© 2018 by Monash Gallery of Art for LEGACY. Your collection. Our story.

Mortality

Side Gallery

 

Mortality

Mortality and the fragility of life is an enduring thematic concern in art that touches at the heart of human existence. Artists may ask us to question our lives and confront us with often disconcerting and disturbing imagery. It is often that unsettling feeling that takes us outside ourselves and makes us reflect upon our own lives and ponder those questions which are so difficult to answer. Questions like what is the meaning of life, how should we live our lives, what has come before us, what has humanity done, and what will we leave behind. Have you found the answers?

 

Shayne HIGSON

Strange land is the first of two series that Shayne Higson produced while living in the Torres Strait during the early 1990s. The series is based on the story of a young Scottish girl, Barbara Thompson, who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck in the Torres Strait in 1844. She lived on the island of Muralag for five years before being rescued. While living in the Torres Strait herself, Higson imagined being in the same situation and took photographs that resonate with the girl’s account of being adrift in a ‘strange land’. The heavily printed photographs capture dream-like images of the tropical environment and are inscribed with fragments of text taken from Barbara Thompson’s story as well as indigenous myths about the island’s history.

Kag  1991
from the series Adidiu lag – strange land
gelatin silver print
10.8 x 10.9 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2014
MGA 2014.081
courtesy of the artist

Anne Ferran

12  2003

from the series 1–38

pigment ink-jet print

33.0 x 48.3 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Ben Ford in memory of Sue Ford 2014

MGA 2014.096

courtesy of the artist, Sutton Gallery (Melbourne)

Miriam STANNAGE

Surgeon  1984

hand-coloured gelatin silver print

50.8 x 40.7 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Janet Holmes à Court 2005

MGA 2007.37

Anne FERRAN

Anne Ferran’s Rydalmere vertical is a series of photographs that document an installation of colonial-style headdresses set in a nineteenth-century orphanage on the Parramatta River at Rydalmere. The artist manufactured and installed the headdresses for the purpose of taking these photographs. The six ‘soft caps’ sit on a cloth-covered plinth and turn to face a different cardinal point of the compass, as if to situate the often ignored history of colonial orphanages on the map.

The Rydalmere vertical series marks an important point in Ferran’s career, when she began to document historic sites and heritage collections. The full series contains four photographs, covering the four cardinal points.

Rydalmere vertical III  1997

chromogenic print

138.3 x 107.8 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2011

MGA 2012.005

courtesy of the artist

STELARC

Event for inclined suspension, Tamura Gallery, Tokyo  1979

gelatin silver print

75.2 x 56.4 cm

photographers: Yichi Konno and Tamara Davis

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Ken Scarlett 2000

MGA 2000.54

STELARC

Event for rock suspension, Tamura Gallery, Tokyo  1980

chromogenic print

54.0 x 80.0 cm

photographer: Kenji Nozawa

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by the artist 2011

MGA 2011.065

Pat BRASSINGTON

Pat Brassington (1942– ) is a Hobart-based artist who studied printmaking and photography at the Tasmanian School of Art, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 1985. Brassington draws on a personal archive of visual material to compose her images. This archive includes both photographic and non-photographic material, which has either been found or produced by Brassington. Her work takes inspiration from surrealist photography, with its recurring interest in fetish objects and uncanny domestic scenes. Brassington typically employs digital collage to manufacture disjointed compositions, and she exhibits her work in elliptical series that suggest dream-like narratives.


Untitled IX  1980–2002
from the series Untitled
pigment ink-jet print
33.0 x 26.9 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Pat Brassington 2011
MGA 2011.011
courtesy of the artist, Arc One Gallery (Melbourne), Stills Gallery (Sydney) and Betts Gallery (Hobart) 

Emmanuel SANTOS

Zarobi descending  2006
chromogenic print
80.0 x 80.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 2006
MGA 2006.31
courtesy of the artist

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GO TO WAR/PROTEST

Brenda L CROFT

A hostile landscape  2003
from the series Man about town
pigment ink-jet print
80.1 x 118.5 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Brenda L Croft in memory of Mrs Dorothy Jean Croft (1938–2010) 2012
MGA 2012.042
courtesy of the artist