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Cosmos

Imagine the journey
of an ancient serpent
Bending and rewriting
space and time

Imagine you are high above
the earth, leaving this atmosphere
heading into the stars
Imagine you are a particle

As if lying under the stars, in a space of storytelling, memory and exploration, Cosmos brings together our fears and hopes.

The silvery fangs and vast, ghostly skeleton of Huang Yong Ping s imposing steel serpent, Ressort 2012, descends coiling through the gallery space. A sea of the deepest blue rises on the walls in Latifa Echakhch s work made from sheets of carbon paper sprayed with alcohol: in northern Africa and the Middle East, the stencil was once a tool of revolution, symbolic of the hope for change, a vital yet fragile sentiment. The death of a young woman in a pro-democracy protest in Tehran is commemorated in Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian s expansive mirrored mosaic. In it, we see ourselves drawn into a universe of perfect forms and shifting vanishing points. This work builds on ancient mathematical and ornamental traditions, exploring the links between knowledge, chaos, spirituality and creativity.

The perfect blue depths of Anish Kapoor s curving wall sculpture offer a sublime vision of the ineffable, while the night spirits play in Tracey Moffatt s ghostly Spirit Landscapes 2013, and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri records the skeletal remains of two brothers long remembered in myth. The liquid depths and vivid blue of Judy Watson s pigment-stained canvas offer a tribute to the life and influence of her grandmother, Grace, marking the care between one generation and another, and memory, a treasure of continuing value. Pain and grief are drawn into a transcendent field alongside beauty and knowledge, the vastness of all we are yet to understand.

Underlying Stories

Generated image of the artwork: Wirnpa

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BALBAL, Lydia; Wirnpa

Although Lydia Balbal left her desert country as a teenager, she takes strength from her early life there, drawing on memories to paint important sites in great detail. Balbal has emerged quickly as a confident artist after watching with close attention the growing painting movement at Bidyadanga, in Western Australia.

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Generated image of the artwork: Two Jangala warriors from Warlugulong

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TJAPALTJARRI, Clifford Possum; Two Jangala warriors from Warlugulong

This painting refers to the Dreaming of two Tjampitjinpa brothers who transgressed traditional law by not sharing food with their family. As punishment, their father, a Lizard Man, lit a fire which consumed the brothers at the site of Ramarakujunu, south of Yuendumu. The story is a pointed reminder that there are consequences for not obeying particular social and cultural rules.

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Generated image of the artwork: Left/Right Slide

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HÖLLER, Carsten; Left/Right Slide

What materials can art be made from? And when can a slide be art?

Our experience is the primary ‘material’ Carsten Höller manipulates as an artist. He aims to alter how we perceive the world and spark the senses in new ways. Inspired by his work as a biologist, Höller uses the museum to make scientific and philosophical experiments that reshape our expectations about art and produce unexpected outcomes.

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Generated image of the artwork: Ghost net basket

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TORENBEEK, Mahnah Angela; Ghost net basket

Mahnah Angela Torenbeek, born on Moa Island in the Torres Strait, is of both Torres Strait and South Pacific heritage. Her baskets are made from ghost nets – large fishing nets abandoned at sea. The sinister nets travel the world’s oceans carried by the tides and currents and indiscriminately entrap and destroy whatever lies in their path. This includes not only threatened species, but also undersized and protected fish, important turtle species and large mammals.

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Generated image of the artwork: grandmother's song

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WATSON, Judy; grandmother's song

grandmother's song was made after the passing of the artist’s grandmother. Deeply personal and elusive, the painting is imbued with grief, longing and pride for a woman who played a pivotal role in Judy Watson’s development as a person and artist. She has noted:

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MOFFATT, Tracey; Night spirits' series

Tracey Moffatt works in photography, video and film. Witty, sensual and subversive, her photographic suites and short films consist of complex images of characters and locales that allow her to consider issues relating to desire, provinciality, race, and the longing for escape from social constraint.

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