Aaron Butt: River Derwent, MONA

WHEN : 5th - 29th July
WHERE : Jan Manton Art

River Derwent, MONA is a suite of works that depict the shoreline of the River Derwent in Berridale Tasmania, as well as selected artefacts and the grounds of the Museum of Old and New Art. United by subtle formal and conceptual cues, each work exists in a pair; one painting represents the strange Tasmanian landscape and atmospheric conditions; the other, curious historical objects collected by the museum owner, David Walsh. The coupling creates a situation where one’s gaze meets the exterior and surrounds of the museum and its contents, disavowing the buildings unique internal architecture and thus perpetuating its mysterious public image and perceptions. In the landscapes, the lighting conditions differ considerably – from smoke-like morning clouds to crisp and cloudless afternoons. In the artefact paintings, objects differ considerably in geographical and historical origin, from an 18th Dynasty Scarab to a 20th century Nigerian Crown.

River Derwent MONA combines the ancient and the contemporary; ancient objects in a contemporary museum in an ancient landscape. Like the museum, River Derwent, MONA aims to complicate straightforward perceptions of time and place to exaggerate, as per MONA’s 2013 exhibition concept, the ‘Theatre of the World’.