Still in progress...PhD student artworks at Deakin Art Gallery

Media release
21 April 2016
Mix tapes, tattoos, and life-size selfies are among the cutting-edge works by PhD students in the School of Communication and Creative Arts on show at the Deakin University Art Gallery until 27 May.

Mix tapes, tattoos, and life-size selfies are among the cutting-edge works by PhD students in the School of Communication and Creative Arts on show at the Deakin University Art Gallery until 27 May.

The Still in progress… exhibition highlights the next generation of artists using old and new artistic mediums to push the envelope aesthetically and conceptually.

Professor David Cross, Head of Art and Performance in the School of Communication and Creative Arts, explained that the artists and PhD students seek to find a balance between taking risks and scholarly investigation.

“This juggling act of making and reflecting is hugely challenging with an assortment of different skills required to ensure great work is produced that opens up a new knowledge in the area while in the process, challenging existing orthodoxies,” Professor Cross said.

“This is a complex juggling act for sure, but in learning to sharpen the focus of artistic investigation to a distinctly unique area – their own area – while building a complementary depth of knowledge, the artists in this exhibition highlight the value of undertaking doctoral-level study.”

For Melbourne-based artist Alison Bennett, whose ‘Wrap’ series of photographs features in the exhibition, her
PhD is an opportunity to consider the shifting presence of surface in digital photography.

"For me, creative practice is a form of research. It is a process of considering unresolved questions, of creating new knowledge, reconsidering patterns of considering and interrogating experience,” Alison explained.

“The limits of the emergent ecology for digital images is still relatively untested and there is significant scope for rethinking cultural paradigms. Images and cultural artefacts are also an expression of thought that have impact on the wider culture."

Bennett's practice could be characterised as 'post-internet art'. Her work exists as both fine art physical prints and digital artefacts. These works collapse the distinction of the outdated conception of the so-called 'real' and 'virtual'.

The Wrap series exists as both small photographic prints taken on a mobile phone and posted online as part of an Instagram series and an online interactive version.

This means that different aspects of ‘Wrap’ can be viewed at the exhibition and online, with online viewers able to move aspects of the image and make the image their own.

“The online version is particularly effective on a touch screen such as a smart-phone where the viewer actually strokes the image on the screen in order to rotate the object and zoom with a pinching motion,” Alison explained.

Still in progress… features works by Sandra Minchin-Delohery, Todd Johnson, Kirsten Lyttle, Danielle McCarthy, Greg Penn, Ron Gallagher, Rachel Hanlon, Louise Morris, Ilona Jetmar, Alison Bennett, Keith MacDonald and Daniela Bertol.

Key Dates

Still in progress… exhibition at Deakin University Art Gallery

Dates: 13 April – 27 May
Location: Deakin University Art Gallery, Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. By appointment on Monday for groups over 10.
Cost: Free entry

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