Director, NETS Victoria
I hope you get this conjures up memories of postcards sent from faraway places. The title of this wonderful exhibition by Raquel Ormella is also a little bit tongue- in-cheek. The phrase plays on notions around the relationship between artist and viewer, particularly in regard to contemporary art. In the past, regional towns and galleries were seen as cultural wastelands and exciting and fresh art was believed to only come out of the cities. Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) proves this to be wrong through its unrelenting commitment to audience engagement and its challenging of its communities’ ideas about art.
NETS Victoria is thrilled to partner with SAM to present I hope you get this, which presents a major body of work by leading Australian artist Raquel Ormella. The team at SAM have a strong history of creating innovative exhibitions, programs and educational offerings that take art and ideas beyond the gallery walls. This tour builds upon the wonderful work they have done and shares their approach with the wider arts network.
I am a fan of SAM. This small team is doing big things, and this exhibition and program are no exception. Behind the scenes and in the lead-up to this tour, NETS Victoria and SAM have collaborated,
shared knowledge and supported one another to create I hope you get this. It is often what happens behind the gallery walls and in the lead-up that builds strength to a tour. Collaboration can at times be uncomfortable and there always needs to be give and take. However, by sharing and combining our knowledge, we can produce great things and take away many learnings.
The production of this exhibition has involved
many, from locations scattered throughout Australia. With an artist based in Canberra, exhibition management based in Melbourne and a curatorial team working from regional Victoria, the project’s success depends on collaboration and communication. SAM Director Rebecca Coates has written about Raquel Ormella’s use of Instagram within her practice. In a way, this was one of the communication tools through which the whole team was able to be kept up to date on how the works were progressing. It was as though we were visiting Ormella’s studio via our phones, an approach I’m sure we will continue throughout the tour and beyond.
I hope you get this was developed through NETS Victoria’s 2016 Exhibition Development Fund (EDF), which allowed an initial idea from SAM’s curatorial team to grow into a national tour. The EDF offers curators the opportunity to take the time to develop thought-provoking and risk-taking exhibitions.
This annual program, supported by Creative Victoria, is a unique offering by NETS Victoria and has proven to produce a series of fascinating and challenging exhibitions. We are so pleased to be able to work with the dedicated SAM team in order to share their vision with audiences in Shepparton and beyond.