Arthur River Residency, Arts Tasmania | development of new work
November 2020 & July 2021
Arthur River, Tasmania
During two trips of focused field research in 2020 and 2021, I was introduced to the unique West Coast environment, community, and histories through walking, talking and listening. I documented the experience through drawing, photography, sound and video.
I consider the Arthur River estuary a generative transition zone of material and conceptual encounter. The town settlement lies where cool temperate, tannin-tinted waters merge with the wild salty swells of the Southern Ocean, creating a fertile ecotone. It is situated amongst important and sensitive cultural sites along the the takayna / Tarkine coast; places embedded with ancient and continuing Palawa culture. It is also imprinted with the marks of our nation’s violent frontier conflicts. These histories are shaping current discourse around how our community sustainably manages and respects this unique location and each other into the future. This place is providing an opportunity for me to explore the idea of transition, a moment or process of physical and philosophical tension and change.
I am currently expanding my initial field experiments as I look to present the work publicly in 2022. I am using a familiar iterative making process of identifying core visual forms and experimenting with these further through a process of abstraction, repetition, layering and rearrangement. I am experimenting with different printmaking and drawing techniques including ink and wash on paper, woodcut, Laser cutting, paper cutting and projections of light and video to reveal the material and conceptual qualities of the place.
1 September 2018 – 3 March 2019
Project Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Performing Drawing explores how actions can become art. Focusing on chance and change, this exhibition highlights the NGA’s collection of process-based drawing, video and photography.
As a way of observing the world, the role of drawing has evolved over centuries, moving from preliminary sketches and studies to become the centre of many artists’ practices. Shifting the emphasis from traditional methods of drawing, the featured artists use improvised gestures, hand-built machines and walking as methods of documenting direct experience. Often created over an extended period, these experimental responses highlight unconventional ways in which time and memory can be represented. The resulting investigations materialise as poetic diagrams, momentary maps and incidental portraits that reveal the expanding possibilities of what drawing can be in contemporary art practice.
Featuring Anotnia Aitken, Marco Fusinato, Nicci Haynes, Joyce Hinterding, Gabriella Mangano, Silvana Mangano, David Moore, Sarah Mosca, Cameron Robbins, David Rosetzky, Justine Varga, Ilka White, Gosia Wlodarczak, and John Wolseley.
Walking Matters| Antonia Aitken, Rebecca Mayo & Kirstie Rea
Saturday 19 May – Sunday 5 August, 2018
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is delighted to present Walking Matters, an exhibition which brings together for the first time, the works of Antonia Aitken, Rebecca Mayo and Kirstie Rea. The three artists use walking to build knowledge and embodied experience of the places and sites they investigate in their studios. The repetitive, meditative rhythm of walking extends in different ways into each artist’s methods, which include drawing, printmaking, photography, glass, textiles and video.
The walks taken by these artists connect to local sites, revisited over a period of time. Rea’s glass works arose from a month-long residency in Cataract Gorge in Tasmania’s north, Aitken’s from her daily walks in and around Hobart, and Mayo’s from a seven-day walk down Merri Creek in Melbourne’s north. The local, quotidian nature of walking situates their practices within a place, facilitating each artist to work in ways that stretch beyond a purely representational approach to focus instead more closely on materials, movement and performativity.
Antonia Aitken is currently based in Tasmania, where she lectures in Printmaking at the University of Tasmania’s School for Creative Arts and the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education. Her printmaking and drawing-based practice investigates how we engage with and interpret attachments to place within a contemporary Australian context. In this exhibition Aitken combines laser-cut plywood matrices and woodcut prints with performative drawing and video to examine how complex histories shape personal entanglements with where she walks.
Rebecca Mayo lives between Melbourne and Canberra, where she is a Lecturer in Printmedia and Drawing at the ANU School of Art & Design. Mayo’s printed textiles and the use of the multiple reflect her printmaking background. She transforms materials collected on site to make works in the studio which examine how care and labour manifest in urban ecologies.
Kirstie Rea is based in Canberra. Her recent survey at Canberra Museum and Gallery revealed the breadth and expertise of her practice in glass, which is held in international collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In this exhibition Rea combines photographic digital inkjet printing processes with her glass work to produce works which respond to the passing days reflected in the windows of the house she stayed in at Cataract Gorge in Tasmania. Her work explores the processes of gathering ideas and inspiration from the atmosphere and weather as a way of making visible relationships between earth, air and sky.
