Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu

 SYDNEY.  27 OCTOBER  – 10 DECEMBER 2017.

Artists:
Sir Joseph Banks
Daniel Boyd
Newell Harry
Fiona Pardington
Michael Parekowhai
James Tylor

Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu examines how artists disturb the past by reframing and reworking the mythologies of nationhood. Focusing on the legacies of British imperialism in the South Pacific, the works presented in this exhibition offer a counterpoint to historical narratives that have emerged within colonial modes of scientific categorisation.

The voyage of the HMS Endeavour from 1768–1771, led by the then little known Lieutenant James Cook with botanist Joseph Banks, collected a staggering quantity of plant life from across the Asia Pacific – approximately 30,000 specimens from Australia and New Zealand alone, representing over 3,000 species, of which 1,400 were wholly new to science.[1]

The scale of this taxonomy, the science of naming and defining plant and animal life was, for these pioneers, without precedent and in many cases they created unstable, even flawed, systems of vocabulary, hierarchies and methods to describe this ‘new world’. [2]

Many of these instances outlast them to this day, for example, Cook named the ‘Kangaroo’ phonetically after ‘gangurru’, the term used by Aboriginal people on the North-East coast for local, large, grey marsupials. [3] Had Cook realised the plurality of Aboriginal language and that this word was foreign to most Indigenous people in Australia, the outcome could have been very different.[4] Nevertheless, examples like this set the template for generations of legends and myths.

The Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu draws upon these conflicting (and occasionally confounding) myths. By investigating and subverting colonial prejudices inherent in the formulation of language and conceptions of nature, the artists provide new frameworks and connections, enabling us to recognise the world anew.

A selection of archival and recent works from artists Sir Joseph Banks (United Kingdom), Daniel Boyd (Australia), Newell Harry (Australia), Fiona Pardington (New Zealand), Michael Parekowhai (New Zealand) and James Tylor (Australia) is brought together for this exhibition – inclusive of a series of Banks’ copperplate etchings of Australian botanical illustration rarely seen in a contemporary exhibition context. This exhibition continues 4A’s series of exhibition projects that examine the shared histories and ties between Australia and our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

 

About the artists:

Sir Joseph Banks

b. 1743, London, England d. 1820, London, England

Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GBC, PRS was a highly decorated British naturalist and botanist that made a number of significant contributions towards the natural sciences. Following his election as President of the Royal Society, he and collaborators boarded the HMS Endeavour, James Cook’s first great voyage of Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia and the Pacifc. During this trip, he and his team collected over 30 000 specimens from Australia and New Zealand alone, representing 3 000 species, of which 1400 were wholly new to science. Illustrator Sydney Parkinson documented these specimens. Through this momentous trip, he would become a de-facto ambassador for Australia as a destination for botanic research during England’s colonial project. Upon his return to England, Banks and lifelong collaborator, Daniel Solander oversaw an encyclopedic engravings of plant life using the illustrations by Sydney Parkinson. These were printed in black ink, and then in colour ink almost 200 years after Bank’s death.

Daniel Boyd

Kudjila/Gangalu b. 1982, Cairns, Australia lives and works in Sydney, Australia

Daniel Boyd is internationally recognised for his contemporary history paintings that interrogate Eurocentric perspectives of Australian colonial history. His technique borrows from Central Australian Aboriginal dot paintings and Impressionist pointillism, imbuing colonial scenes and ancestral figures with an affecting sense of intrigue, memorialisation and loss. His recent exhibitions include: Bitter Sweet, Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, Australia (2017); All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); Moscow International Biennale for Young Arts: A Time for Dreams, Moscow, Russia (2014); Bungaree: The First Australian, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie, Australia (2013); The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2012); One Caption Hides Another, Bétonsalon, Paris, France (2011); We Call Them Pirates Out Here, MCA, Sydney, Australia (2010); Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2008); and Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia (2007). Boyd’s work are held in the collections of the Natural History Museum, London, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Newell Harry

