the extractive frontier: mining for art


In 2017, Beverly Knight (Alcaston Gallery) and Clare Wright (La Trobe University) co-curated the bold new exhibition ’The Extractive Frontier / Mining for Art’ as part of the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival (18 – 26 March 2017).

The exhibition looked back on colonial history through the lens of a series of frontier encounters based around the extraction of resources. Taking mining as a metaphor, the artists (from places as geographically and culturally diverse as Yirrkala, Castlemaine, New Guinea, and North Queensland) explored themes implicit in the act of mineral exploration and exploitation: scarring, layering, excavating, prospecting, exchange, power, custody, resources, home, land, destruction and renewal.

The exhibition was exhibited across three spaces in Castlemaine; Lot 19, Castlemaine Market Building, and Castlemaine Art Museum.

Exhibiting artists include:

Chris Barker (Castlemaine, Vic)
Penny Byrne (Melbourne, Vic)
Miriam Charlie (Borroloola, NT)
Gunybi Ganambarr* (Yirrkala, NT)
Selby Ginn (Castlemaine, Vic)
Jacky Green (Borroloola, NT)
Taloi Havini* (Bougainville, Papua New Guinea)
Naomi Hobson (Coen, Qld)
Judy Holding (Central Victoria, Vic)
Julie McHale (Tasmania & Castlemaine, Vic)
Shirley Macnamara and grandson Nathaniel Macnamara (north-west Qld)
Karen Mills (Darwin, NT)
Yhonnie Scarce* (Woomera, SA)
Greg Semu (Sydney, NSW)
Mumu Mike Williams (APY Lands, SA)
Dean Smith (Central Victoria, Vic)
Damien Wright (Melbourne, Vic) and Bonhula Yunupingu (Gunyangara, NT)
The Hermannsburg Watercolourists (Central Australia, NT)

For further information visit the Castlemaine State Festival website:

*Gunybi Ganambarr is represented by Annandale Galleries, NSW
* Taloi Havini is represented by Andrew Baker Art Dealer, QLD
* Yhonnie Scarce is represented by This Is No Fantasty, VIC

The Extractive Frontier