Eric Nash, Director, Benalla Art Gallery
With works spanning three centuries, the Benalla Art Gallery Collection invites consideration and appreciation of both the natural and cultivated Australian landscape.
The Collection provides an insight into the infinite potential of the landscape. From the sparing and ominous rural setting depicted in Charles Blackman’s Landscape, Avonsleigh; to Lorna Chick’s Wooleen from a helicopter – inviting our bodies and spirits to soar; to William Robinson’s enveloping, shifting, mesmerising depiction of the untouched Mount Tamborine; we begin to understand the limitless diversity of the landscape itself, of how we may connect and engage with it, and how artists have chosen to depict it.
The exhibition In and of this place, conceived and curated by the incredibly talented Jessica Clark, pairs key works from the Benalla Art Gallery Collection with an outstanding array of contemporary works by Aboriginal artists. Through these deliberate pairings, Clark further explores the “varying perspectives and representations of Country”, deftly drawing out connections between the respective pairings, and the exhibition as whole, to consider notions of time and place, body and spirit, and the interconnectedness of all things.
Benalla Art Gallery is honoured to have been invited to participate in NETS Victoria’s 50/50 exhibition series, and thanks NETS Victoria and the project’s funders, Creative Victoria, for this rare opportunity.
Most pertinently, Benalla Art Gallery thanks the exhibition’s Curator, Jessica Clark, and all of the participating artists for so skilfully contributing their creative energies, and thus enabling us to perceive both the Benalla Art Collection, and our surrounds, anew.