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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Real Worlds of eight contemporary Australian artists

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Helen Wright’s drawings depict teetering piles of industrial detritus, symbolising cautionary tales
against egocentric hubris and the defiance of nature.

Real Worlds presents new work by eight contemporary Australian artists at the Lismore Regional Gallery as part of the fourth Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial on its national tour from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Nathan Hawkes’ lyrical pastel drawings are a poetic evocation of feeling in visual form, recalling
fairy tales or dreams, with a richly muddled and compressed quality that suggests time is
simultaneous and knowledge is fugitive.

The exhibition is supported by the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, and the exhibition presents new work by eight contemporary Australian artists who ‘create astonishing new worlds in drawings of great complexity and invention’.

‘Real Worlds brings together the work of eight artists who seek to interpret and comprehend the world through subjective reinvention via drawing. For some, it is grounded in a deep connection to place or country. For others, it is a reinvention that springs forth from imagination and the subconscious, inflected by subjective experience and rich with narrative suggestion,’ said exhibition curator and Art Gallery of NSW curator of Australian art, Anne Ryan.

The work of Peter Mungkuri, a senior Yankunytjatjara man from Indulkana in the Anangu
Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia, is firmly grounded in his knowledge of
country. Mungkuri’s lyrical ink and wash drawings depict different species of trees and emphasise
the symbolic importance of trees for Anangu culture.

Real Worlds features drawings by Martin Bell, Matt Coyle, Nathan Hawkes, Danie Mellor, Peter Mungkuri, Becc Ország, Jack Stahel and Helen Wright.

‘The immediacy and intimacy of drawing is particularly attuned to the urgency of our times, and the work of each of these artists reflects the human capacity to imagine something better, or different,’ said Ms Ryan.

‘The real world can be reckoned with, be re-seen, be understood anew, as we face its mercurial challenges. While conceived before the wild year of 2020, and created both before and during it, the drawings of Real Worlds speak with urgency and directness to where we are now.’

The exhibition will run at the Lismore Regional Gallery until 25 April.

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