works from the Peter Fay collection
A National Gallery of Australia
11 October 2003 – 18 January 2004
I have a strong belief in rattling the cage. I want to get people asking – Why is that here? Why is that art and not that? ‘Outsider’ artists have as much to give as established or ‘Insider’ artists.
Peter Fay in conversation May 2003
Of course, the great collectors are themselves creators … Sometimes they can be ecstatic about things whose origin and meaning are entirely alien: they can afford to take chances.
Roger Cardinal, Marginalia: perspectives on outsider art, Museum De Stadshof, 2000
To enter into the Home Sweet Home: Works from the Peter Fay Collection at the National Gallery of Australia is to enter into a sense of adventure. This exciting show of predominantly Australian and New Zealand contemporary art provides the opportunity for new ways of thinking about inventive displays and approaches to collecting art. The exhibition is, as the title suggests, about art that comes from a domestic context and examines the way the idea of ‘home’ and by extension, our hearts and minds, can be transformed by art.
This remarkable exhibition reveals the passions of a collector who has supported well known and emerging artists as well as numerous talented so-called ‘outsider’ artists (working outside the mainstream). Perhaps most of all Fay seeks to overcome distinctions between ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ and convey ways of entering into the passions of what it is to be human; our shared joys and struggles seen through the artists’ diverse points of view. Co-curated by Deborah Hart, Senior Curator of Australian Painting and Sculpture at the NGA, and Glenn Barkley, Curator, University of Wollongong, the exhibition challenges conventions and opens up fresh ways of engaging with the vitality of the processes of art-making and collecting. It reminds us that you don’t need to be hugely wealthy to be a collector but rather than you can develop an interesting collection by taking risks and an imaginative approach. Roger Cardinal’s words in a recent publication sum up aspects of the Peter Fay collection: ‘The art offers us the prospect of an alternative and potentially revolutionary way of seeing … It is work that may provoke a steady rapturous ache in the beholder’. (Roger Cardinal, Marginalia, referred to above)
There are some 240 works in the show, in a wide range of media – painting, drawing, photography, video, domestic-scale sculpture and objects including dolls and shell bridges. The artists include, among many others: Laurence Aberhart, Slim Barrie, Leo Cussen, Mikala Dwyer, Rosalie Gascoigne, Shaun Gladwell, Robert MacPherson, John Northe, Neil Roberts, Lola Ryan, Gina Sinozich, Val Sutherland, Ricky Swallow, Ronnie van Hout and Ken Whisson.
For further information, please contact: Public Affairs on +61 2 62406431 or PublicAffairs@nga.gov.au