The Guildhouse Collections Project and Flinders University Museum of Art has just opened its striking new exhibition Ray Harris: Ritual Nature, curated by Nic Brown.
The Ritual Nature exhibition features a new series of evocative performative videos by South Australian artist Ray Harris that explores the unsettling edges of physical and emotional existence in connection to ritual acts and the natural world.
Her meditative time-based actions situate the body in dialogue with the environment, allude to death and its associations with grief and loss, decay and dirtiness, and the possibilities of cleansing and transformation. In this intimate relationship rests a delicate tension between the female body and the environment, where Harris’ seemingly passive acts of surrender to her surroundings can also be considered acts of gendered resistance.
Informed by a research-based residency investigating the mid-1960s and 1970s Australian and international Post-object and Documentation collection held at the Flinders University Museum of Art, Harris’ work is a nod to the international conceptual art movement. Presented in juxtaposition with works by Jill Orr, Mike Parr, Ken Unsworth, David Thorp and Mary Fish, among others from the Museum’s collection, Ritual Nature also highlights the resonance of conceptual and performance art with contemporary makers today.
The Collections Project is a collaboration between Guildhouse and Flinders University Museum of Art that provides artists with the opportunity to engage with the Museum’s collections and staff to create new work for exhibition. Guildhouse is the leading South Australian organisation supporting and creating connections for South Australian creative practitioners.
The exhibition is now open at FUMA Gallery I, Social Sciences North Building, Bedford Park, and will continue until 16 April.