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Ode to the ʻōʻō
Mikala Dwyer

18 June -
10 July 2021

Gertrude Glasshouse

44 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood

Mikala Dwyer in collaboration with composer James Hayes, present Ode to the ʻōʻō a sound and sculptural work in the Gertrude Glasshouse space. Carceral-like architectures of animal captivity are suggested through the use of sound. Expanding on the artist’s recent investigations into apparitions, the new body of work explored ideas of reanimation and extinction. Expanding on the show’s context, Dwyer describes: 

The ʻōʻō bird sang a last song to its mate in the 1980s. This sad song with no reply conjures many ghosts as extinctions rise and fall through the richly haunted deep time of this earth. Here I try to imagine a zoo for the supernatural populated by residues both avian and human. Electricity, colour, light, sound, magnetic fields, imprints on the ether as we dissolve into particles of memory or data. Trapped in our grid of reason, I imagine escape routes that can bend and dissolve bars, lines and geometries. Birds always remind me of escape, airborne into mesmerizing swarms guided by magnetic fields. Seeing things we have lost the ability to imagine.

Dwyer is a Sydney-born, Melbourne-based artist and studied sculpture and sound art at the Sydney College of the Arts, prior to postgraduate studies at College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Middlesex Polytechnic, London, and Berlin University of the Arts. In addition to their role as Associate Professor of Fine Arts at RMIT University, Dwyer is an established and respected contemporary practitioner working across sculpture, painting and performance. Dwyer’s work has been profiled with survey exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2017) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2015). Major solo presentations include Earthcraft, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre (2019), Goldene Bend’er, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2013), and Drawing Down the Moon, Institute of Modern Art (2012). Dwyer is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Hamish McKay, Wellington. 

Public Program

Artist Talk & Closing Event: Mikala Dwyer 

Artist TalkSaturday 10 July, 6amGertrude Glasshouse

Join Mikala Dwyer and Gertrude Artistic Director Mark Feary on 10 July, 4pm, as they discuss Mikala's new sound-based project at Gertrude Glashouse, Ode to the ʻōʻō.  Followed by a closing reception with the artist 5-7pm.

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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