Emergent 2021, is an inaugural local emerging Artists exhibition at Artsite Galleries curated by Guest Curator Sarah Rose, a recent graduate from the Masters of Curating and Cultural Leadership at UNSW Art & Design.
Through an open invitation, local, emerging and mid-career artists were invited to submit artworks for consideration, with the only criteria being that the works be recently made and represent the artist’s practice. "Democratic in its approach, this process allowed for artists from a wide range of abilities, ages, backgrounds, and artistic styles to apply and have equal opportunity, something not often seen in the private gallery sector." says Sarah Rose.
The exhibition identifies, promotes, and celebrates the creative practices of artists living and working in Sydney, specifically in the geographic Inner West, which is home to a higher-than-average percentage of artists and creatives.
Emergent 2021 was conceived to offer support to a new generation of Australian visual artists, providing emerging and unrepresented artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work to the wider and local community, network with other artists, and engage in professional development. Excitingly, the artists come from all different stages in their careers, from high-school students to those who have enjoyed making for a long time.
Reflecting the diverse manner of contemporary art practice, the works curated into this exhibition explore a broad range of material engagement and subject matter, oscillating between abstract to figurative depictions, serious to playful tones, experimental to traditional methodologies, and lo-fidelity to refined aesthetics. Exploring themes of urban and natural landscapes, form and materiality, imagined and real worlds, dialogues and personas, and political, cultural and social contexts.
The exhibition features a range of mediums including: painting, drawing, printmaking, analogue photography, mixed media and fibre-based works. The inclusion of works that have been digitally illustrated reflects the pull towards technological integration into contemporary drawing/making.
Curator Sarah Rose said the exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the broader Sydney community, collectors, art buyers, and art lovers to see recent works by talented artists at an important stage of their careers.
'Although each artwork is disparate to one another with seemingly no palpable link, the exhibition as a whole navigates the breadth and depth of Sydney-based artists, surveying the diversity of contemporary art practice and the differing genres that emerging artists are currently working with today,' Rose said.
'There is an exciting range of contemporary artists on show, some displaying incredible technical skill and refinement, others bold in their experimentation and pushing of the medium. Some of my highlights include the intricate and moody large-scale lithographs by Jacqui Driver, the larger-than-usual analogue photography by Isobel Markus-Dunworth made in the dark room, and the whimsical, soft and seemingly performative landscape paintings of Katya Petetskaya. These are only a few of the talented artists on exhibition...'
The exhibition was opened on 7th February 2021 by special guest Darcy Byrne, the Mayor of Inner West Council.
Artists include: Alannah Grasso | Annabelle McEwen | Beatrichce Buckland-Willis | Callum Agnew | Catriona Maciver | Charlie Komsic | Charlotte Fetherston | Chelsea Fuentes | Douglas Schofield | Eliza Gwynne | Ethan Lowe | Hayley Zena | Isabella Feek | Isobel Markus-Dunworth | Jacqui Driver | Jade Bull | Jennifer Brady | Jessica Callen | Kate Francis | Katya Petetskaya | Kosta Giitsidis | Lawrence McDonell | Lucy Bird | Michelle Henry | Millie Mitchell | Mira Nurdianti | Monika Cvitanovic Zaper | Olivia Arnold | Pamela Black | Phoebe Price | Rachel Carroll | Randal Arvilla | Rebecca O’Shea | Renee Henzell | Ria Lim | Tanya Hong | Taylor Steel | Tilda Mae Clarke | Valentina Schulte | Victor Okolakpa.
In her exhibition essay, New Contemporaries: dance along the fringes*, guest curator Sarah Rose, refers to Professor John H. Holland’s description of emergence as ‘much coming from little’**, where simple individual actions interact to create something much more complex. In this way, each act of art-making is a moment of emergence both for that artwork and for the artist themselves.
‘Emergent 2021 is a celebration of the vast and diverse talents of forty Sydney-based artists in the early stages of their careers. Underpinned by the parallels and contrasts in artistic approaches, Emergent 2021, explores the dynamic and versatile manner of contemporary arts practice and the interdisciplinary nature of emerging artists. Through a wide range of conceptual and material engagements, the exhibition oscillates between abstract to figurative depictions, serious to playful tones, experimental to traditional methodologies, and lo-fidelity to refined aesthetics. The commonality between the exhibited artists is their geographic connection to Sydney, specifically those living and working in the Inner West... However, beyond this underlying connection, certain themes have become evident across the many artistic practices displayed. These include explorations of urban and natural landscapes; form, materiality and mark-making; imagined, real and observed worlds; time, memories and transformation; and political, cultural and social navigations.’ ~ Sarah Rose 2021.*
‘Emerging artists are intrinsically linked to our cultural future,’ notes Artsite’s Director and Artist, Madeleine Tuckfield-Carrano. ‘To protect and improve the diversity of that future, Emergent 2021 is an exhibition that provides a new generation of talented visual artists the opportunity to exhibit their work to the local and wider art community.’
**Holland, John H. Emergence: From Chaos to Order, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
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