The light fades but the gods remain is a major exhibition showcasing two key series by Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most eminent artists, exploring the suburb of Glen Waverley where he grew up.
In celebration of MGA’s 25th anniversary, Bill Henson was commissioned to revisit the suburb of his childhood, Glen Waverley, and to produce a new body of work that reflects upon his earlier series Untitled 1985-86, known by many as ‘the suburban series’. Both series of work will be exhibited in July 2019. This groundbreaking commission offers an unparalleled insight into one of Australia’s most revered artists, as he revisits the landscape of his childhood to explore the notion of home, intensifying the everyday to a point of dramatic revelation and romantic beauty.
Together, the two series, from the 1980s and today, offer insight into the notion of mortality, which Henson investigates through his inimitable lens. The initial series featured the burgeoning city of Glen Waverley, in sequences interspersed with portraits and ruminations on foreign lands. The new works, produced more than three decades later, comprise eleven photographs that are a deeply reflective and psychologically charged response to the suburb where Henson spent his childhood and adolescence. They explore universal themes of loss and mourning that touch us all. These new works will be seen for the first time at MGA in July.
Untitled 138 1985–86
from the series Untitled 1985–86
chromogenic print 106.0 x 86.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
courtesy of the artist, Tolarno Galleries (Melbourne) and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney)