We were honoured by the sheer volume and calibre of responses to our exhibition call out late last year. With over 120 submissions from artists across the country, selecting just eight projects to exhibit in the Main Gallery was a task of great deliberation and consultation for the Outer Space programming committee. We’d like to thank everyone who shared their ideas, expressions and vulnerability with us.

The resulting 2024 Outer Space exhibition program is a combination of call-out responses and invited projects, and showcases a broad spectrum of perspectives, mediums and practices—from fabricated weather systems to traditional Indigenous printmaking, the impacts of forever plastics and intergenerational reclamation. This year, we’ll have questions of self, place, and diasporic meaning, nestled amongst AI interventions, human fluid secretions and playful expansions of the body. Sites for sculpture, performance, and specificity, with latex deviations, material explorations, and sulfuric (in)stability under capitalism.

Our exhibition calendar starts in the clouds, with a body of work by Torin Francis that presents questions of time, place and body through material studies, and a site-specific, fabricated weather system. Remnants of discarded weather balloons are suspended in acrylic, alongside post-function metrics suspended in states of degradation.

Then, we’ll host a potent series from a weaver, printmaker and sculptural artist beyond the point—Matilda Nona from Badu Island. Nona’s works are engaging portrayals of culture and story in the Torres Strait, and she applies unique methodologies, symbols and environments to extend traditional print practices through a range of natural mediums.

Through April and May, Kombumerri Country/Gold Coast-based artist Norton Fredricks presents an exhibition of many senses through textile, sculpture and installation, expanding on their botanical dying and fibre practices through precious metals, and most importantly, ‘forever plastics’ (or PFAS), and their presence and impacts in our bodies, environments and futures.

Following this, we have an intimate exploration from Natalie Quan Yau Tso, an artist based on Gadigal and Wangal Country/Sydney. Tso’s expanded practice engages her body as the primary means to archive, embody, and remember Hong Kong—her homeland—a country that has long faced efforts of colonial erasure as a result of Chinese and British imperialism. Through this lens, bodily and political boundaries can be explored in parallel, through sculpture, installation and performance.

Marking the second half of our year and program, Sunshine Coast/Kabi Kabi Country-based artist Amanda Bennetts shares a speculative expansion on her critical dissections of health, care and disability. As part of the International Symposium of Electronic Art, this exhibition will give Bennetts space to examine standards of clinical care, comfort and accessibility to propose new visions of medicine with machine learning, through diagnostics, data and ethics, to the realities of AI integration—acceptance, agency, accountability.

Next, we’re host to a volcanic exploration across hemispheres and time with Hannah Hallam-Eames. Pursuing a link between new and ancient volcanic movements, the exhibition will analyse Earthly transformations over billions of years, and consider tectonic, environmental, and anthropocentric influences on its evolutions to challenge notions of innate stability in a Western capitalist context.

Moving into questions of place and purpose, artist Kuweni Dias Mendis offers a ritual installation and performance in awe of the Maiwar, one that speaks to the complexities of multicultural living as visitors on unceded indigenous lands. Through textiles, natural pigments, and embodied movement, Dias Mendis presents new relationships between self, country and body.

Our last gallery guests for the year are a potent local pairing of absurd proportions and potential, Seren Wagstaff & Joseph Botica. With iconic practices respectively across installation, sculpture, wearable art and performance, both Wagstaff and Botica align in their real-world explorations of fantasy of body, landscape and beyond. This exhibition is presented in partnership with Melt Open, produced by the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Closing out the year, we are excited to be hosting our annual art fundraiser that, with your support, will generate vital funds to sustain a vibrant future for artistic development and programming at Outer Space. This expansive annual program represents our ongoing and strong commitment to compelling and critical artistic programming that centres a diverse cohort of emerging, early and mid-career artists.

We congratulate the successful artists and are honoured to work alongside them to realise their projects at Outer Space in the coming months.