b. 1972, Sydney, Australia lives and works in Sydney, Australia

Newell Harry’s practice encompasses a wide range of processes, media and installations that feature cultural references drawn from his travels – from Australia’s eastern seaboard, to the Vanauato archipelago, India, north-east Asia and his ancestral home of Capetown, South Africa. His works consider the legacies of the colonial project on native language, culture, politics and economies throughout these regions. His recent exhibitions include: Tidalectics, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art 21, Autgarten, Vienna, Austria (2017); Sonnant et trebuchant, Les Abattoirs, Musee FRAC Occitan, Toulouse, France (2017); Grounded, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2017); Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything Else, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2016); Tarrawarra Biennial of Australian Art, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, TarraWarra, Australia (2016); All the World’s Futures56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015) and (Untitled) 12th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2012). Harry’s works are held in the collections of Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Newcastle Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia; Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia and Monash University Art Collection, Melbourne, Australia.

Fiona Pardington

b. 1961, Auckland, New Zealand lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand

Fiona Pardington photographic practice delves deep into the world of public and private collections. Using the still life format Pardington has photographed museum objects, particularly ‘taonga’, objects sacred to Maori culture. She often presents these treasures alongside a tableau of native flora and fauna, and found objects – creating unique portraits of historical and contemporary Maori, New Zealand and pacific culture. Her recent exhibitions include: A Beautiful Hesitation, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand; Christchurch Art Gallery,Christchurch New Zealand (2015-16); In My Dreaming I Saw – Moea Iho Nei I Au, Suite, Wellington, New Zealand, (2015); lux et tenebris Momentum Worldwide, Berlin, Germany (2014); Supernatural, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2014) and The Pressure of Sunlight Falling, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011). Pardington’s works are held in the collections of Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, USA; Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand and Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia.

Michael Parekowhai

b. 1968, Wellington, New Zealand lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand

Michael Parekowhai carefully dissects Maori identity politics, culture and history through his layered art making that warps references and allusions to art history, personal memories, grand-narratives of nationhood and popular culture. Through lustrous photographs, sculpture and installation, he reinvents these imagery and material, creating quirky parables that invite open interpretation and intrigue. His recent exhibitions include: The English Channel, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2017); Soft Core, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia (2016); Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2015); Menagerie, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne, Australia (2014); On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand (2013); Peripheral Relations; Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art 1960-2011, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (2012) and On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, Palazzo Loredan Dell’Ambasciatore, Dorsoduro, Venice (representing New Zealand), 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011). Parekowhai’s work is held in the collections of Musee Du Quai Branly, Paris, France; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Arario Gallery, Chungcheongnam-do, Korea.

James Tylor

Nunga (Kaurna) and Maori (Te Arawa). b. 1986 Mildura, Australia lives and works in Adelaide, Australia

James Tylor examines cultural identity in Australian contemporary culture. Using the lens of his multi-cultural heritage, which comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Iberian and Norwegian) Australian ancestry, he experiments with range of historical and experimental photographic processes, to examine 19th century Australian history and its legacy on identity in Australia. His recent exhibitions include: Resolution: New Indigenous Photomedia, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, Australia (2017); The witching hour, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia (2017); Ramsay Art Prize Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (2017, finalist); New Matter: Recent forms of Photographs, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2016); Endless Circulation: TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Australia (2016) and Territorial Encounters, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (2016). Tylor’s works are held in the collections of Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.


[1] P. J. Hatfield., The Material History of the Endeavour in Chambers, N. (ed.), Endeavouring Banks (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016).

[2] M. Hetherington and H. Morphy, Footprints in the Sand: Banks’s Maori collection, Cook’s first voyage 1768-71 (Canberra: National Museum of Australia, 2009).

[3] R. Cilento, 1971, Sir Joseph Banks, F.R.S., and the Naming of the Kangaroo, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 26, pp. 157 -161 and H. Parsons, British-Tahitian collaborative drawing strategies on Cook’s Endeavour voyage in Shino Konishi, Maria Nugent and Tiffany Shellam (ed.), Indigenous Intermediaries: new perspectives on exploration archives (Canberra: Australia National University Press, 2015).

[4] Ibid.

