Identity and habitat: Biff Ward Launches ‘Time and Place’ an exhibition by Suzanne Bellamy

Biff Ward launched Time and Place, an exhibition by Suzanne Bellamy at the at Altenburg Gallery Braidwood NSW on Friday 11 October 2019

Fortunately, for those unable to attend the launch of Time and Place, an exhibition by Suzanne Bellamy in Braidwood, Biff Ward’s launch speech was filmed


Time and Place – Artist Statement

Reflecting on a long exhibiting career, exploring evolving ideas and materials, I often wonder what holds the centre? I have lived in the Mongarlowe bush for over 25 years.

Along the creek, out every window, in my dreams, the forms and colours of place are ever present. They refresh my spirit even as it goes off exploring ideas. A long art life practice inevitably brings together disparate and contradictory elements, finding patterns in new materials, where nothing is as it seems. My place and time on earth and at Mongarlowe bring thoughts into alignment, inside the studio.

Time and Place explores identity and habitat on multiple levels. While Place might be our anchor to the Present, Time can be the vessel which journeys across deep past and visions of the future. In the paradox of that mix emerges the individual life story. My interest in the deep past of archaeology and old cultures mixes with future visions and our changing relation to the planet, the universe, in the emerging Anthropocene Age. Nature and Culture are indivisible constructs, they mix like colours. The multi-media box assemblages reflect on the passing material culture of the old 20th Century, combining old slide projectors, typewriters, metallica, – perception mediated by machines. Through collages, deconstructions and reassemblages, modernism is reconsidered, in homage to the great surrealist box makers and artists Joseph Cornell and Leonora Carrington.

An Archaeology of Things focuses on everyday objects with inner complexities that remain hidden, whose only function is in combination with other things, with the idea of a machine, transformation of energy and meaning. Modernist things like modernism itself, always an unstable form, is now moving on past an industrial base to new materials and combinations. Metal itself carries the memories of a passing age. This is not nostalgia but a kind of archaeology of shifted contexts. Patterns in our brains create new orders out of the chaos, indecipherable texts and languages – an abstraction of things in new time frames. We are the translations, we are the things themselves.

Suzanne Bellamy Biographical note – /2019/09/23/suzanne-bellamy-biographical-note/

 – Suzanne Bellamy


Biff Ward has worked in radical secondary education, equal opportunity, Indigenous adult education, human resource development and mental illness education. Her poetry and essays appeared in anthologies in the ’80s and ’90s. Her memoir In My Mother’s Hands was longlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize. She lives on the Monaro, in Canberra.

Time and Place, an exhibition by Suzanne Bellamy is on at the Altenburg Gallery Braidwood NSW until 11 November AltenburgandCo/

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