Journeys: through history, theory & practice

2011

Plimsoll Gallery
Centre for the Arts
Hunter Street, Hobart

Exhibition 29 July - 28 August 2011

Pat Brassington, Stephen Bush, Domenico de Clario, Julie Gough, Ian Howard, Donna Marcus, Brigita Ozolins, Julie Rrap, Guan Wei and Elizabeth Woods

Foreword: Paul Zika, Essays: Edward Colless, Jonathan Holmes, Ross Gibson and Brigita Ozolins
46 page catalogue: ISBN 978 1 86295 631 5

Journeys Invite

'Journeys' installation view 'Journeys' installation view 'Journeys' installation view 'Journeys' installation view 'Journeys' installation view


Download PDF: Journeys Catalogue


Introduction from Catalogue

Professor Jonathan Holmes formally retired this year after thirty-seven years of dedicated involvement at the Tasmanian School of Art. This exhibition, with its accompanying catalogue, celebrates his considerable contribution to the School, the University of Tasmania and the national visual arts community.

Jonathan Holmes commenced teaching at the Tasmanian School of Art in 1974, and was heavily involved in the School’s Gallery Committee from the beginning. In the formative years when the School was still on Mt. Nelson, he contributed directly to the exhibition program through a Fourth Year Theory unit which directed and mentored students in developing and realising curatorial projects. Through these projects the School established working relationships with a number of private commercial galleries around the country. The Gallery had also established itself as part of a national touring network. The early foundation of those established links with other public and private institutions has been pivotal in giving the gallery its ongoing kudos and ability to draw from a national pool. What commenced as a pragmatic extension of teaching practice – to provide students with a direct encounter with contemporary art practice – transformed into a series of major researched curatorial projects.

For Jonathan Holmes, curatorial projects have provided him with an alternative forum to develop a working praxis between history, theory and practice, as an adjunct to his teaching and the much broader discussion of the nexus between these three within a studio-based art school. At the Tasmanian School of Art it is an assumption that there is a symbiosis between these, and this is due in a very great degree to Jonathan’s advocacy; elsewhere it can be very different!

He has worked with a vast number of artists over this period on a broad range of curatorial projects. The full list is included within this catalogue.

The ten artists selected for this exhibition have all had some prior involvement with him and the School, either as participants in exhibitions, artists in residence, as colleagues or as students. Each represents a specific journey that weaves a particular personal interplay of history, theory and practice – a synthesis that Jonathan Holmes has espoused and advocated throughout his distinguished teaching, research and administrative career. I have also worked with each of these artists before, so I felt it not too presumptuous to ask each to write a backgrounding narrative rather than the usual artist’s statement. Hopefully, an anecdote that recounts or alludes to a eureka moment or epiphany will give great insight to their work.

Pat Brassington weaves her way through the uncanny and the psychological, deconstructing photo media in the process; Stephen Bush constructs narratives and deconstructs painting; Domenico de Clario keeps denying order while creating evermore elaborate interconnections; Julie Gough keeps running, but never in a straight line, searching for identity; Ian Howard interrogates the boundaries and endeavours to break the physical and mental barriers; Donna Marcus continually renews and refreshes the discarded domestic object; Brigita Ozolins traces and obsessively circles key texts in search of greater clarity; Julie Rrap constantly journeys through and around her own body [and feminism], forcing us to confront our own; Guan Wei moves his large body ever so delicately through a minefield of delicate porcelain incendiaries, and Elizabeth Woods manages to embed herself into a ‘foreign’ community, and facilitate a wonderful creative synthesis [but sometimes systems fail!].

I have collaborated with Jonathan on many gallery-based projects over the last thirty or more years. It has been an immensely rewarding and enlightening experience. It has been a flexible partnership, but one in which I have tended to concentrate on the works and their installation, and left the articulation of the theory to him. I have again called upon the assistance of a few other essayists – Ross Gibson, Edward Colless and Brigita Ozolins – to add their individual narratives to the overlay of history, theory and practice in a discussion of the visual arts, and lend their support in marking Jonathan’s remarkable achievement with this catalogue publication and the accompanying exhibition.

Paul Zika - Curator