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Time and Space



Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre is proud to present Time and Space, an exhibition of art and artists recounting stories about artist run initiatives since 1970 and associated self-published artist periodicals.

Time and Space includes work by 23 artists, who have all had direct involvement in collective artist run activities as well as a number of significant artist publications that have emerged from this scene over the past several decades. Some of the artists have responded quite directly to their experiences working collectively and/or establishing and running studio or gallery spaces. Others have chosen to present recent work, as part of their story, highlighting developments associated with their practice maintained over several years.

One of the artists, Peter Kennedy, recalls a meeting with fellow artist Mike Parr in 1970, which eventuated in the establishment of Inhibodress, a gallery that represents the starting point for this exhibition. Another artist, Roger Crawford, was one of the original coordinators of First Draft, which opened in 1986. Firstdaft (as it is now known) continues to this day, having provided opportunities and experience to many hundreds of young and aspiring artists.

The 1970's brought changing art forms giving rise to non objective, conceptual, performance and site specific work. This led to a change in the 'spaces' colonised by artists and reflected the development, by some artists, of alternatives to limited opportunities provided by the commercial system. It also reflected the activities of others, who rejected the commercial on ideological grounds, to challenge public taste and expectation. Artists were pursuing ideas that encompassed the social, the political and the theoretical through publications, community involvement, graffiti, poster placement and performance, in addition to traditional media and use of abandoned commercial space for studio practice.

Performance Space established by Mike Mullins in the early 1980s was a space developed to explore and present 'new forms' of theatre. It was created by and for artists as an affordable, permanent space for contemporary performance makers in Sydney to explore a practice driven by ideas and politics, an exploration of form as well as content. It facilitated and accommodated an enormous variety of work that has been recognised locally, nationally and internationally. Hazelhurst will play host to recent work NightTime Statewide: Everyday Hero, an evening of short performance, participatory live work and video on Friday 9 July 2010.

Today, although more established and more institutionalised, the character of artist run activity remains largely the same. Populated by students, recent graduates and established artists, the sector provides an outlet to test and engage each other, and audiences, with new and challenging work. Undoubtedly the commercial system is broader and the art market more encompassing, but the debate remains about ideological space and the need to always explore alternatives.

Text from Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre


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