On Belonging(s) 2019, Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport

  • Amber Koroluk-Stephenson : Southern Reach, 2019, oil on canvasSouthern Reach 2019, oil on canvas, 112 x 154cm
  • Amber Koroluk-Stephenson : Black and White, 2019, oil on linenBlack and White 2019, oil on linen, (diptych) 45 x 90cm
  • Amber Koroluk-Stephenson : As Above, so Below, 2019, oil on linenAs Above, so Below 2019, oil on linen, 212 x 160cm (framed), double sided bifold diptych, internal panels; left, external panels; right
  • Amber Koroluk-Stephenson : On Belonging(s), 2019, Devonport Regional Gallery, installation view, On Belonging(s) 2019, Devonport Regional Gallery, installation view

On Belonging(s), Curated by Erin Wilson

Alex Davern

Liam James

Amber Koroluk-Stephenson

Jessie Pangas

The artists in this exhibition On Belonging(s) explore different aspects of both notions of belonging and belongings. Jessie Pangas’ work is a quiet reflection on the nostalgic significance of the possessions that commonly surround us in the home, acting as repositories and holders of our memories and stories. Liam James positions the European vase as a receptacle signifying the possession and control of the invaded Australian landscape, while exploring this family collectable’s role in reconciling a sense of place in this landscape. Amber Koroluk-Stephenson explores the experience and tensions of migration, and the role of objects as signifiers of place and identity, whether maintaining connections to the past or aiding assimilation into new places and cultures. Finally, Alex Davern focuses on items that are acquired and consumed through our everyday lives, and the role the routines surrounding these objects play in developing our sense of identity and connection to place and to others.

Incongruous scenes blend images of landscape with modern and historical objects to explore tensions in the Australian landscape and ideas about place. The idyllic scenes merge European and Tasmanian objects and environments that do not really belong together in time or place.

Black and white swans allude to the swan’s Antipodean identity, but also to its status as a species that inhabits both northern and hemispheres in black and white forms. This crossing of hemispheres is aimed to capture possibilities of assimilation, adaption, identity and mythology, and to consider the Australian landscape as a shifting, shared environment.

These works invite reflection on how different meanings and histories can co-exist in the one place, but also on the illusory nature of painting itself and how it conceals certain meanings whilst revealing others.