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Curtin University of Technology
John Curtin Gallery

Past exhibitions

Postgraduate Exhibitions

twenty people twenty paintings

Postcards from Australia: Mapping Climates of Change


Metamorphose - Andrew Mallard

Permeable Boundaries: Interiors - a field of possibilities

Structuring Perception: architectural projects by Pendal and Neille

13 - Our Faith in Numbers, A Mathematical Conversation with Nature

art in the age of nanotechnology




5 exhibitions by graduating Postgraduate students from the
School of Design and Art

16 September - 10 December 2010


In partnership with Curtin University's School of Design and Art, the John Curtin Gallery is proud to present solo exhibitions by five female artists, graduating from PhD, Doctor of Creative Arts, Masters of Philosophy and Masters of Arts.

Thea Costantino, Tanya Lee, Lee Mansbridge, Anna Nazzari and Angela Stewart all work in various mediums to explore historical imagery, modes of record and distortions of truth and ritual.


Thea Costantino
Diseased Estate
Award-winning artist Thea Costantino, who is graduating with a PhD from Curtin, is well known to Perth audiences. Her art work has been shown widely in local and national exhibitions, and she is the founding member of the arts organisation Hold Your Horses with artists Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont who produced the dark comic musical Heart of Gold in 2009, written by Costantino.
Diseased Estate supports Costantino's thesis which investigates the grotesque as a mode for the representation of history. Historical imagery - anonymous photographs, portraiture, medical documentation and photojournalism - are manipulated to alter the original context and question the notion that history can provide an objective access to the past.

thea image
Thea Costantino, Untitled (from Diseased Estate), 2010, graphite on paper, 41 x 45 cm.

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Thea Costantino, Diseased Estate, installation views, 2010



Tanya Lee
Alternative Instructions for Every Day Life
Tanya Lee's practice takes everyday tasks and transforms them into difficult and bizarre adventures. The humorous, often tragic, engagement between herself, the world and ordinary objects is explored through performance, drawings, photographic documentation and sculpture to construct a narrative. 
Alternative Instructions for Everyday Life shows the way in which the rituals of everyday living and interaction with commonplace objects define our identity, space and the rules that exist between the two.
Lee, who grew up in the small wheat-belt town of Wubin, Western Australia, has recently completed her Master of Arts (Visual Arts).


tanya lee image
Tanya Lee, Putting on Clothes 11 (detail), 2009, video projection, dimensions variable, image courtesy of the artist


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Tanya Lee, Putting, On All the Clothes I Own (detail), 2010, video projection, dimensions variable, image courtesy of the Artist

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Tanya Lee, Alternative Instructions for Every Day Life, installation views, 2010



Lee Mansbridge
Gather Round Me and I'll Draw You A Story
New Zealand-born artist Lee Mansbridge (Ngati Maniapoto) has recently completed her Master of Arts (Visual Arts). Her practice draws on theoretical concepts exploring knowledge and colonisation with strong links to her Maori/European heritage. Her exhibition, Gather Round Me and I'll Draw You A Story draws on the subjective and intimate gathering and recording of unofficial narratives to develop a personal system of storytelling. This two-part body of work, depicted through paintings and sculptural works, is the story of the Maori people of Parihaka, who resisted the invasion of their settlement by Europeans in the 1800's and the tragedy that ensued.

lee mansbridge image
Lee Mansbridge, Memorial to Parihaka: Te Whiti, Tohu - Black Boots - White Horse, 2009, V/D epoxy paint, pine, MDF, and globe, dimensions variable, image courtesy of the Artist

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Lee Mansbridge, Parihaka 41 Chapters, 2009, installation views, JCG, 2010

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Lee Mansbridge, Memorial to Parihaka: Te Whiti, Tohu - Black Boots - White Horse, 2009, installation view, JCG, 2010


Anna Nazzari
Casino Sisyphus
Anna Nazzari, who is completing her PhD in Art, investigates the presence of the absurd within gender ambiguous narratives. She incorporates contemporary and traditional sculptural techniques to create familiar and comforting aesthetics.  Casino Sisyphus metaphorically critiques the futility of gender ambiguous revolt through the notion of the game. In the selection of games represented in Nazzari's exhibition, the notion of winning is undermined by absurd strategies which produce foreseeable outcomes. Strategies such as lack of risk, nostalgia and repetition generate illusions of success, hope and happiness; thus fuelling the desire to play but ensuring ultimate meaninglessness.