Tangled / Entangled | exhibition of work in progress
23 September - 13 October 2016
Entrepot Gallery, College for the Arts, Hunter Street, Hobart
Opening: Friday 30 September at 4:30pm by Sue Lovegrove
Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 10am-4pm + Saturday 12pm-4pm
Entangled is an exhibition of recent experiments part of my current PhD project. The work consists of drawings on paper, wall drawings, printed and laser cut wood elements and sound to be installed and ‘performed’ in the Main Space over the duration of the three-week exhibition.
I am working the notion of fluid entanglements, whereby my various tracks, threads and lines of thought and image are brought into relation or conversation with one another, in the space I inhabit. This exhibition will be a test site for my current practice-led research project which is broadly looking how walking and drawing based methodologies can nurture dialogue with the places I walk; sites that bear witness to the complex imprint of colonisation. Walking invites the body to move in a rhythmic synchronicity of thought, breath and step, activating a mode of being in and of moving through an environment with a slowed-down and heightened sensory awareness. I am currently testing how this body state can lead to more responsive and attentive entanglements with where I am and with whom I walk.
The show will evolve over the three weeks and will be opened in conjunction with Tangled an exhibition of drawings by Timothy Coad.
Talking Water | artist-in-residence exhibition
4 March- 11 May 2013
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
1st Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601.
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm + Saturday 12pm-4pm
In 1908 the Yass-Canberra area was selected for the nation's capital as it best filled the requirements with regard to adequate water supply, climate and landform suitable for the building of a 'garden city'. Through discussion, engagement and interpretation, the exhibition Talking water: artists-in-residence draws attention to Canberra's water catchment areas and sustainable living.
The Talking water project provided residencies for four artists: Antonia Aitken, Marian Hosking, Christine Atkins and Marily Cintra – at the Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage located in Namadgi National Park and Nil Desperandum Homestead located in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The exhibition features work inspired by the artist's time spent living in the National Park or Nature Reserve, and in response to the theme of water. The program is presented by Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre in partnership with the Rural District Parks, Conservation and Land and supported by ACTEW Corporation.
For more information visit www.craftact.org.au
vestiges | works on paper exhibition
22 october- 12 november 2011
Megalo Print Studio + Gallery
49 Philip Ave WATSON ACT
Tuesday - Saturday 9.30am - 5pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 12 November @ 11 am all welcome
Antonia Aitken’s exhibition Vestiges, brings together four site-specific projects undertaken since 2009. The exhibition of woodcut prints and drawings, continues her exploration of landscapes that bare witness to significant human impact and the ongoing questions of a post-colonial society. By walking, drawing and using the materials directly from each site, Antonia gathers a language to interpret the site and her physical presence within it.
In 2011 she was awarded residencies at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale NY, USA and the Black Church Print Studio in Dublin, Ireland. These residencies allowed her to use her familiar site-specific process to explore new environments. These sites included the infamous Liffey River in Dublin and the post-industrial mines of the Hudson Valley - a landscape pockmarked with the scars of a century of concrete excavation.
river | works on paper exhibition
9 March- 29 April 2012
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
RIVER brings together three site-specific projects undertaken since 2009. These sites include the Murrumbidgee River, the Shoalhaven River and the infamous Liffey River in Dublin. Drawings, intaglio and woodcut prints continue Antonia’s exploration of landscapes that bear witness to significant human impact and the ongoing questions of a post-colonial society.
For more information contact (02) 6926 9660 or visit www.waggaartgallery.org
Temporary Residency 4: Tasmania | artist-in-reseidence exhibition
20 - 23 March 2013
Landscape Art Research Queenstown (LARQ), Tasmania
'The resilient, dramatic wilderness surrounding Queenstown is confronting, but at the same time extraordinarily captivating and seductive with its contrasting colours, textures and peculiar shapes. This awe-inspiring west coast town has been selected as the site for an international project that assembles print artists with a solid reputation of stretching their craft to the limits; inspired by their immediate surroundings. Following residencies in Manhattan, Hawaii and Thailand, ‘TR4’ will be led by celebrated Thai/New York print artist, Prawat Laucharoen, and Queenstown’s illustrious Raymond Arnold. The selected artists from various countries will work and live together over ten days, creating a series of print installations at three different venues in the town and, finally, in a group presentation. They must bring a significant amount of concept materials, information and ideas that are provoking, inspiring, challenging and expansive in the realm of printmaking.In the three previous residencies, Laucharoen also brought together artists from diverse cultures, with outstanding results. A distinguished, unconventional artist and generous teacher, he first worked as a master printer, then a print artist exploring innovative print installations.' Taken from Ten Days on the Island Festival catalogue, 2013
Raymond Arnold, himself a master printmaker, established the Landscape Art Research Queenstown (LARQ) as a ‘wilderness’ art space in response to the region’s natural and heritage values.