Sunday, February 03, 2008

Aussie Art in 08

Published in What's On and Expat, 3 Feburary 2008

The 26th of January is Australia’s national day and in the Land Down Under it is celebrated with flag raisings, citizenship ceremonies and a wide range of sporting events. To mark the occasion here in the Philippines, the Australian Embassy organized “Celebrate Australia 2008”, a series of music and film events and an art exhibition that showcase the diversity that is the Land of Oz.

To start the ball rolling, the Australian Ambassador, H.E. Tony Hely, Australian art curator Zara Stanhope and Secretary Alfonso T Yuchengco opened the art exhibition “The World in Painting” at the Yuchengco museum on the Wednesday evening before the big day. This exhibition is a diverse grouping of contemporary Australian art.

Featuring the work of eight Australian artists from a variety of visual disciplines it is a taste of the current Aussie art scene. There are the contemporary renderings of traditional dot paintings by Boxer Milner Tjampitjin and Nancy Napanangka that speak in an indigenous tongue about country and its mythologies. Which contrast with the naïve style western mythologies of James Morrison’s paintings and the modernist interiors of Gordon Bennett, aka John Citizen. Then there are the abstract works of Egyptian born Raafat Ishak’s in which he investigates the realms of home and citizen and the small scale geometric works of Diena Georgetti. Amanda Davies’ paintings that explore the everyday context of health care and Elizabeth Newman’s conceptual wall hangings that question what is a painting complete “The World in Painting’.

The exhibition continues at the Yuchengco Museum at the RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue until the 13th February. Other events that Celebrated Australia 2008 included a selection of movies by expat directors Peter Weir, Fred Schepisi and Bruce Beresford amongst others at the University of the Philippines Film Institute and the energetic music of Tetrafide Percussion at the Greenbelt and The Mall of Asia.

More information about these events can be obtained from the Public Affairs section at the Australian Embassy,

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