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Artists represent New Zealand - Biennale of Sydney

20 May 2004

Artists represent New Zealand at Biennale of Sydney

4 June - 15 August 2004

Three New Zealand artists - Daniel Malone, Michael Harrison and Daniel von Sturmer - will exhibit their work, along with more than 50 other invited artists from 31 countries, at the 14th Biennale of Sydney, opening on 4 June.

Creative New Zealand has supported the three New Zealand artists to participate in the 2004 Biennale of Sydney with a $60,000 grant through the Arts Board. The artists will present a diverse range of work based on the theme "On Reason and Emotion", devised by Portuguese curator Isabel Carlos.

New Zealand has had a presence a the Biennale of Sydney since it was first established in 1974. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Biennale of Sydney is Australia's premiere international visual arts event. It will form a "walking trail" around some of Sydney's leading art museums and the Royal Botanic Gardens, where much of the work has been created especially for the exhibition. The venues are the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Museum of Sydney, Artspace, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

Auckland artist Daniel Malone has been offered what he describes as a "fantastic 30 metre-long corridor downstairs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales." He says he started to think about the space as a conduit for non-art activities, in relation to the café that is at one end and the toilets that you enter off the corridor.

"I've designed a mural that will stretch along both massive walls," he says. "It's inspired by Australian artist Tracey Moffat's short film Night Cries, which features a stunning, very stylised backdrop to an outhouse. The landscape is based on the work of famous aboriginal painter Albert Namitjira, but the hills reminded me of McCahon's iconic painting of our landscape."

In a nod to cultural recognition, Malone has replaced Namitjira's hills with McCahon's. He also has a big project in the upcoming Telecom Prospect 2004 exhibition at the City Gallery Wellington later this month.

Malone says exhibiting at Sydney is invaluable in terms of experience and the opportunity to work with big institutions.

Auckland painter Michael Harrison will be overseeing the installation of ten of his paintings in Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art. He will also attend the opening of his solo exhibition, Revolutionary Charm, in Sydney's Darren Knight Gallery on 8 June. A further exhibition, Dogleg Road, will open at the Hamish McKay Gallery in Wellington on 25 May.

"I'm showing paintings of animals and people completed between 1994 and 2003 at the Biennale," he says. "I haven't had work presented at a biennale before so it's an honour to be invited and an interesting international event to be part of."

Melbourne-based video installation artist Daniel von Sturmer's work appeared at the 2002 Sydney Biennale Public Programmme video screening.

This time, he's part of the main exhibition programme with The Truth Effect, a five-screen video installation at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and a new untitled video projection work made for the windows of the Museum of Sydney's Cube viewing space.

As well as exhibiting for a number of years in Australia, von Sturmer has been in group shows in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Korea

Like the other artists, he feels honoured to be selected to participate in the 2004 Biennale of Sydney. "It's good to be chosen as a New Zealander and I hope to be able to make more projects in New Zealand in the future," he says.

This will be possible over the next few months when von Sturmer takes up an artist residency at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in mid-June. In October he heads to the UK for a three-month residency in London.

The three New Zealand artists will be joined at the Biennale of Sydney by some of the world's leading contemporary artists, including Australian artists Joan Grounds and Sherre DeLys, who are creating a giant termite mound for the MCA's front lawn that emits the chatter of gossiping voices. Michael Sailstorfer from Germany will transform a recycled German police car into a functional drum kit while Swiss installation artist Frederic Post's drug-inspired 'Temple of Ecstasy' at Artspace will invite viewers to recline on mattresses and listen to live music performances.

The Biennale of Sydney runs from 4 June to 15 August.


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