Access to Ernabella artworks inspires striking new exhibition

Comprising three site-specific installations, PERIPHERAL DISTURBANCE: Wandering Between Worlds is a striking exhibition by New Zealand-born, Aldinga-based artist Gail Hocking that will be launched at Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus on Saturday 6 October.

Presented by The Guildhouse Collections Project and Flinders University Art Museum, Hocking’s new body of work quietly reflects upon her research into the resilience of Anangu women who navigate change through their art practices.

Hocking works across sculpture, installation and new media, employing a unique material language to visually and poetically explore the impact of time and non-human forces on the communities and environments that we live in.

The Guildhouse and Flinders University Art Museum initiative provides South Australian artists with unique opportunities to research and respond to extraordinary State collections.  Hocking explored the Ernabella Arts Archive, featuring about 750 works by artists from Pukatja (Ernabella) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands of far north-west South Australia.

Guildhouse Chief Executive Officer Emma Fey and Flinders University Art Museum Director Fiona Salmon say that providing access to the Ernabella collections helps artists through direct engagement with works of art, and these artists’ responses facilitate fresh ways of seeing and understanding artworks and their histories.

“Gail Hocking is an alchemist of matter. She manipulates materials into new forms which vibrate with meaning,” says Flinders University Art Museum Collections Curator Nic Brown. “The exhibition is inspired by Hocking’s interpretation of the ‘expression’ of the Ernabella Arts Archive and filtered through the lens of her personal experience and beliefs.”

Hocking was recently awarded a Guildhouse Catapult mentorship which will support her work with accomplished sound artist Sasha Grbich.

The official launch of PERIPHERAL DISTURBANCE: Wandering Between Worlds will occur on Saturday 6 October. A walking tour of the exhibition across multiple sites at Flinders’ Bedford Park campus will include a conversation with Gail Hocking and Nic Brown, (Collections Curator, Flinders University Art Museum), starting at 2pm from the Lake at North Ridge, adjacent the Plaza. This will be followed at 3pm by the official launch ceremony on Level 2 of the Student Hub, delivered by author Nicholas Jose.

The exhibition will continue until 30 November, with a special public event being hosted on Tuesday 16 October. Unearthing Cultural Collections will be a conversation between Nic Brown, Gail Hocking and Heidi Kenyon, held from 10am to 11.30am on 16 October at the Flinders University Art Museum (Ground floor, Social Sciences North, Bedford Park). The talk will be followed by a tour of the Flinders University Art Museum collection stores. More details are available online.

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