January 22 – May 19, 2013
February 1, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
In We Bury Our Own, leading contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist Christian Thompson (Bidjara) presents a new body of work that explores the spiritual repatriation of archival materials in the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford.
Repatriation is the act of returning something to its country or place of origin. While the physical repatriation of human remains, objects and photographs has been accepted as an important museum practice in recent years, many objects and images remain in the storage facilities of distant museums. Using historic images of Aboriginal people in the Pitt Rivers archive as his initial focus, Thompson invents a way for them to be repatriated spiritually. Christian ponders:
“this is what art is able to do, perform a ‘spiritual repatriation’ rather than a physical one, fragment the historical narrative and traverse time and place to establish a new realm in the cosmos, set something free, allow it to embody the past and be intrinsically connected to the present…”
Christian Thompson is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Art at the University of Oxford. His work is held in numerous public and private collections in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Victoria. His work was recently exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Aboriginal Art Museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is represented by Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi.
To see a video about We Bury Our Own, click here.
Note: This exhibition is temporarily closed as part of our art storage renovation and rehousing project. Please check back in early May to know when it will reopen!
August 28, 2012 – July 31, 2013
Contemporary art is defined as the art of our time. However, it is not simply the period of its manufacture that makes this art contemporary. Aboriginal artists use their art to express the issues that are relevant to their lives today. Therefore themes of identity, history and place dominate contemporary Aboriginal art.
Past Forward>>Contemporary Aboriginal Art includes works from the permanent collection by artists from many different cultures and walks of life. While some artists use stories from the ancestral past to express their identity and relationship to place, others focus on their own personal or family histories or on the experiences of post-colonialism within a larger global context.
experimental beds, an exhibition of six prints by Indigenous Australian artist Judy Watson (Waanyi), is on view at the South Gallery of the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture
of U.Va. through July 31, 2013.
Judy Watson visited the University of Virginia in October 2011 as an artist-in-residence at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village, Watson developed a set of etchings in collaboration with Professor Dean Dass and advanced printmaking students in U.Va.‘s print workshop. The resulting prints incorporate Jefferson’s drawings of the Rotunda and Pavilions along with Watson’s sketches of artifacts unearthed at Monticello’s Mulberry Row and vegetables grown in Jefferson’s “experimental beds.”
The project was co-published by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the artist and grahame galleries + editions in Brisbane.
The South Gallery is located on the first floor of the Harrison Institute/Special Collections Library on McCormick Road. Click here for the hours of the Harrison Institute.
On view in the lobby of the Fralin Museum of Art are two acrylic paintings by Kathleen Petyarre and Gloria Petyarre of Utopia, Northern Territory. A selection of seventeen objects, including sculpture, bark paintings and musical instruments are on display in the Fralin’s Object Study Gallery on the second floor.
Two textual artworks by Aboriginal artist Vernon Ah Kee are installed on U.Va. Grounds in the lobby of the International Residence College at U.Va. and at Brooks Hall Commons.