Photo: Fergus Floyd

Public Forum: Points of View

Saturday 7 May 2016

While the Australian bush has traditionally exerted a powerful mystique over the popular imagination, suburbia has gradually usurped the natural landscape as the site of the day-to-day lives and experiences for the majority of Australians.

Nevertheless, the landscape genre featured in Panorama and Judy Watson: the scarifier persists as a subject not only reflecting on the changes wrought on the Australian landscape since colonisation, but also the transformation of its social, economic and cultural functions. Moreover, these works call into question the very nature of our relationships to, and conceptions of, the landscape, challenging us to consider, or reconsider, its role in the delineation of personal, community, and national identities.

In this forum, panelists will speak about their own work in relation to the question of ‘landscape’. Multi award winning artists Danie Mellor, Imants Tillers and Judy Watson, whose works are currently on display in the TarraWarra Museum of Art exhibitions, will discuss their diverse approaches to the subject. Poet, academic and author Justin Clemens, a national commentator on Australian art and literature, will give the first public recitation of new poems he has written inspired by the exhibitions, along with those of other writers whose themes express points of view on the landscape.


Danie Mellor is a contemporary Australian artist who won the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2009. His mixed ancestry includes the Mamu people of far north Queensland. A key theme in his work is the relationship between systems of colonisation and Indigenous histories.

Imants Tillers has been at the forefront of contemporary art for over three decades using his signature canvas boards to explore themes relevant to contemporary culture, from the centre/periphery debates of the 1980s, to the effects of migration, displacement and diaspora, to an ongoing concern with place, locality and evocations of the landscape.

Judy Watson’s Aboriginal matrilineal family are from Waanyi country in north-west Queensland and her process lies in revealing hidden stories within Country, working from site and memory, revealing Indigenous histories, following lines of emotional and physical topography that centre on particular places and moments in time.

Justin Clemens is a writer, poet and lecturer in English Literature at the University of Melbourne who has published extensively on psychoanalysis, contemporary European philosophy, and contemporary Australian art and literature.

Tickets $25 / $20 concession

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