Works with Quirk is an experiment more than an exhibition; it sets a precedent for the future of Art Factory exhibitions and programs. All of a sudden, our exhibition rationale woke up one day and realised it had hit early adolescence. Sure, it’s a bit awkward at the moment, but in time I think it’ll grow up alright.
There’s a thirteen year old mentality behind works selected for this exhibition – overall it would seem there is very little rhyme or reason, and I felt I needed to explain myself with this statement and the statements attached to different ‘groups’ of artworks. Euphemistically, you could call the exhibition eclectic. I was looking for works that would intrigue young teens and works that went some way to justify and validate some of their experiences and interests. This goes some way to explain some of the lack of coherency you’ll find surveying the room; I wasn’t looking for a common theme or historical period, but rather an individual interest or quirk in each work, something that would catch a teen’s eye.
I started in the MRAG collection room first, and after thinking on the exhibition for a while, included small suites of works by artists from bothNewcastleandSydney. I didn’t ask artists to respond to works from our collection, I just found links where they existed, links which made the works more interesting and more relevant when they sat side by side in the exhibition.
Now, just like a lunch period in any high school, each artwork in this exhibition seems to sit very comfortably with the others in its group, but because of differences in interests and style, doesn’t really associate very much with other artworks. This was a surprise element I realised only after spending some time looking at the exhibition, and is more than a little humorous to me. I hope that the teens who come to see this exhibition, understand that I’m just reminiscing and mean no offence.
Lauren van Katwyk
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