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March 5, 2021

Sydney Biennale comes to Lismore

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Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s exhibition No Human Being is Illegal (in all our glory). Photo supplied
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s exhibition No Human Being is Illegal (in all our glory). Photo supplied

Lismore Regional Gallery is getting set to celebrate its final year in the Molesworth Street space that has been home for 61 years, ahead of its impending move to the Lismore Quadrangle next year.

Gallery director Brett Adlington says that, while the move has been long hoped for and highly anticipated, there is an air of nostalgia about the final exhibitions about to be mounted in the old space.

‘Given the huge year we have in front of us overseeing the new development, there have been a few minor changes to the program,’ he said, adding the gallery has, ‘again strived to [present] a diversity of projects.’

Kicking off this year’s crop of 10 exhibitions is one that was a highlight of the 2014 Sydney Biennale: Deborah Kelly’s No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory).

Kelly collaborated with some 70 people to create artworks consisting of photographic portraits enhanced by collage.

Author and art commentator Tania Leimbach describes Kelly as ‘both a sensitive and a politically staunch person.

‘She has been making art that upends comfortable notions of white Australia, unpacking gender and media representations and exploring elusive questions of community, for many years,’ Leimbach wrote in an article for The Conversation.

‘Deborah is first and foremost a collage artist. A collector and re-combiner of images, she re-presents the world in surprising ways.’

Kelly is an ardent collector and haunts op shops garage sales and recycle centres to find that special something to add interest to her works.

‘Refreshing as a low-tech art form, in Kelly’s hands collage engages the imagination and destabilises the media universe,’ Leimbach writes.

No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory) opens on 6 February at the Lismore Regional Gallery, Molesworth Street, Lismore. It runs in conjunction with The Voyage, and exhibition by Bangalow artist Hilary Herman.

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