 

Exhibition Documentation
All images: Document Photography

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-1

Foreground: Michael Parekowhai, The Moment of Cubism & Nude Descending a Staircase 2009, hand-finished bronze, patina.
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney. 
Background: Installation view, Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu, 4A Centre
for Contemporary Asian Art, 2017.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-2-5

Installation view, Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2017.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-7

L – R: Michael Parekowhai (from the series ‘Beverly Hills Gun Club’), Alex Hamilton, Dave Douglas, J.D. Jones, 2004, 
s
parrow, two pot paint, aluminium, 78 x 13 x 10 cm eachCourtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-6

Foreground: Daniel Boyd, Decomissioned skull boxes, Natural History Museum, London, 2013.
Background: Installation view, Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2017.

 

4a-oct-17-web-13

L – R: Fiona Pardington, Still Life with Freud and Puriri, 2012, pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, 82.5 x 110 cm. Fiona Pardington,
Captive Female Huia, 2017, pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, 110 x 146 cm. With thanks Te Manawa Museum, New Zealand.
Courtesy the artist and Starkwhite, Auckland.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-5

L – R: Daniel Boyd, King No Beard, 2008, oil on linen, 167 x 122 cm. Collection, Clinton Ng. Daniel Boyd, Sir No Beard, 2009, oil
on canvas, 153 x 137.5 cm. Courtesy the artist, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and STATION, Melbourne.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-4

L – R: Sir Joseph Banks, Florilegium: Plate 63 (edition 100/100), 1980 – 1990, copperplate engraving. Sir Joseph Banks, Florilegium:
Plate 57
(edition 100/100). 1980 – 1990, copperplate engraving. Courtesy Angela Tandori Fine Art, Melbourne. James Tylor, Terra
Botanica I (Eucalyptus gracilis), Terra Botanica I (Eucalyptus-leucoxylon)
Terra Botanica I (Eucalyptus-leucoxylon II), Terra
Botanica I (Grevillea banksii), Terra Botanica I (Pennisetum-alopecuroides), Terra Botanica II (Agathis-australis), Terra Botanica
II (Banksia ericifolia), Terra Botanica II (Ipomoea batatas I, Kūmara), Terra Botanica II (Metrosideros-excelsa, Pohutukawa)
,
2015, becquerel daguerreotype, various dimensions. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.

 

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-3a

L – R: James Tylor, Terra Botanica I (Pennisetum-alopecuroides), 2015, becquerel daguerreotype, 28 x 23 cm. James Tylor, Terra
Botanica II (Agathis-australis)
, 2015, becquerel daguerreotype, 14 x 11 cm. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne. 

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-2-6

Installation view, Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2017.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-10

Newell Harry, Circle/s in the Round: WHITE WHINE, 2010, neon. Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-8

L – R: Michael Parekowhai (from the series ‘Beverly Hills Gun Club’), John Taffin, Alex Hamilton, Dave Douglas, J.D. Jones, 2004, 
s
parrow, two pot paint, aluminium, 78 x 13 x 10 cm eachCourtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-3

James Tylor, Terra Botanica I (Eucalyptus gracilis), Terra Botanica I (Eucalyptus-leucoxylon)Terra Botanica I (Eucalyptus-leucoxylon II),
Terra Botanica I (Grevillea banksii), Terra Botanica I (Pennisetum-alopecuroides), Terra Botanica II (Agathis-australis), Terra Botanica
II (Banksia ericifolia), Terra Botanica II (Ipomoea batatas I, Kūmara), Terra Botanica II (Metrosideros-excelsa, Pohutukawa)
, 2015,

becquerel daguerreotype, various dimensions. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.

 

4a-media-select-oct-17-web-9

Newell Harry, Circle/s in the Round: WHITE WHINE, 2010, neon, 135 x 110 x 5 cm. Newell Harry, Circle/s in the Round: LEVEL ROTOR,
2010, neon, 135 x 110 x 5 cm. Newell Harry, Circle/s in the Round: AVID DIVA, 2010, neon, 135 x 110 x 5cm. Newell Harry, Circle/s
in the Round: MALAYALAM RACECAR,
2010, neon, 135 x 175 x 5 cm.