February 2 – February 25

Corporeal : the presence and absence
Corporeal : the presence and absence presents a selection of tangible works with intangible qualities. Showcasing mediums spanning from installation and documentation to video, photographic, and sound, this exhibition aims to unfold the seen and unseen areas of matter.

Artists: Andriana Craney, Angela Garrick, Elwira Titan, Hayley Rose Hill, Jack Godfrey-Baxter, Kenneth Mitchell, Lauren Lennon, Mariia Zhuchenko, Nina Dodd, Sam Spragg, Sara Morawetz, Stephen Burstow, Thomas Cole and Benedict Anderson.

Curated by : Helen Waller and Chloé Hazelwood with the Verge Gallery Committee.

March 1 – April 1

Gallery 1 // Lucas Davidson :: Frame of Mind
Frame of Mind is a new site-specific video installation that uses light, mirror and sound to form a complex spatial reconfiguration of the screen. The 16:9 format of the screen has been reduced to a white moving image that projects through the gallery space onto a series of suspended mirrors. The mirrors respond to the slightest movements in the gallery, reflecting back abstract light forms that circumnavigate the walls, bleeding onto the floor, ceiling and internal space of the gallery making every surface including the viewers body a screen.

Gallery 2 // Lisa Sammut :: tapestries for galaxies
tapestries for galaxies is concerned with the knowledge of a distant cosmic reality – so present in imagination yet far removed from the grasp of our immediate senses. A panoramic constellation of celestial structures and handmade prop-like objects, the installation presents a speculative new cosmography, where the historical practice of diagrammatical illustrations of an interconnected universal whole takes material form. Drawing on relations rather that representations, tapestries for galaxies looks to the likeness, alignments, chemistry and mimesis between objects as a relational tool for embodying a sense of expansion. While questioning the tendency for automatic and singular perspectives, this exhibition expands on the artists’ current interest in the emergence of a social, cultural and philosophical cosmic anxiety, where the astronomic, ecologic and geologic spheres can be understood as a condition of our time.

April 6 – April 29

Gallery 1 // Leyla Stevens, Bridie Gillman, Alfira O’Sullivan, Kartika Suharto-Martin , Ida Lawrence and Mashara Wachjudy :: Woven
Woven is an exhibition and performance event that ties together the practices of six female Australian artists who each have personal connections to Indonesia. These connections exist through the artists having an Indonesian parent, being immersed in the culture and living part of their childhood in the archipelago, and living there more recently. The artists’ works explore the complexities of history, identity, memory and cross-cultural understanding – on both personal and national levels – and span installation, performance, painting, collage, photography, video and sculpture.

Gallery 2 // Shireen Taweel :: Translated Roots
Translated Roots conveys aspects of ‘traditional’ identity through the acknowledgment of early Australian settlers from the greater Muslim community, highlighting the complexity of change through the sense of transience for those who migrate to sow their roots within a new context of a greater global community. Mushallah formed by hand from sheet copper partakes in a cross-cultural discourse, while its sense of the arcane and shifted structure opens dialogue between shared histories and communities of fluid identities.

This project was assisted by a grant from Arts NSW, an agency of the New South Wales Government and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

May 4 – May 27

Koji Ryui, Huseyin Sami & Brendan Van Hek :: Unlimited Support
Unlimited Support is an artist led project that uses the formal qualities of installation, painting and sculptural work to look at what constitutes a support and what its function may be. Each artist employ supports in their work in diverse and distinctive ways and in this exhibition they propose to explore points of connection and difference in how they think through the potential of engaging with supports. A support is an interesting formal element to consider – it is a component that serves a practical function, that has aesthetic value, and that has played a decisive role in shaping contemporary art practices. If we look at the development of conceptual art, we find the support at the centre of sites of contestation, as evident in the work of Robert Ryman for example, who challenged the physical constructs of the gallery to question the authority of the institution. Similarly Richard Tuttle committed acts of transgression by either disregarding or redefining support structures to again question the institution and expand the understanding of what an artwork could be.

June 1 – June 24

Gallery 1 // Harriet Body :: Onward
Onward presents a series of paintings that document the artist’s creative body in action. Through a methodology of mark-making, experimentation with raw and hand-made materials and an investigation into ideas of growth and process, Onward examines how a painting can contain the artist’s body, and imbue a sense of the movement of the body through time. Stemming from an interest in Body Art, Onward looks to the idea that the artist’s body can be utilized as an artwork. With this in mind, Onward, seeks to establish the painting as a record of the artist’s body in motion.

Gallery 2 // Marlaina Read and Kate Clark :: The Song of Sibyl
The Song of Sibyl is a collaborative and experimental sound and video adaptation of the Gregorian chant of the same name, about a prophetess and the apocalypse. The song originates from ancient Grecian myths of the Sibyls, female oracles who took divine inspiration and prophesied at holy sites, appearing in European Christian spiritual traditions in the 10th century, due to the similarity to the biblical concept of the final judgment. The music incorporates traditions of Gregorian chant, troubadour poetry, and Catalan ritual. Read’s work presents a haunting, improvised soundscape composed by Kate Clark and played on the organetto—a small portative organ of medieval design. This instrument has bellows that are controlled by hand, allowing the instrument to take ‘breaths’. With this, the tuning of the pipes can be manipulated, creating micro tunings and heavy beating sounds that can be both heard and felt. Through this process the lyrics are ‘played’ rather than sung, thus oracle is given ‘voice’ through altered pitch and temperament of the instrument and is reminiscent of ships horns.

