RMIT School of Art's news, activities and achievements
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October 2015

Welcome to the School of Art October Newsletter.
Another busy month for the school's students, staff and alumni. 
Congratulations to staff Dr Philip Samartzis for his Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowship and Martine Corompt for her Melbourne Art Trams commission. Likewise to Luci Lee, a Diploma of Visual Arts student in Vocational Education for winning the Moreland Prize at Artland on RMIT's Brunswick campus and to all the other School of Art students selected for the exhibition. 
The School of Art's Hong Kong undergraduate and Masters programmes continue to flourish. It was my pleasure to open the graduation show for Master of Fine Art students in September. The School of Art has been delivering its programmes in Hong Kong for 17 years graduating a generation of outstanding artists changing the face of contemporary art in Hong Kong. 
As you will see other staff and students have been active locally and across the globe continuing the School of Art's presence in the international art scene. 

Professor Julian Goddard
Head of School
Student and Alumni news

"This Time: 

Master of Fine Art Graduate exhibition opened on 11 September in Hong Kong. Six artists graduated showcased artworks with wide-ranging individual concerns in life such as the passing of time, embodied identity, the physical landscape and the interior landscape of the mind, while connecting us to a shared human quality of connecting both the world we live in and to each other. Professor Julian Goddard, Head of School opened the exhibition.


International Parking Day

Friday September 18 was International Parking Day.
Students from RMIT University's Advanced Diploma of Visual Art undertaking Public Art studios developed and installed a series of works that were temporarily installed on the Esplanade, St Kilda near Alfred Square.
RMIT University's Centre for Art, Society and Transformation (CAST) is currently working with the City of Phillip exploring how art in public spaces can explore perceptions of safety in the Urban Laboratory.  Parking Day was an additional element to the research that mentored students in re-imagining public space.
Students purchased parking tickets and instead of parking a car they installed their art works.  

Image:  Lily Nguyen - Camera Obscura - Lily invited people to see Port Phillip in a whole new perspective through the upside down world of the camera obscura.


Congratulations to Diploma of Visual Arts student Luci Lee who was awarded the Moreland Prize at Artland at RMIT Brunswick campus. Artland is an annual exhibition of site-specific artworks at RMIT Brunswick campus. Selected artists included Adam Wilkinson, Charlie Bucher, Madeline Simm from the Diploma of Visual Arts,  Sabrina Yakima and Lily Nguyen from Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts, Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) students Hans Van Hans, Jess Mason, Jake Coghlan, Mitchell Jones and Stephanie Granlund, Molly Braddon - Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) and Shaun-Joel Liew from Master of Fine Art (coursework).

Image:   Luci Lee with her award winning work 
Gallery and Pharmacy 

Reflection and Renewal at the Old Melbourne Gaol

In September,  Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) Masters candidates, and School of Art PhD candidate Mary Hackett, worked with the National Trust in the production of temporary, site-specific works for the Old Melbourne Gaol.   The works investigated the site through a modern day lens, highlighting the evolution of the mechanisms of control and social profiling, as well as exploring the possibility for redemption through attempts to heal the space and engage with it in unexpected ways.The exhibition was curated by Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) Masters candidate Simon Doyle and produced by Clare McCracken.  

Flower by Anjing Yang (Cherry).  Exhibited at the Old Melbourne Gaol
Staff news

Dr Philip Samartzis

Dr Philip Samartzis has been announced as the 2015 Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellow. The Fellowship will enable him to undertake fieldwork at Casey Station to document the temporal and spatial attributes of katabatic wind and the ways in which it shapes the natural and constructed environment. The sound recordings will inform a new series of artworks and compositions designed to afford an immersive and tactile encounter with polar weather systems. Outcomes from his Fellowship will highlight the capacity of art to contribute a greater awareness of the value of Antarctica and why it should be preserved.    

Martine Corompt

School of Art lecturer Martine Corompt was one of eight selected artists for the 2015 Melbourne Art Trams project. Martine's artwork Look both ways was selected from more than 145 proposals from across Victoria and appears on tram number 270 and will be seen on Camberwell routes 70 and 75.

"Look both ways" reflects on how cities, especially a great city like Melbourne, are in a perpetual state of change and renewal. At any one time there is constant demolition, clearing, redevelopment and construction going on in our urban environment. The spectacular void of the construction site, appearing in place of something that once was, is always a mesmerizing sight, even if the change is not welcome. But these voids are fleeting in comparison to the long life of a city, history overlooks them and we eventually forget about them. Perhaps think of this tram you are riding as a moving catalyst for change, plowing through the city and suburbs leaving a trail of transformation in its wake."


