PEOPLE,

Group Exhibition

29 February — 16 March 2024

The landscape has changed. We express ourselves more and more through the lens of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Huddles and many more social media platforms as we reflect on the impact of the digital realm on the depth and authenticity of our relationships. We are defined through social media rather than human interactions; where the absurd becomes the everyday, outrage the norm and risqué self-portraits are expected. Yet we continue to crave human interaction and authentic experiences. As much as social media has brought us together, it has also divided us with totemic opinions. In an age dominated by technology, this exhibition takes a closer look at how digital platforms have redefined the landscape of human interaction. As we navigate the complexities of our modern world, at our core, we are beings driven by the innate desire to connect, communicate, and understand one another. Whilst all the artists in this exhibition are unique in their stories and mark-making, they are united by an interest in the great human psyche, what makes us tick, and why we put so much consideration in how we are represented. 

I am often making sense of myself and what is around me with metaphors for self-representation and journey. I think, how can you do a drawing or a painting of love or of a relationship. How can you capture something so vast as love? How do you describe the journey and experience of travel over the horizon line; always looking to the end, stories of the journey, being immersed in the moment, rather than faithfully painting the destination as a representation of place. It is the spirit, emotion and journey that is the artful moment, not so much as the eventual destination. A language of a place differs across geographies as we describe similar and different parts of nature and our surrounds. I am interested in paintings of the edge of the landscape, the edge of humanity, the end, where the land stops and the search continues. But what if the landscape is digital, it is not a journey beyond the horizon line, but a journey that is internal and external both. A journey crafted by one another that takes on a persona all its own.

The digital landscape has turned outrage into a pervasive element of online interaction. The platform-specific features, such as likes, shares, and comments, contribute to the amplification of extreme opinions, creating an echo chamber effect where users are surrounded by like-minded perspectives. We want to prompt viewers to reflect on the impact of this outrage culture and on the depth and authenticity of interpersonal relationships. One of the distinctive features of social media is the permission it grants for self-expression, even if it challenges traditional norms. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram encourage users to share intimate moments of their lives, blurring the boundaries between public and private. But what is the impact of this trend on self-esteem, body image, and the commodification of personal experiences. By juxtaposing historical norms of modesty with contemporary expressions of self-love and confidence, we can invite viewers to critically assess the evolving standards of acceptability in the digital age.

Despite the profound impact of social media on human interaction, our core desire is for connection, communication and understanding. Navigating through the complexities of the digital landscape we reflect on the transformation of self-expression, the normalisation of outrage, the expectation of provocation, and the dichotomy of connection and division. As we grapple with the consequences of living in an age dominated by technology, more and more we seek authentic experiences beyond the curated narratives of social media. Through a visual journey that spans the evolution of human interaction we recognise the potential pitfalls of the digital realm while celebrating the enduring human desire to connect with one another in meaningful ways. We crave stories, telling them and listening to them, as a content creator social media provides a window to those stories – but are they the authentic true stories of one another or are they a confection. We continue to search for that enduring connection.


Steven Alderton    READ FULL ESSAY
Director & CEO, National Art School

\ Exhibition featured works

Hal Witney

Chat

2024 \ Acrylic, cotton thread, watercolour paper ink, oil pastel on paper (unframed) \ 65 x 50cm

Hal Witney

Desiderium

2024 \ Acrylic, charcoal, ink, pen, lead pencil, cotton thread, rhinestones, oil pastel on paper (unframed) \ 120 x 80cm

Leslie Rice

FTW BTW

2024 \ Acrylic on velvet \ 94 x 74cm

Alison Smith

Face LIV

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face LIX

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face LV

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face LVI

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face LVII

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face LVIII

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

SOLD

Alison Smith

Face LXX

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face V

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face VII

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face XIV

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face XXIII

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

Alison Smith

Face XXV

2023 \ Monotype \ 76 x 56cm

James Drinkwater

Fronte Oceano

2024 \ Oil on mirror \ 110.5 x 129cm

Nicola Higgins

Girl with sunflowers

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ F. 93.5 x 78cm

SOLD

Samuel Frank

Golgotha supercharge

2021 \ Acrylic on board \ 200 x 200cm

Hal Witney

Grasp

2024 \ Charcoal, ink on paper (unframed) \ 65 x 50cm

Hal Witney

Latibulate

2024 \ Acrylic, pastel and charcoal on paper (unframed) \ 65 x 50cm

Hal Witney

Limerence

2024 \ Acrylic, charcoal on canvas, Tasmanian oak, resin gold earrings on canvas \ 133 x 186cm

Bec Fernon

Not my hands

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ 101 x 122cm

Hal Witney

Online

2023 \ Pen, acrylic, watercolour, cotton thread and epoxy on paper (unframed) \ 65 x 50cm

Jordan Simi

Public affection

2024 \ Acrylic, spray paint, oil crayon on canvas \ 198 x 140cm

Samuel Frank

Robot's head exploding

2024 \ Acrylic on board \ 80 x 60cm

Samuel Frank

Robots witnessing the death of Christ

2024 \ Acrylic on board \ 80 x 60cm

Fiona Lowry

Sometimes you're a stranger to me

2018 \ Acrylic on canvas \ 210 x 260cm

Fiona Lowry

These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original to me

2010 \ Acrylic on canvas \ 183 x 167.5cm

Bec Fernon

This isn't what it looks like

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ 98 x 170cm

Bec Fernon

This really isn't what it looks like

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ 101 x 122cm

Nicola Higgins

Woman holding a mask

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ F. 93.5 x 78cm

SOLD

Nicola Higgins

Woman leaning on a table with roses

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ F. 93.5 x 78cm

SOLD

Nicola Higgins

Woman sitting with blue irises

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ F. 93.5 x 78cm

SOLD

Nicola Higgins

Woman with lobster

2024 \ Oil on canvas \ F. 93.5 x 78cm

SOLD

Fiona Lowry

You can't change the way I feel

2018 \ Acrylic on canvas \ 92 x 76cm

\ Other exhibitions

Yoshio Honjo

The Serpent, the Courtesan and other Japanese Fables

23 July — 10 August 2024

COMING HOME

Group Exhibition

17 July — 27 July 2024

ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY

Group Exhibition

13 July — 20 July 2024

Contact Us

to find out more about PEOPLE,.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.30pm Saturday, 11am - 4pm Closed Public Holidays (and Easter Saturday)