July 6 – July 29

Siân McIntyre (Curator) :: Portraits of Men

Portraits of Men begins with paintings and objects from the University of Sydney Union art collection, The University of Sydney art collection and the University of Sydney image archive. These portraits of men – which represent a large proportion of portraits in the collections – adorn key spaces across the university, namely in The Great Hall, where graduate ceremonies are held. Rarely seen in mass outside this formal university context, the presentation of these portraits at Verge Gallery aims to create a space for questions of power, patriarchy and practices of portraiture and collection. Portraits by contemporary artists Vincent Namatjira, Cherine Fahd, Abdul Abdullah, Joan Ross and Shannon Field slice through the formal portraits, presenting alternate histories and stories. These artists examine what portraiture can mean in a contemporary landscape, resisting dominant narratives, providing personal and political portraits of men.

August 3 – August 26

Gallery 1 // Rebekah Raymond (Curator) :: Down the Barrel: Indigenous Resistance
Down the Barrel: Indigenous Resistance traces the history of Aboriginal protest in and around Sydney from the 1970s to today. The exhibition explores the work by Elaine Pelot Syron, a non-Indigenous documentary photographer who has dedicated herself over the last four and a half decades to the chronicling of Indigenous stories. This solo exhibition of Syron’s photographs bring to light many shots never publicly exhibited. These images are important documents of Aboriginal Australian history, and their viewing is timely in our current political climate. As a non-Indigenous ally, Syron has used and continues to use her lens; not her voice, to support Aboriginal peoples. Her photographs capture the passion and fury of protests and are firm reminders of the struggles fought by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This exhibition will take the viewer on a march through the decades finding themselves amongst some of the most pivotal Aboriginal activists, marching on familiar Sydney streets and rallying at recognisable locations such as NSW Parliament House. The protests of yesterday will remind you of those taking place today.

Gallery 2 // Consuelo Cavaniglia (Curator) :: all matter has a past
all matter has a past is an exhibition that centres on the idea of encounters – between a person and a site, an idea and a form, a material and a force. The artists Penny Coss (Perth), Sean O’Connell (Sydney), and Clare Peake (Broome) share an interest in the idea of transference and exchange. In their work, encounters between forces or entities are either orchestrated or observed and within them the artists find connections to place, personal histories, and to formal enquiries of material and form. From across the country, across professional generations and disciplines, the work of the three artists is brought together in a first time encounter to stimulate a conversation and to find conceptual and aesthetic connections. In the gallery the work takes form as sculpture, installation, painting and moving image, and the exhibition looks to use the movable gallery walls to re-format the space for the work to come together as a fluid exchange.

September 7 – September 30

Miriam Kelly (Curator) :: Can’t touch this
Can’t Touch This brings together the work of ten contemporary Australian artists who articulately and subversively re-orient the language of textiles to address concerns of identity, gender and sexuality to colonisation and cultural constructs and power in contemporary Australia.

Artists: Carla Adams (WA), Troy-Anthony Baylis (SA), Christine Dean (NSW), Chantal Fraser (QLD), Kate Just (VIC), Mumu Mike Williams (APY/SA), Claudia Nicholson (NSW), Raquel Ormella (ACT/NSW), and Marlene Rubuntja (NT), and Paul Yore (VIC).

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

October 5 – 14

USU Creative Awards
A shortlist of works from the USU Creative Awards and showcase featuring works from Sydney College of the Arts students will be exhibited at Verge Gallery during Verge Festival.

October 19 – 28

Gallery 1 // Anna Dunnill curated by Rachel Ciesla :: To pierce, to puncture
To pierce, to puncture is a solo exhibition of work by Anna Dunnill focusing on the transformation of the self in relation to the ritual. Incorporating practices of tattoo and embroidery, both of which involve a repeated act of puncturing the skin and surface, Anna will enact new rituals for a queer spiritual becoming.

Gallery 2 // David Borg, Dominic Sargent, and Augusta Vinall Richardson curated by Nicholas Kleindienst :: Turtle Dove
Some exhibition strategies can be obstructive in their desire for clean lines and didactic logic. The exhibition Turtle Dove, organised by artist Nicholas Kleindienst, argues for such obstructive ambiguities, for confusing displayed object with display support. Some works are shown for the public, the rest are also for the public, a future public. Presenting the works of artists David Borg, Dominic Sargent and Augusta Vinall Richardson, Turtle Dove considers the politics of images, revealing potentials for the destabilisation and conflation of display models that exist within documentation.

November 2 – November 25

Gallery 1 // Amira Hajar, Christine Dean, Del Lumanta, Harry Pickering, Jeremy Anderson, Joe Brennan, Jonno Revanche, Katherine Corcoran, Leila el Rayes, Leena Riethmuller, Peter Waples Crowe, Shareeka Helaluddin, Tarik Ahlip, and Tyza Stewart. Coordinated by Nina Dodd and Jonno Revanche :: To the inclusion of all others
To the inclusion of all others uses the postal survey on marriage equality as an entrance point for reflection and invites artists to consider queer community beyond traditional rituals and behaviours, sparking conversation around the celestiality and potency of sexuality, gender, local history and social commentary. Remixing and reconsidering these norms, artists will reference ceremonies, trinkets, sentimental items and other subtleties as a way to mediate on the ways we sustain each other in the wake of danger and delegitimisation.

Gallery 2 // Lachlan Anthony :: Geometric Asylum

Geometric Asylum will present a series of sculpture and installation works that explore relationships between space, power and control. Hostile architectures, deterrent physical forms and automated kinetic systems will impose limitations on viewer movement to reflect upon incidence of human exclusion, spatial inequity and psychological violence manifesting in the built environment.