Clare McCracken

Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) lecturer Clare McCracken recently exhibited as part of Sydney's Underbelly Festival on Cockatoo Island.  The Becalmed Heart was a collaborative project with theater maker Brienna Macnish, sound artist Robert Jordan and lighting designer Chris Page.  Constructed out of 20,000 recycled grey plastic bags from Coles and Woolworths the vast immersive installation transported festival goers into an otherworldly landscape where the natural environment exists only as a memory and in imitation.  Fenella Kernebone described the project as:"...calm and shocking. ...It is a powerful reflection on consumption, mass consumerism and our impact on environment. A strong, vivid comment about our relationship with nature and the impact of climate change, executed in the most brutally beautiful way."  The project was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria and was originally conceived by Brienna Macnish.

The Becalmed Heart - Photograph by Vikk Shayen

Dr Irene Barberis

'Dr. Irene Barberis is the invitational International Director at the SACI Institute for the Crossing the Line #3: Global Drawing; Intersections in Firenze Symposium in Florence. 

She is Curator of Contemporary Australian Drawing #5 Facsimile Exhibition, and is presenting a paper, ‘Global Drawing’ alongside papers from UK, USA, Brazil, and UAE.  

She will give a Drawing Master Class on day two and will Chair the Artists Lab: ‘Intersecting Conversations‘. 

The ‘Drawing Everywhere Project: 2015/2020’ © 
commences it’s first iteration at SACI with 6 international Universities taking part. It was originally formed as a collaborative Metasenta Project between Stephen Farthing and Irene Barberis. 
Symposium Nov. 6, 7 Exhibitions Nov 6 – Dec 6.'


Dr Ian Haig

Dr Ian Haig's work was included in a major international exhibition 'Carnal Desire' at Museum Villa Rot in Burgrieden, Germany. (18/10/15 - 21/02/16) The theme of the show is meat and contemporary art. Other artists in the exhibition include: Hermann Nitsch, Orlan, John Isaacs and Wim Delvoye. The exhibition runs from 18 October 2015 to 21 February 2016.

Image:  Ian Haig something 2012, silicon, electronics


The Trials of Painter William Dobell

The Centre for Art, Society and Transformation (CAST), RMIT School of Art invites you to the preview screening and following Q & A with filmmaker Eugene Schlusser of the documentary The Trials of Painter William Dobell.   
6.00pm, Friday 23 October
Building 80, Level 1, Room 2 (Cinema).
RMIT City Campus, 
445 Swanston Street, Melbourne, 3000.
RSVP through 

School of Art Galleries

School of Art Galleries

The RMIT School of Art Galleries manages PROJECT SPACE / SPARE ROOM, Lightscape Projects, RMIT iAIR, Grey Area, RMIT-3ACP and the RMIT School of Art Gallery, running a dynamic program of exhibitions, talks, artist residencies and opportunities. Find out more events and exhibitions visit the RMIT School of Art Galleries website. 

Yu Cheng-Ta, The Letters, 6-channel video installation, 2013, Courtesy the artist and Chi-Wen Gallery (photo: Taipei Fine Arts Museum)

Nicole Slatter PhD examination exhibition

Please join us this Thursday 15 October, 5-7pm to celebrate the opening of Nicole Slatter's PhD exhibition in the School of Art Gallery.

 This research project brings together two main fields of inquiry: contemporary articulations of place and the field of contemporary representational painting. In this project, I aim to question how the experiences of place can contribute to the construction of emotionally evocative spaces in urban landscape painting. To isolate and extend urban place through painting, I represent and manipulate the known experiences of a place, shifting emphasis between the physical objective facts of the space and the subjective recollection of time spent in that place.

The project promotes connections to memory and history and knowledge; however it remains focused on the primacy of the senses to create feeling enhanced through an encounter with the painted space.

Image:  Nicole Slatter, Urban Allure, 2014, oil on canvas, 80 x 104 x 4 cm

External Exhibitions

Lurid Beauty

Associate Professor Peter Ellis, Deputy Head of School Learning and Teaching, is featured in Lurid Beauty – Australian Surrealism & its Echoes at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Peter is represented with over 80 individual works, including an especially commissioned automatic wall painting.

A provocative new NGV exhibition, Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, will for the first time explore the Australian story of the 20th century’s most revolutionary art movement and its powerful influence on contemporary art and popular culture.

The exhibition will present more than 230 works traversing painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, fashion, film and photography.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly - illustrated publication with several texts including a feature by Peter Ellis.
Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square from 9 October 2015 to 31 January 2016. Open daily, 10am-5pm. Admission fees apply

Image:  Peter Ellis, Last Thoughts of Edouard Manet


Torrent is a multi-channel animated projection by School of Art lecturer Martine Corompt, with sound design by Philip Brophy who also lectures in the School. 

Exhibition:  2 October to 15 November 2015
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George Street, Fitzroy

Image:  Torrent installation view Contemporary Art Tasmania 2015, Photo: Dr. D. Tofts
Copyright © 2015 RMIT University, School of Art, All rights reserved.

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