SERENA GIOVANNA STEVENSON
Date: 01-May-2011 – 02-Jun-2013
Location: SALAMANCA ARTS CENTRE, DEVONPORT REGIONAL GALLERY, GOULBURN REGIONAL GALLERY, TAMWORTH REGIONAL GALLERY
There is a history of people from the larger centres of culture visiting islands to get away from it all to a place of respite, however for the people who live on islands, that is the place for coping with the everyday problems others wish to escape from.
The artistic and philosophical movement Romanticism tended toward representing the isolated individual struggling with internal conflicts against a backdrop of sublime wilderness. The isolation of the individual is highlighted and it provides the sense of longing that gives the romantic hero the desire to overcome their separation and unite with the thing they feel divided from. The separation of the island from the larger landmass sets it up as a site primed for a romantic experience of isolation followed by union. There is a tension that exists between academic notions and a popular understanding of the ‘romantic’. Dis-covery plays on this tension.
The project was initiated by Salamanca Arts Centre for the 2011 Ten Days on the Island festival and has been assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts, The Gordon Darling Fund and Hobart City Council.
CAST is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australia, State and Territory Governments and is assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.
Dis-covery presents an exhibition of artwork that broaches three ideas – island life, artistic romanticism and romantic ideas of islands and island culture.
The artists have all lived on islands and have made artwork that reveals how they have experienced something beyond the brief island experience of the tourist/visitor. The exhibition will present both new and existing artworks.
The curatorial premise for Dis-covery is that popular ideas of islands and island culture tend to romanticise them in ways that avoid reality in favour of satisfying superficial ideals. Islands are defined by their geographic isolation from larger landmasses and also, in most cases, by their separation from dominant centres of culture.