Tales of the Unexpected
Aspects of contemporary Australian art
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The National Gallery of Australia is committed to supporting the work of contemporary Australian artists. The exhibition Tales of the Unexpected: aspects of contemporary Australian art is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions recognising the work of some of our most inspiring artists.
Moving from the 20th century into the 21st, there is a visible sense of zeitgeist, a spirit of the times, reflected in this exhibition – in the merging of the real and the fantastic, and in the search for meaning in a world where, despite the ‘information age’, there continue to be more questions than answers. The seven artists in the exhibition, whose works are documented in this catalogue, encourage us to think and to re-imagine the world. They provide insights into our dreams and longings, and suggest unexpected possibilities through their highly inventive approaches.
Within what is a broadly thematic context, artists have been selected who work in quite different ways to convey a richness of ideas and approaches. The linkages are apparent in relation to the invention of open-ended or implied narratives and dream-like worlds.
We have been delighted with the involvement of the artists who have worked closely with the curator, Deborah Hart. In addition to their major contribution through the works themselves, they have provided lively quotes from their favourite authors and film-makers for the catalogue – conveying insights into the vitality of cross-media exchanges.
Deborah Hart has shown her great strength as a curator, deep attachment to the physicality of works of art and the effects they can have on their viewers, and an abiding respect for the talents of their creators.
I would also like to acknowledge the generosity of Qantas and Saville Park Suites Canberra. Their support of this exhibition has assisted us in bringing the artists to the Gallery for the exhibition installation and launch. We are grateful to Pirie Printers and CIP Papers for their contribution to the catalogue. Also special thanks to all the lenders and gallery representatives who have assisted us in making this exhibition possible.
The National Gallery is continuing its commitment to display the best of the visual arts across all media. On behalf of all our staff, I express appreciation to the artists involved, who have provided abundant evidence of a flourishing contemporary artistic environment.
Dr Brian Kennedy
National Gallery of Australia