Islands a Speculation – an appreciation
There is a great deal to like about Islands – a Speculation.
Cleverly utilising the excellent space of QVMAG’s main gallery at Inveresk, this immersive show that draws links between island cultures is a contemplative treat.
Islands plays on the connections between Tasmania and New Caledonia which, despite being almost 3,000 kilometres apart, have both withstood and survived many similar travails.
The first thing I saw when I entered the dimly lit space was a glimpse of Fanny Cochran Smith, whose voice from more than a century ago is part of the exhibition’s subtle soundscape and whose descendant Grace Williams is one of the creators of Islands.
Opposing white walls display a striking large-scale mural, juxtaposing tribal imagery with the more modern medium of aerosol paint. Williams has been mentored by collaborator and well-known Hobart-based artist Jamin and his striking style shines through.
The installation includes half a dozen connected but stylistically diverse elements, all standing apart in the large gallery – echoing the distance between the two cultures and perhaps the passage of time.
My highlight was the cathedral/office building/totem that stands three or four metres tall. It is mischievously clever, beautifully crafted and makes a powerful point with wry humour.
Inveresk is always an interesting place to visit and you ought to make some Islands a Speculation time a priority between now and Sunday April 23.