Hours of operation

Hell is Other People
Ciaran Begley and James Nguyen

2 August -
31 August 2019

Gertrude Glasshouse

44 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood VIC 3066

Opening: Thursday 1 August, 6-8pm

Ciaran Begley and James Nguyen presented some current outcomes from an ongoing dialogue. 

Hell is Other People was a collaboration that utilises the Nissen Hut - a ubiquitous example of military flatpack design - to process personal histories affected by successive policies of confinement that continues to define the Australian project.

Visualising the interminable hell of Jean-Paul Satre’s No Exit, the Nissen Hut, as a set-piece with convict sandstock footings temporarily repeats the structural cycles of violence, incarceration, internment, and detention enforced on 'Other People'.
James Nguyen is an Asian-passing visual artist who has dabbled with painting, documentary filmmaking, and conceptual art. Born in the highlands of Vietnam on a coffee plantation, Nguyen arrived in Australia under the family reunification program. Nguyen completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga before pivoting to the arts and completing a BFA at the National Art School and an MFA at Sydney University. Currently, a PhD candidate at UNSW, Nguyen has previously shown at West Space and Next Wave Festival. James Nguyen is a current Gertrude Studio Artist (2018-2020).

Ciaran Begley is a Pakeha artist who straddles the spheres of conceptual art, engineering and science. With a strongly installational practice, Begley’s work has a tendency towards found objects, architectural intervention and light. Born in Hawaii, Begley’s family emigrated to Aotearoa in the wake of the nuclear era. Begley grew up in Wellington and completed a BFA in Christchurch in 1999. Begley has since set up galleries on the Commonwealth isles of New Zealand and Britain, as well as Our Neon Foe in Sydney, Australia. After completing an MFA at Sydney University in 2016, Begley has since moved to Melbourne retracing his mother's steps to settle in the same neighbourhood where she was born. 

Additional funding for this project was provided by a City of Yarra Small Project grant.

The 2019 Gertrude Glasshouse exhibition program is generously supported by The City of Yarra.


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Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm