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Still Life

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Still Life

3 Jun 2022 – 6 Nov 2022

In Still Life, imagination and empirical observation unite in contemplation of life’s interconnectedness. Exquisite drawings and models from the University of Melbourne’s Herbarium collection represent artistic and scientific traditions in which natural organisms are depicted in isolation from their environment. These teaching tools contrast with contemporary artworks by eleven artists that celebrate the complexities of nature, emphasising interdependence and shifting states of being.   

Focusing on symbiotic relationships and interspecies entanglements, these artworks consider the underground mycelial networks that connect forests, the giant termite mounds that provide a home for mutualistic communities, and the microorganisms that inhabit human bodies and are integral to our existence. 

Many of the artworks in Still Life take as their starting point representational strategies from the natural sciences, such as botanical illustration, macro photography, specimen collection and field recordings. In the artists’ hands these methodologies move beyond the observable world into a realm of fantasy, symbolism and abstraction.  

Suggesting that understandings of the natural environment are constrained by the limitations of human perception, including a mistaken assumption about our centrality to the natural order, the artists in Still Life propose that sustainable co-existence requires new patterns of seeing, thinking and living. 

Featuring: Mikala Dwyer, Nicholas Mangan, Angelica Mesiti, Clare Milledge, Vera Möller, James Morrison, Isadora Vaughan, Jahnne Pasco-White, Adele Wilkes, Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley.

Curated by Jacqueline Doughty 

Large format labels and a sensory map are available for this exhibition via the gallery's website here: buxtoncontemporary.com/exhibitions/still-life/


Image: Installation view, Still Life at Buxton Contemporary

Gallery Details

Buxton Contemporary
Corner Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street
Southbank VIC 3006
E: buxton-contemporary@unimelb.edu.au
W: buxtoncontemporary.com

Opening Hours
11am-5pm, Wednesday-Sunday.
Closed Monday and Tuesday.

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Gallery Info

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.