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COMPELLING ARTISTIC EXAMINATION OF MALE VULNERABILITY IN NRL AT aMBUSH GALLERY KAMBRI!
Crying In The Leagues Club is a compelling artistic examination of male vulnerability in Australian sport from multidisciplinary artist, Samuel Leighton-Dore. In just his second solo exhibition, Samuel articulates the multi-dimensional and layered role the NRL plays in today’s society, with its unique blend of a traditional masculine power structure and emotional openness. It’s a realm where men are free to express feelings that – beyond the playing field and changerooms – would be looked upon by many as unusual, uncomfortable and unacceptable.
Featuring over 30 works spanning acrylic paintings, ceramics, animation, sound design and LED neon, Samuel presents a domain laden with both contradiction and camaraderie, and explores sport’s potential as a progressive platform for masculinity.
Ultimately positive in its considerations, Crying In The Leagues Club evokes a poignant sense of this colourful, fragile, complex world where men are emboldened to cry, hug, take pride in each other’s achievements and express admiration for their physical prowess.
Playful, immersive and thought provoking, it asks viewers to question why these intense displays of emotion are only socially acceptable when viewed as part of the shared cultural experience of sport.
As Samuel explains, “I see this as an opportunity to communicate issues of mounting urgency — domestic violence, mental illness, feelings of isolation and shame — in a way that doesn’t threaten or accuse, but rather invites.”
Curated and presented by aMBUSH Gallery, the exhibition’s unveiling is, appropriately, just a few days before the NRL Grand Final, when sports fever is at an all-time high.
Join the opening night celebrations for Crying In The Leagues Club on Thursday, 3 October from 6-9pm at aMBUSH Gallery (Cultural Centre Kambri, ANU Building 153, L2, Acton ACT). There’ll be music from Captain Earwax and drinks by Capital Brewing.
On Friday, 4 October, Samuel Leighton-Dore will be in the Gallery from 1:00-2:00pm to participate in an Artist Talk. This event is free of charge to the public.
The exhibition will then run until Sunday, 27 October, showing daily from 10am-6pm weekdays and 12pm-5pm on weekends. Admission is free and all artworks are for sale.
Visit www.ambushgallery.com for more information, and look for aMBUSH Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for exhibition updates.
About Samuel Leighton-Dore
Samuel Leighton-Dore is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based on the Gold Coast. With a keen interest in mental health and masculinity, Leighton-Dore writes for SBS Life and produces work spanning ceramics, LED neon, illustration, animation and painting. His book of illustrations, How To Be A Big Strong Man, was released through Smith Street Books and Simon and Schuster in August 2019. His first solo exhibition, Fragile Masculinity, Handle With Care, formed part of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. To quote Benjamin Law, his works are a “big-hearted, happily subversive, technicolour-hug”.
About ANU Kambri
Kambri at ANU is the new precinct hub of this world-leading university. Located in Australia's capital city, Canberra, their strong ties to the local area are reflected in the gifting of the name ‘Kambri’ by elders from the ACT’s four Indigenous communities. The Kambri precinct will be known as a hub for innovation and knowledge, while also providing a welcoming space for the greater Canberra community to gather. Facilities and services include; a multi-storey medical centre, 24-hour pool, and gymnasium; a culture and events building hosting theatre, concerts and functions; a unique laneway and lawn retail experience with dozens of independent food and beverage operators, plus abundant greenscapes where students, staff, families and city workers alike can relax, reflect and be inspired. Kambri’s year-round calendar of events and activations ensure it offers an engaging and eclectic environment, delivered with a village atmosphere.
About aMBUSH Gallery
aMBUSH Gallery – an initiative of Wiltshire + Dimas – is an award-winning art gallery, social enterprise and creative placemaking business that thrives on operating outside the parameters of a traditional gallery. They curate and produce arts and cultural activities both in Australia and overseas, with a program of site-specific, project-based art activations stemming from a unique fusion of philanthropic and commercial impulses that engage and entertain audiences, provide sustainable futures for artists, and establish a strong presence for their clients. Their newest exhibition space at the ANU’s new Kambri campus is a modern, world-class facility renowned for its focus on innovation and excellence. The intention for Kambri is to become an inclusive cultural space for local and international artists, and to bring together a diverse range of great artists, thinkers, and makers; an aim that fits perfectly with the aMBUSH Gallery ethos.
About Captain Earwax
Captain Earwax (a.k.a. Australian interdisciplinary artist Daniel O'Toole/EARS) crafts a rich kaleidoscope of aural landscapes with his unique brand of electronica. From a background in ’90s Boom Bap production and vinyl + hardware sampling, Earwax draws from a range of influences: folk, jazz, glitch, dub and hip hop all blending to build a broad global palette of instruments and textures.