In the Yarra Ranges, one of the state’s most spectacular contemporary art galleries is hosting new work from dozens of Australian artists. TarraWarra Museum of Art’s sixth biennial consists of 23 individual artists and one group, addressing the act of creating art itself, from will (the idea and the drive to create) to form (the tangible work, through sculpture, painting, performance and film).
Mike Parr’s works are a highlight. A few weeks ago, Parr directed a group holding a single tone for hours in a live whistling performance, captured on video in the piece White Time. It’s gentler than Parr’s more well-known works, for which he pushes his body to extremes – such as the time he buried himself under a road in Hobart for three days – but is offset by Black Milk of Morning, a video piece in which Parr vomits milk profusely, the footage inverted, appearing like a negative, so the vomit appears black.
Sculptural artist Claire Lambe’s work is a tapestry paying homage to painter Francis Bacon, who was known for his daring, grotesque and raw imagery. Michelle Ussher pays tribute to three generations of women in her family, recalling motherhood and sexuality using crochet and earthenware sculpture.
Some of the most engaging pieces nod to their own moments of creation. Lindy Lee created the petite bronze sculptures of Neither Choice, Nor Chance by flinging molten bronze at the ground. Experimental visual artist Belle Bassin carried earth in from the gallery’s grounds, arranging it indoors and describing it as “energetically charged by mystics”.
The exhibition will come to life on October 20 for a day of performance. Will to Form: Activated, will involve works in the process of being created – or evolving into new forms.
Bridie Lunney’s brass and gold sculptures will be serenaded at by a live vocalist. Sydney-based musician and audio artist Kusum Normoyle will perform a new work, Solid (Loud) Matter. Normoyle previously performed a vocal and saxophone piece in the rugged wilds of Norway, but this live work has been composed for the Yarra Ranges.
TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form is at TarraWarra Museum of Art until November 6.