The exhibition Undercurrent features works from the DCC Permanent Collection, including prints from the Robinson Collection, and is an exploration of Tasmanian art through the lens of the ocean.
Tracing the tide lines which connect Tasmanian life and identity across time, the exhibition examines how the sea has shaped our Island’s past, present and encroaching future. On an island, the ocean is both isolating and a means of connecting to the outside world. For most of history the ocean was the only means of transportation to and from Tasmania. As global temperatures warm, rising sea levels will reshape the future of coastal life.
Undercurrent contemplates the joys and anxieties of island life in the modern world. Tasmania’s waters are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. While in the past the ocean held seemingly endless abundance, centuries of exploitation have left it depleted. Kelp is a valuable industry in Tasmania, but the Giant Kelp forests along the southern and eastern coastlines are vanishing, decimated by human interference and rising sea temperatures. Hundreds of thousands of Southern Elephant Seals and Australian Sea Lions once inhabited the waters of Bass Strait. However, their populations were eradicated by fur traders during the 19th century. Indigenous peoples have lived sustainably along Tasmania’s coastlines for tens of thousands of years. European colonisation endangered their way of life, suppressing traditions and cultural practices.
We each inhabit our own island. The exhibition showcases the way different artists have engaged with the ocean, their work mapping personal and communal connections to Tasmania’s coast. This map of exclusion and connectivity is seen in our own internal and external relationships. Our inner lives are lived in relation to each other and the world around us. Relationships between people and places change ebb and flow over time like the tides. Undercurrent seeks to unpack the ways connection to the ocean orients us, shaping our experiences and our collective future.
Artists: Elizabeth (Liz) Braid, Joel Crosswell, Janine Combes, Lisa Garland, Lola Greeno, Ricky Maynard, Tim Morehead, Rodney Pole John Stroomer, Rosemary Wyllie, Philip Wolfhagen and prints from the Robinson Collection.
The 2022 Emerging Guest Curators are Soren Risby & Tallulah Eaves. Undercurrent is the result of their engagement with the City of Devonport’s Permanent Art Collection.
Aboriginal artists, Designers