Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations is a community cultural development partnership between SAM and Gallery Kaiela that provides an opportunity for artists from a diverse range of backgrounds to come together and collaborate in the making of art. The project involves a number of local Indigenous artists partnering with established Melbourne-based contemporary artists, collaborating side-by-side, or in response to each other's practice. The participants include: Jack Anselmi, Eric Brown, Aunty Cynthia Hardy, Eva Ponting and Lyn Thorpe with Naomi Ota, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Vipoo Srivilasa and Joseph L Griffiths. Through the sharing of ideas, narratives and techniques, the artists will engage in an exploration of cultural difference and similarity, conflict and connection, forging relationships in a dialogic exchange that departs from the art-making process. The outcome of these conversations and artistic investigations will be an exhibition at SAM from December 2015.
Unfolding over several months the project will be a journey - possibly demarcated by uncertainty and negotiation around ways of seeing - as the artists chart the treacherous waters of cross-cultural identity politics, intersected by the post-colonial wake. This said, the project has been aptly named, as a ‘collision' in a scientific sense is a creative act; an encounter between particles resulting in the exchange or transformation of energy. Collisions is about embracing the value found in risk and uncertainty, as experimentation is the vanguard of the new.
Funders of this project include Sir Andrew & Lady Fairley Foundation, Mr Allan Myers AO QC and the Besen Family Foundation.
Image: Eric Brown and Vipoo Srivilasa, Untitled, 2015, porcelain and acrylic paint, dimensions variable, courtesy and © the artist