Anna Nazzari image
Anna Nazzari, Toute le monde gagne, 2010, wooden roulette table maple, cherry, nyotah, jarrah, pine, wood burned drawings and gold leaf, 1.8m x 1.2m x 1.1m

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Anna Nazzari, Casino Sisyphus, installation views, 2010


Unlacing Carnal Margins: Portraits by Angela Stewart
Angela Stewart is completing her Doctorate in Art. For the last few years Stewart has been exploring the genre of portraiture. Her interest has been to unravel the pentimenti of painting practice as a way of understanding the interstitial space between the sitter and the painter. To do this Stewart has had a dialogue with a sixteenth century Italian painter Sofonisba Anguissola. By using research, imagination and conjecture she has interwoven sixteenth century painting with a contemporary La Pittura - the allegory of painting. Her aim is to unlace the confinements of the body and bring to the surface the pentimento - the mistakes and alterations made in the painting process.

angela stewart image
Angela Stewart, Poesis, 2007 acrylic, oil on wood, 1290 x 900mm

Angela Stewart install

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Unlacing Carnal Margins: Portraits by Angela Stewart , installation views, 2010



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GET smART: exhibition and auction
June 11 - 13 August 2010

View the GET smART video walk through here.

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More than sixty new and recent works from emerging and established artists will soon be on show.
This exhibition, which will feature ceramics, paintings, drawings, sculptures, objects, photographs, prints and audio visual works will showcase works by artists who have exhibited their work at the John Curtin Gallery since its inception in 1998, or are currently held in the Curtin University Art Collection. Works will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition and proceeds will support the development of the Gallery's exhibition program.

Tom Alberts . Brook Andrew . Darryn Ansted . Su Baker . Sandra Black . Brian Blanchflower . Cathy Blanchflower . Frances Blythe . Paul Caporn-Bennett . David Carson . Susanna Castleden . Rebecca Dagnall . Elizabeth Delfs . Pippin Drysdale . Nola Farman . Kate Faulds . Peter Fitzpatrick . Philip Gamblen . Pamela Gaunt . Roger Goodman . Denise Green . Elise/Jürgen . Elizabeth Hammond . Cat Hope . Harry Hummerston . Ben Joel . David Jones . Robert Juniper . Jeremy Kirwan-Ward . Trish Little . Honni Mansell . Kate McMillan . Alana McVeigh . Kim Stanley Medlen . Laurent Mignonneau  &  Christa Sommerer . Tracey Moffatt . Tom Mùller . Annette Nykiel . Max Pam . Sonia Payes .
Kevin Robertson . Megan Salmon . Nien Schwarz . Annette Seeman . Nalda Searles . Bruce Slatter . Nicole Slatter .
Felicity Sivewright . Patrick Snelling . Tania Spencer . Alex Spremberg . Holly Story . John Teschendorff .
Michele Theunissen . Marzena Topka . Brendan Van Hek . Rick Vermey . Bill Viola . Katrina Virgona  . Anne Walmsley Judy Watson . Michael Wise . Richard Woldendorp  . Caitlin Yardley . Rima Zabaneh

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GET smART, installation view, 2010

auction: Friday 13 August 6:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm for refreshments, registration and preview
auctioneer: Andrew Gaynor, independent curator, writer and researcher
Admission is free.

For artwork details, price ranges and information about the artists, view the complete Illustrated Auction List.

If you would like any further information please contact the Gallery.


