Contemporary and dynamic, Watt Space operates in the University’s Newcastle City precinct in an award winning re-purposed civic building, Northumberland House. Its heritage facade opens to industrial style galleries within, designed by UON alumnus Andrew Donaldson.
Watt Space has acted as an inspirational cultural hub for our students and community for almost 30 years.
Curated by Matt Dickson and Deborah Sims.
Presented in support of the Newcastle Writers Festival 2020.
OPENING FRIDAY 3 APRIL FROM 5:30PM
TRUTH: THEN / NOW / EVERYWHEN emerged from a theoretical exhibition presented in the context of a submission to the editor at a prominent Australian art magazine, exploring ideas around truth-telling, brutality and the story of Australia’s past. On the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia in 1770, the exhibition presents artworks by contemporary Aboriginal artists whose works challenge both the way we approach and tell our history and the very notion of art itself.
In ways that are innovative, poetic and generous, these works transcend the stories of then and now, and instead inhabit the everywhen: an ever-present time that is constantly regenerated.
Sally Mulda, Abbott’s Camp 2016, acrylic on linen 125 x 200 cm. Courtesy Tangentyere Artists and the Sims Dickson Collection.
EXHIBITION DATES 6 – 29 MARCH OPENING 6 MARCH 5:30PM
Join the artists to celebrate the launch of four exhibitions:
[CENSURATIVA] – Crystian Cruz EPHEMERAL COMPOSITIONS – Kathryn Jeanes COMMUNE WITH NATURE – Mary Graham UNKNOWN LANDS – Suzi Zglinicki.
[CENSURATIVA] | CRYSTIAN CRUZ
What are the consequences of censorship on activities that involve creative work? Songs, soap operas, newspapers, books and magazines are among the censored artefacts examined in Cruz’s practice-based PhD research. This exhibition presents a visual journey through creative attempts to circumvent censorship during the Brazilian dictatorship (1964-1985). Put your creativity to the test through an interactive typographic experiment that emulates the experience of encountering censorial activities and censored material.
Crystian Cruz, [Censurativa] 2020, digital collage.
EPHEMERAL COMPOSITIONS | KATHRYN JEANES
This exhibition from Jeanes unites research into a dark colonial period when young girls were incarcerated, with abstract themes derived from reparative art.
Jeanes explores and communicates materiality through the use of decommissioned hospital sheeting – used for the assembly of strait jackets, paper torn from books and cotton thread used to bind.
Kathryn Jeanes, Ephemeral Compositions 2017, photographic print, 45 x 45 cm
COMMUNE WITH NATURE | MARY GRAHAM
Commune with Nature explores the respect for nature granted by the appreciation of flora through artistic practice, particularly the process of natural dyeing.
Focussing on the colours and textures of the bark and fallen leaves of gum trees, Graham’s work contributes to a contemporary revival of natural dyeing methods and presents an ode to the inherent beauty of nature.
Mary Graham, Mad About You 2020 botanical print on cotton dyed with Madder, 147 x 99 cm
UNKNOWN LANDS | SUZI ZGLINICKI
The quality of light, the beauty of the natural world and the use of landscape tap into our primal connection to the earth. This is demonstrated by our ability to be submerged in its isolation and loneliness, with the seemingly contradictory belief that we are in control over it and that its beauty is therefore for our pleasure alone. In our relationship to landscape there is an ebb and flow between knowledge and uncertainty, between complacence and fear. These works echo the transient nature of the landscape and act as a tribute to the transient lives of the women who have, throughout history, painted it.
Suzi Zglinicki, Unknown Lands 2 2016, ink on canvas, 27 x 29 cm
JOIN DEPUTY LORD MAYOR OF NEWCASTLE COUNCILLOR DECLAN CLAUSEN FOR THE EXHIBITION LAUNCH ON SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER FROM 3PM
‘Waiting for Equality’ is an exhibition that brings together archival and contemporary material to focus on LGBTQI+ history, as it has emerged in the city of Newcastle. Until now, LGBTQI+ history and culture has received very limited attention in the form of public exhibition, particularly outside capital cities. The exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate this history and culture, focusing on the development of LGBTQI+ rights and the historically significant moment in December 2017 when same sex marriage was legalised throughout Australia. The passing of the bill has been seen as a watershed moment for equal rights within Australia and was the outcome of decades of campaigning by the LGBTQI+ community.
‘Waiting for Equality’ has developed out of an interdisciplinary research project by Dr James Bennett, Professor Marguerite Johnson, Dr Kcasey McLoughlin and Dr David Betts at the University of Newcastle and in conversation with LGBTQI+ community groups in the region.
The ‘Waiting for Equality Project’ is generously supported by a bequest from the late Mrs Janet Copley.
Join us for the launch of ‘In Place’, an exhibition by UON Master of Architecture Students on Thursday 21 November at 6pm
Architecture students from the University of Newcastle have the opportunity to step out of the studio and into the global classroom. An underlying social agenda joins them as students use their architectural skills to analyse, document, communicate, design and educate.
This exhibition, organised by Master of Architecture students, showcases the work of six global electives located in Alice Springs, Slovenia, Nepal, France, New Zealand and Hill End.
Now in its second year, Festival X is a culmination of student’s work in the areas of design, animation, communication, theatre, music and film.
Held over five days and featuring more than twenty unique events, the students will be making their mark in performances, exhibitions and screenings, celebrating their achievements and showcasing years of dedication to their craft.
Experience the emerging creative talent that exists in the heart of the beautiful city of Newcastle.
Barbie Procobis’ PhD research examines the sentiments of ephemerality and permanence. Noteworthy: a collection of ordinary lives contemplates the methods and motivations to keep or discard and the impact that such actions may have in our everyday experiences, with particular emphasis on found manuscripts of unknown writers. Procobis’ practice transcends multiple disciplines, in particular drawing, sculpture, and collecting as process, which she employs to facilitate connections between the viewer and unknown lives.
EXHIBITION DATES 23 OCTOBER TO 10 NOVEMBER 2019
Image: Barbie Procobis, little lunch, smoko, afternoon tea (Living Epitaph of the Everyman), 2019, white marble, 48 x 14 x 36 cm.
On 10 October from 6pm, join us for the opening of two exhibitions: GLITCH: PRACTICING IMPROPER PRODUCTION IN ARCHITECTURE by Nicholas Flatman and DEAD MATTER, a group show by Michael Chapman, Beth George, Nicholas Flatman and Nicholas Foulcher.
Exhibition dates: 10 October – 20 October
Practicing Improper Production in Architecture
This exhibition presents an innovative and integrated body of creative research through a combination of theoretical research, built projects and speculative design. Nicholas Flatman’s research is an inquiry into glitches – a process that disrupts the conventional production of information that are usually accidental variations of digital processes, creating unexpected and often destructive outcomes. His creative practice explores the way glitches can be deliberately and methodically integrated into a design process, in order to produce unexpected and unconventional outcomes, and to question the centrality of form and program in contemporary architecture.
Flatman explores the use of glitches across a range of scales and complexities, from the personal, to the residential, to the urban, to the communal and the hypothetical. While the use of glitches has been an important creative process in adjacent fields like art and music, its systematic use in architecture is relatively new and Flatman’s work reframes the role of glitches as a deliberate and reproducible architectural design process, with an endless array of possibilities that question the prevalent modes of architectural production and regulation.
Michael Chapman, Beth George, Nicholas Flatman, Nicholas Foulcher
“We fight the battle with the drawings on the wall” – Alvin Boyarsky