TarraWarra Biennial 2018
The sixth iteration of the TarraWarra Biennial, subtitled From Will to Form and curated by Emily Cormack (3 August to 6 November 2018), “counters our current socio-political context of conservatism and restraint. It is a place for overflow and expression and offers open space for errant, abhorrent and productive energies that drive human activity.” TarraWarra, it is important to remember, was the first privately funded, significant public visual arts museum and now operates as a not-for-profit institution. The Biennial fits perfectly the museum’s remit to display Australian art from the second half of the 20th century to the present day.
To that end, the TarraWarra Biennial 2018 features a strong list of young, established and Indigenous artists drawn from all over the country: Belle Bassin, Naomi Eller, artists from Erub Arts (Torres Strait), Starlie Geikie, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Julie Gough, Lindy Lee, Bridie Lunney, John Meade, Sanné Mestrom, Alison Murray, Michelle Nikou, Kusum Normoyle, Michael Snape, Hiromi Tango, Fairy Turner, Justine Varga and Isadora Vaughan. Highlights include 19 new commissions, performance events and works that refigure the spaces of TarraWarra itself, including Bidjara artist Dale Harding’s site-specific wall painting on the renowned 45-metre vista wall as well as new work from Vicki Couzens, Claire Lambe, Michelle Ussher, and Rob McLeish among many others.
Fresh out of his hole in the ground in Hobart, Mike Parr will be generating a major new durational performance work entitled Whistle White, which explores the materialisation of human will through the gesture of the whistle; a performer whistles continuously for as long as they are able, after which time another performer takes over, “in an endless cycling rhythm of breath”.
Some artists see ‘will’ as drawn from a relationship to ‘country’ and earth; for others it is located in the depths of the psyche, while other works highlight the role of the body as both a conduit and concealer of wilful forces.