Tom Alberts image
Tom Alberts, Self Portrait late 2009,
2009, oil on linen, 355 x 305mm

Harry Hummerston image
Harry Hummerston, Necromancing TDUCFIKN,
2009, enamel on acrylic sheet, composite aluminium, 510 x 1160 mm

Pippin Drysdale image
Pippin Drysdale, a selection of vessels and
closed forms from the Tanami Traces and Kimberley Series, 2008/2009, porcelain

Kate Faulds image
Kate Faulds, It's Cold Up There, 2009,
digital video projection

dagnall image
Rebecca Dagnall, Paradise in Suburbia, 2009, pigment print

hammond image
Elizabeth Hammond, The Tales Series III, 2008, pencil on Dessin paper

su baker image
Su Baker, Stendhal's Souvenirs - or when too much art is not enough, 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas

david jones image
David Jones, Après la grande tempête, trois cheminées de Desmarest, 1990, aluminium mounted photograph

Elise/Jürgen, Touchant Touche, 2009, digital projection on felt screens

frances blythe image
Frances Blythe, Peri, 2008, oil on canvas


ben joel image
Ben Joel, After Exit Strategy, 2010, giclee print

roger goodman image
Roger Goodman, Roll a Ball, a Penny a Pitch,
2005/6, etching on bfk

bruce slatter image
Bruce Slatter, Demountable (model), 2006,
mixed media, 350 x 350 x 80 mm

Sonia Payes image
Sonia Payes, The Bar, 2004,
c-type photograph, 1080 x 1570mm

tom muller image
Tom Múller, Shooting Stars from the series Vector Worlds,
2007, c-type photograph, 800 x 1200mm

spremberg image
Alex Spremberg, Closer, 2005, enamel on wood

max pam image
Max Pam, 12 Black and White Objects, 1980 - 2006,

yardley image
Caitlin Yardley, Pour 71: Woman in a Garden, 2009, oil on canvas

caprn image
Paul Caporn, Barbie Mate, 2004, webber barbeque, fibreglass and automotive paint

c.blanflower image
Cathy Blanchflower, Atlas V, 1997, oil on canvas



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GET smART, installation views, 2010







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art in the age of nanotechnology

A Perth International Arts Festival exhibition
5 February - 30 April 2010

opening hours: Monday - Friday 12-5pm and the following Sundays 1-4pm: 7, 14, 21 & 28 February, 28 March and 18 April

Please view the Events, Lectures & Forums page for Public Program details.

Please view the multimedia page to listen to recorded floortalks and to view a walk through of the exhibition.


If you are a teacher and are considering bringing your students in for a visit, please feel free to download our Teachers Pack here. It contains information on what you can expect when you get here, how each artworks relates to the cirriculum and some basic activity ideas to get you going.
Please let us know if you plan to bring in a large group so that we can plan accordingly and answer any questions you may have. Phone 9266 4155 or email

The unique works developed for art in the age of nanotechnology operate at the intersection of art, science and technology, demonstrating innovative examples of contemporary art and scientific collaboration.

The exhibition comprises of a series of collaborative projects designed to challenge, explore and critique our understanding of the material world and has brought together artists and scientists from the around the world to present new ways of seeing, sensing and connecting with matter that's miniscule and abstract.

art in the age of nanotechnology
features internationally-recognised artists and scientists such as Christa Sommerer (Austria) & Laurent Mignonneau (France); Paul Thomas (Aus) & Kevin Raxworthy (Aus); Mike Phillips (UK); Boo Chapple (Aus) and Victoria Vesna (USA) & James Gimzewski (Scotland).

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Boo Chapple
Can you hear the Femur Play?
Bone audio speakers at the nano scale.

Over the past three years Boo Chapple has been working on a project to make audio speakers out of bone. The development of this project involved working with the piezoelectric nature of the bone matrix in order to cause bone to vibrate in such a way as to generate audible sound. Ongoing research and the presentation of Transjuicer has been motivated by the artist's desire to investigate phenomena occurring beyond our human capacity to sense, and to amplify these interactions in such a way that they are able to be effectively experienced at the human scale.

Boo Chapple image
Boo Chapple, Transjuicer 2, 2009, digital image, image courtesy of the Artist

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Boo Chapple, Transjuicer, 2009, installation view, JCG, 2010

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Boo Chapple, Transjuicer, 2009, installation view (detail), JCG, 2010

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 Mike Phillips
"A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye."

