Shiver

4th - 21st December

Onespace Gallery

Onespace Gallery presents Shiver, an exhibition of contemporary artworks dedicated to the rarely exhibited theme of sharks. 

Perfectly timed for summer, Shiver takes audiences up close and personal with a diverse range of sharks—the hammerhead, grey nurse, tiger and the mythic Great White—without the threat inherent in an actual encounter.

As Onespace Director John Stafford notes, “Animals of many species, both actual and mythical, have been widely depicted throughout the history of art. They have appeared in artwork across a very diverse range of cultures, across many millennia. However, the shark has not known the same level of valorisation in society and art history.”

Depictions of these apex predators—some over two metres in length—provide gallery patrons with an impressive art experience that they won’t forget. Australian artists of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, and European heritage have entered these open waters. They include: Leah Emery, Kevin Finn, Glen Mackie, Justin Majid, Deb Mostert, Gary Namponan, Leigh Namponan, Daniel O’Shane, Elysha Rei, Brian Robinson, Pamela See, Peter Solness, Jimmy J. Thaiday, Jimmy K. Thaiday and Samuel Tupou.

Their collective ‘shiver’ of sharks is expressed in totemic paintings, colourful wall sculptures, bold black-and-white lino prints, delicate watercolours, intimate embroidery, text works and t-shirts, romantic landscape photography, and robust ghost-net artworks.

Shiver celebrates the diversity of artistic approaches to sharks. As Stafford continues:

“This exhibition is a curatorial snapshot within a vast ocean of the contemporary art milieu. It focuses on a group of impressive fine artworks that capture the obsession of our national psyche and collective emotional fascination with sharks.”
 
So, what does Shiver aim to do? A number of these artists, especially those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage such as Leigh Namponan, Daniel O’Shane, Jimmy K. Thaiday and Brian Robinson, spiritually associate with the shark as a totem intrinsic to their cultural cosmology. Other artists highlight species’ protection. Elysha Rei explores the use of the skin of the Great White in Japanese culture, while Pamela See questions the shark-fin trade in Chinese restaurants. Kevin Finn re-brands the Great White by suggesting people are the real ‘apex predator’ in the relationship between sharks and humans, and Deb Mostert depicts a graphic taxonomy of toys and merchandise that flood the planet with shark memorabilia.

Image: Image Caption: Peter Solness, Shark Engraving, 2007, Bondi Golf Course (Aboriginal Engraving Series IV), limited edition of 15 archival print on Hahnemuhle cotton rag museum-grade art paper, 60cm x 90cm. 

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