Janet Fieldhouse: Body Ornaments

Janet Fieldhouse, Marriage Pendant, 2016.
January 27 – May 21, 2017

This exhibition of works by Indigenous Australian artist Janet Fieldhouse sits at the intersection between contemporary ceramic practice and the cultural traditions of the Torres Strait Islands. Fieldhouse’s “woven” ceramic practice is particularly inspired by historical and contemporary practices of Torres Strait women, such as the creation of mats, baskets, pendants and armbands. Other works created by Fieldhouse explore her desire to preserve designs from female rituals of scarification, where a woman’s skin is cut or burned to produce permanent markings in scar tissue rather than ink. While this is no longer practiced today, the designs retain their cultural significance, and it is these two-dimensional patterns that Fieldhouse transforms into her raku clay sculptures.

Fieldhouse lives in Cairns and studied ceramics at the Cairns Technical and Further Education College (TAFE) before continuing her studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. She currently works as an Art and Culture Teacher at the North Queensland TAFE. She has participated in twenty-seven group exhibitions since 2000, in addition to four solo exhibitions: Unseen (2005), Woven (2009), Journey (2011) and Mark and Memory (2014). Fieldhouse has won many accolades, including the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award – First Prize (2012) from the Shepparton Art Museum, the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award – Third Prize (2009) and First Prize (2007) from the Shepparton Art Museum, the Arts Queensland Backing Indigenous Arts Grant (2008) and the Ceramic Art and Perception and Ceramic Technical Award (2004) from the Australian National University School of Art.

Her exhibition and her residency, which will take place March 10 – April 9, 2017, are presented in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Vivien Anderson Gallery, and City Clay.

Art and Country

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Untitled, 1989.
Through Spring 2017

Art and Country is a diverse selection of works on canvas, paper and eucalyptus bark drawn from the Kluge-Ruhe’s permanent collection. The exhibition explores the range of ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists develop and maintain relationships with “country,” their homeland. Many artists represent features of the landscape to communicate their ongoing connection to their ancestral land and the Dreaming. Other artists raise awareness about the dispossession of country as a result of colonization or investigate the importance of story and personal memory. Throughout the exhibition visitors are invited to reflect upon their own connections to land and place.

Yarning History Outdoor Exhibition

July 9 – September 27, 2016

Yarning History is an outdoor yarn bombing exhibition that is installed on the trees surrounding the museum at its beautiful hilltop location on Pantops mountain. “Yarning” is Australian slang for telling a story. Highlighting significant dates from 40,000 BCE to the present, this exhibition is an opportunity to learn about Indigenous art and history. A collaboration of over seventy knitters, this exhibition is timed to coincide with NAIDOC Week (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee), a national week of celebration in Australia to commemorate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Click here to see the exhibition online.

Presented in partnership with the Embassy of Australia and the Needle Lady.

Kluge-Ruhe on Grounds


On view in the lobby of the Fralin Museum of Art is an acrylic painting by David Hall Tjangala. 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.

Kluge-Ruhe on Loan

Through September 2016

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection loans objects from our collection to esteemed institutions around the world. Currently we have 86 artworks on loan to Musee de la Civilisation in Quebec City, Canada for an exhibition of Aboriginal art titled Lifelines, which is on view through September 5, 2016. We also have five works on loan to Harvard Art Museums for the exhibition Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, on view through September 18, 2016.