Bewilderness: Recent acquisitions
In the story of Australian art, landscape has held more territory than most. Described by art historian Simon Schama as ‘a work of the mind’, landscape is geography, history and nationhood entwined. It is an open space for dreams and arcadian desires, a domain for validating colonial ambition and a potential site for reconciliation.
Showcasing recent acquisitions in painting, photography and sculpture, this exhibition considers landscape as a form of representation deeply embedded in questions of identity and belonging. Is landscape an exhausted genre or can it express a new way of being, one that is reconciled with the past yet with a keen eye on our environmental future? And how can the work of First Nations artists help to connect us to Country? Among the exhibition’s featured works is Guido Maestri’s Return to Berkeley’s Creek, referencing a children’s storybook, in which the artist urges us to question the appearance of things and ultimately to ask ‘What am I?’