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Nyctinasty
Hayley Millar Baker

Image: Hayley Millar Baker, Gunditjmara and Djabwurrung people, Nyctinasty, 2021, installation view, commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra for the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony with the support of Kerry Gardner AM and Andrew Myer AM, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding body, image courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery © the artist
Image: Hayley Millar Baker, Gunditjmara and Djabwurrung people, Nyctinasty, 2021, installation view, commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra for the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony with the support of Kerry Gardner AM and Andrew Myer AM, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding body, image courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery © the artist

11 February -
26 March 2023

Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street, Preston South

Gertrude is pleased to present Nyctinasty by Gunditjmara and Djabwurrung artist Hayley Millar Baker. Following its presentation at the National Gallery of Australia as part of the 4th National Indigenous Triennial: Ceremony exhibition in 2022, Gertrude Contemporary presents an iteration of Nyctinasty within the 2023 artistic program in Naarm Melbourne.

Representing the rhythmic movement of leaves or petals in higher plants in response to the onset of diurnal changes in light, Nyctinasty emblematically translates these crucial movements of self-preservation and survival to echo the ways humans face the delicate balance between the physical world and the spiritual realm. This ‘in-between’ – a space operating on multiple frequencies, where spirits linger and the mind and body shift into a state that tethers life, death and afterlife together as one – revealing the unbroken link of communication between the two. 

Nyctinasty centres female power and strength in reference to elements of the horror genre that is often focused on women’s psychosis. The female body is employed as a vessel to carry a present-day practice of magic and spirituality – descending from many millennia of spiritual practices. As the protagonist’s commanding character remains cognisant of her task, she carries herself meditatively through the all-too-well-known domestic space with confidence, acutely aware of her surroundings – physically and psychologically – openly and unafraid.

Artists

  • Hayley Millar Baker

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Gertrude Contemporary

Wurundjeri Country
21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

Wurundjeri Country
44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm