Lonely Planet Writer

Canberra's National Gallery showing full Australian exhibition from 2015 Venice Biennale

The National Gallery in Canberra is currently displaying the full Australian exhibition from the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Carr say the dark helps bring out the visual light in her work
Fiona Hall’s exhibition ‘Wrong Way Time’ gives Australians who would never get to visit Venice the opportunity to see world renowned contemporary art presented in Canberra.  Image by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / CC BY 2.0

The world-famous contemporary art presentation attracts hundreds of thousands of international visitors to its pavilion when it is held every two years in Venice. The display highlights artists’ work from all around the world. ABC News reports that an Australian artist, Fiona Hall, has put together ‘Wrong Way Time’ a brooding exhibition for the capital of Australia.  On being commissioned for the project she set about getting more than 800 objects from her “dark” exhibition. These have now been exhibited in full at the gallery – the first time such a full exhibition from Venice has gone on display in the country.

Ms Hall said her work was deliberately complex and politically driven. The darkness is a means of visually highlighting the work. With the title ‘Wrong Way Time’, there is also the suggestion that progress doesn’t follow in any favourable direction, she added. The artist explained that she tried always to challenge herself by using material such as bread, knitted military uniforms, driftwood and banknotes to create the artworks. She said there are “no parameters, no borders set.”

Gerard Vaughan, the NGA director believes these type of exhibitions of cultural significance need to be made available for more Australians to experience. He said it was peculiar that such effort was put into producing a great Australian art installation for the Venice Biennale, yet the only ones who normally saw it were those who travelled to Italy for the exhibition. He claimed that by bringing the display back to Australia until mid July, everyone in the country has an opportunity to get to see it.