportunity to experience a broad diversity of works from leading arts practitioners in Melbourne.

The Gertrude Studios exhibition is one of the most anticipated components in the annual exhibition program, bringing to the fore the practices of the 16 artists active in the Gertrude Studio Program. Each of the artists contribute a new or recent work, directly connecting the activities of the studios with the public galleries of the organisation. The Gertrude Studios exhibition serves as a zeitgeist for experimental practices developing in Melbourne and presents an ever-expanding diversity of contemporary practices.

Image Credit: Gertrude Studios 2019 (installation view of works by Gerogia Banks, Mikala Dwyer, Joseph L. Griffiths and Isadora Vaughan and Sam George and Lisa Radford). Photo: Christo Crocker.