These are words spoken by Horartio to describe the ghost of Hamlet's father. In this Shakespearian play the ghost is seen but not believed and one is left to wonder if it is just the seeing of it that makes it real - its existence totally dependent on the desire of the viewer to see it.  The 'mote' or speck of dust in the mind of the beholder both creates the illusion and convinces us that what we see is real. Something just out of the corner of our minds eye, those little flecks magnified by our desire to see more clearly. Yet the harder we look the more blurred our vision becomes.

The whirlwind of data projected within the gallery is rendered invisible by the gaze of the viewer. The more we look the more invisible it becomes, look away and it remerges. A ghost of the mote can be seen in your peripheral vision but never head on. The harder we try to see the truth the less we see.


mike phillips image
Mike Phillips, A Mote Eye, 2009, image courtesy of the Artist

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Mike Phillips, "A Mote it is...1", 2009, image courtesy of the Artist

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Mike Phillips, A Mote it is..., 2009, installation view (detail), JCG, 2010

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Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau
tries to make the nano-world accessible through touch. A wireless magnetic force-feedback interface allows users to touch invisible nano particles, creating an ever-changing invisible sculpture, which modifies its shape and properties as users interact with it and with each other.

Users wear magnetic ring interfaces that are made of strong permanent magnets. When users move their hands over the tables of the installation, strong magnetic forces, repulsion, attraction and even slight shock can be felt. As users try to comprehend the structure of this invisible sculpture through touch, its shape changes and varies, as a direct result of the user's hand positions and frequency of movements.


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Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Nano-Scape

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Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Nano-Scape, installation view, JCG, 2010

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Paul Thomas & Kevin Raxworthy
is an interactive audio-visual installation where the viewer interfaces with the visual and sonic presentation through his or her own breath. In the context of the project, breath has a strong conceptual and metaphorical link to a Biblical inception of life. The project attempts to maintain a high quality of authentic data to engage the viewer in a sensorial qualitative experience of quantitative data.

In Nano_essence a single skin cell is analysed with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to explore comparisons between, life and death at a nano level. The humanistic discourse concerning life is now being challenged by nanotechnological research that brings into question the concepts of what constitutes living. The space of the body can be seen at an atomic level as having no defining boundaries. The proposal for nanotechnology to reshape nature atom by atom develops an interesting debate as to the constitution of life. The Nano_essence project aims to construct a physical experience to examine a spatial envelope between the scientific and metaphysical world.


Paul Thomas image
Paul Thomas in collaboration with Kevin Raxworthy, Nanoessence, 2009, screen capture

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Paul Thomas in collaboration with Kevin Raxworthy, Nanoessence, 2009, installation view, JCG, 2010

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Victoria Vesna and James Gimszewkski.
consists of a 15min video projected onto a disk of sand, 8 feet in diameter. Visitors touch the sand as oscillating images of the molecular structure of a single grain of sand obtained via a scanning electron microscope (SEM). These images are projected to reveal the recognisable image of the complete mandala, and then back again. This coming together of art, science, and technology is a modern interpretation of an ancient tradition that consecrates the planet and its inhabitants to bring about purification and healing.

Inspired by watching the nanoscientist at work, purposefully arranging atoms just as the monk laboriously creates sand images grain by grain, this work brings together the Eastern and Western minds through a shared process centered on patience.

Nano mandala image1
Nanomandala by Victoria Vesna in collaboration with nanoscientist James Gimzewski and Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Lhopa Khangsten monastery, 2003, installation detail from Victoria Vesna's website

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Nanomandala by Victoria Vesna in collaboration with nanoscientist James Gimzewski and Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Lhopa Khangsten monastery, 2003, installation view, JCG, 2010

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Nanomandala by Victoria Vesna in collaboration with nanoscientist James Gimzewski and Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Lhopa Khangsten monastery, 2003, installation view, JCG, 2010


art in the age of nanotechnology is the inaugural program of IFAS (International Festival of Art & Science), presented with the generous support of Navitas and produced in association with Curtin University's recently opened Resource and Chemistry Precinct, the Nanotechnology Research Institute and Centre for Research into Art, Science & Humanity.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts and advisory body.

art in the age of nanotechnology is presented as a part of the Visual Arts program of the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival.

Visit the PIAF website for more information on the amazing array of visual arts, theatre, music, film and dance events coming up this summer.
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