Imagining: Art of the

21st century


Imagining: Art of the 21st Century explored the ideas and issues that are and have been subjects for artists throughout the past century - a period of intellectual and aesthetic richness.  This display did not offer a neatly defined chronological pathway, charting periods of art production.  Rather, it examined the complex intererlation between the artist's own narrative and personal approach to art production, alongside a study of its place in the world. 

Works of art were rotated regularly so as to enable presentation of a wide variety of works from the Collection - this included new acquisitions and loans.


The environment is everything that surrounds us: the natural land and seascapes, cities, suburbs, towns and more. It's no wonder then, that the environment has been a source of inspiration for artists over the past century. The physical landscape provided a strong starting point for this exploration into approaches to art, craft and design; acting as a medium in articulating relationships with specific localities, other people and different cultures. In Australia, the natural environment has been a site for reinterpreting myth and promoting national identity, while strong personal engagements often encompass metaphysical elements. 

This section of Imagining: Art of the 21st Century, which sought to define connections between atmosphere and structure in the construction of landscape, included a focus upon Howard Taylor and the surrealist works of James Gleeson.


Athletic bodies, battered bodies, beautiful bodies, body-built bodies, clean bodies, corrupted bodies, decorated bodies, erotic bodies, ethnically cleansed bodies, fashionable bodies, female bodies, foreign bodies, healthy bodies, historical bodies, hungry bodies, indigenous bodies, industrial
bodies, jealous bodies, kinetic bodies, long bodies, male bodies, managed bodies, my body, nasty bodies, nervous bodies, obese bodies, prostituted bodies, quiet bodies, reasonable bodies, refugee bodies, sexed bodies, terrible bodies, titillating bodies, underdeveloped bodies, violent bodies, well-nourished bodies, xenophobic bodies, your body, zany bodies, zoological bodies...

six billion human bodies, twelve billion eyes, sixty billion fingers...and counting...


The articulation of space has deeply engaged artists over the past one hundred years.  It has defined the way we think about and relate to our immediate environment. Space, as intimate as the human body, as anonymous as a public building or as enigmatic as the psychological ....., it is all shaped through experience, imagination or encounters with art and objects.

In this section of Imagining, these ideas are explored through a selection of works including a group by Brian Blanchflower - investigating the place of humankind in the universe - and an arrangement of abstract images that examine the various spaces of artistic production.

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