Artspace's 52 ACTIONS begins national tour at Penrith Regional Gallery

Published by: Artspace | 18-Aug-2022
Artspace's celebrated digital commissioning project 52 ACTIONS is launching as a nationwide exhibition tour that will travel across Australia over the next three years.
Date: 27 August – 27 November, 2022
Time: Monday – Sunday 10am – 4pm
Ticket: Free
Call: 02 9356 0555
Artspace’s acclaimed 52 ACTIONS will commence its national tour at Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest, on Saturday 27 August 2022, featuring works from 52 Australian artists and collectives from each state and territory, focusing on the importance of art as action.

The exhibition has evolved from Artspace’s online commissioning platform of the same name, which from 2020 to 2021 presented new works each week by the 52 participants on Artspace’s website and standalone Instagram @52artists52actions. 52 ACTIONS highlights critical ideas including discrimination, climate justice, mapping migration stories and the unceded sovereignty of First Peoples.

As part of Penrith Regional Gallery’s presentation of 52 ACTIONS, participating artists Eddie Abd, Brook Andrew, Diego Bonetto, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan and James Tylor have been invited to revisit their projects and present newly commissioned works. 52 ACTIONS: Made in Penrith, sees these artists engaging with and responding to cues from the local community, context as well as the Gallery’s collection.

In Ancher House, Brook Andrew will present works from his Hope and Peace series against the backdrop of one of the artist's iconic wall-paintings. Andrew has a longstanding relationship with Penrith, having lived in nearby Blackett and attended Cambridge High School. The Hope and Peace series creates new cultural and political narratives through the recontextualising of archival images, as well as English and Wiradjuri language.

Chun Yin Rainbow Chan is a producer, vocalist and interdisciplinary artist of Hong Kong-Chinese descent, living in Sydney. Her practice engages with ideas of mistranslation, diaspora and the effects of globalisation on contemporary society. For 52 ACTIONS: Made in Penrith, Chan has been invited to produce an audio description of the heritage garden, originally designed by the artist Margo Lewers. Chan will establish a temporary studio in Lewers House to source field recordings directly from the garden and apply several compositional strategies to create a sound artwork.

Eddie Abd creates works grounded in her lived experience while responding to concerns from the social to the political and religious. Her video and digital print works often feature self-referential composite characters inhabiting remixed spaces and engaging in heightened acts of identity performance. Abd's recommission will see her undertake a series of workshops at Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School. Through play and performance, Abd will facilitate opportunities for the students to find their own ways to develop ideas around self-identity, agency and belonging. The student's work will be presented alongside Abd's 52 ACTIONS artwork during the final weeks of the exhibition in Lewers House.

Diego Bonetto's work examines alternative forms of food consumption and wild food gathering as a way for people to cultivate relationships with their own neighbourhood and to find value, knowledge and empathy in their surroundings. Bonetto uses wild weeds as a sustainable food source and point of reflection, teasing out migrant knowledge related to the plants, and with that connects global stories with the naturalised species around us. Bonetto will conduct a series of wild edible foraging workshops in the Gallery's historic gardens.

James Tylor is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose practice explores Australian environment, culture and social history. His mediums include photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, sound, scents and food. As part of Tylor’s recommission, the artist will create a series of planter boxes profiling native edible plants, herbs or fruits that are found across both the Gadigal Basin and Kaurna Country. These will be accompanied by text, photography and collectable recipe cards. In collaboration with Café at Lewers, a selection of these recipes will be featured as special items during the Open Day, Saturday 27 August.

Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor said:

The first of our border closures in 2020 prompted many in the cultural space to adapt and further integrate digital commissioning into our programming. 52 ACTIONS provided a timely model to continue to support artists during this difficult time and we commissioned 52 new works by artists from across urban and remote regional Australia. Now as we begin to move and reconnect, 52 ACTIONS can adapt again and shift from the digital to the physical, taking these works to audiences around the country. We are delighted to commence the tour at Penrith Regional Gallery and work with our colleagues there on a new touring model grounded in collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Penrith Regional Gallery Director Toby Chapman said:

As we welcome our community back to site, Penrith Regional Gallery is thrilled to be hosting the first iteration of 52 ACTIONS in its physical manifestation. At the time of commissioning, 52 ACTIONS was a dynamic and vital mechanism for supporting artists, and we are delighted to be able to continue to do so, by re-engaging and commissioning new iterations of works by leading Australian artists specifically for our audiences. 52 Actions: Made in Penrith invites leading artists from across Australia to bring their insights and perspectives to share with the people of Penrith, in dynamic and participatory ways. We are excited to work closely with the Artspace team on this exhibition.

52 ACTIONS presents the diversity, complexity and dynamism of contemporary Australian art.

With participating artists: Eddie Abd, Abdul Abdullah, Adrift Lab, Brook Andrew, Aphids, Hayley Millar Baker, Archie Barry, Nathan Beard, Naomi Blacklock, Diego Bonetto, Pat Brassington, Johnathon World Peace Bush, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan, Erin Coates, Michael Cook, Nici Cumpston, Pilar Mata Dupont, Léuli Eshrāghi, Ruha Fifita, Jian Guo, Rochelle Haley, Tyza Hart, Henri Papin (Meijers & Walsh), Larissa Hjorth, Naomi Hobson, Jannawi Dance Clan, Karrabing Film Collective, Gillian Kayrooz, Loren Kronemyer, Adam Linder, Dani Marti, TV Moore, Raquel Ormella, Ozanam Learning Centre, Jason Phu, Patricia Piccinini, Kenny Pittock, Lill Colgan & Sab D’Souza, Yhonnie Scarce, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Rolande Souliere, Stelarc, Shahmen Suku, Seini F Taumoepeau, James Tylor, Unbound Collective, Ivey Wawn, Kaylene Whiskey, Min Wong, Chris Yee, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu, Louise Zhang

52 ACTIONS National Tour, as part of Penrith Regional Gallery’s Spring Suite, which also includes 52 ACTIONS: Made in Penrith and From the Collection: Brook Andrew, is on at Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest, from Saturday 27 August – Sunday 27 November 2022.

52 ACTIONS was curated by Artspace, Sydney. The exhibition is touring nationally with Artspace, Sydney, with support from Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Visions of Australia program and is proudly funded by the NSW Government through Create NSW; the City of Sydney; and the Copyright Agency. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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