VCA ART 2021

José Da Silva


I’m still feeling that low, steady sense of unease. Perhaps it’s all the months of lockdown and gallery closures, but I find myself thinking about art in particular ways. I’m sentimental about certain types of practice and drawn to works that remind me about the joys of introspection and the sort of daydreaming that occurs when one recalls absent events or experiences. Here art becomes a stand-in for the unconscious hum of memory.

I want to linger before these works and learn something from their installation that documentation cannot account for. Still, many ideas and qualities stir me from my laptop. There’s the desire to hold onto time and bring forth past intimacies; indeterminate spaces, thresholds, and material transformations; the unremarkable and the everyday writ large. These works speak directly to my senses through the agency of memory. They have ignited all kinds of reveries.

Anaïs Lesage Baker, Untitled, Charcoal, oil pastel, coloured pencil on canvas, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Melanie Cobham, Chart A Course (Slug Trails) (Detail), Soft-ground etching, 2021.
Melanie Cobham, Mapping Territories (Slug Trails), Copper, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Adam John Cullen, Elton, Fawkner Memorial Park, Mixed, 2020. Documentation by Christo Crocker. Courtesy of Lon Gallery.
Rebecca Diele, A System of Melodic Reminders #I, 300 gsm cold pressed cotton paper, hand dyed cotton thread and ink, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Freda Drakopoulos, I felt something in the back of my throat., Polyester jersey, my rock, plaster, resin, aluminium, clear acrylic, yellow tongue flooring, acrylic mirrors, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Travis John Ficarra, depiction of front facing structure / with various foliage taken from the surrounding property I, foil print, 2021. Documentation by Darren Tanny Tan.
Joshua Kidd, Southern Cold Front, Chromogenic print, 2021.
Tess Mehonoshen, as I prepare to leave (Detail), Cootharaba clay, thread, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Tess Mehonoshen, as I prepare to leave (held between a gap) (Detail), Cootharaba clay, thread, pins, 2021.
Arthur Nyakuengama, Top, Blackwash denim, satin, polycotton thread, 2021. Documentation by Callum Reily.
Camille Perry, Where The Merri Meets Edgars Creek, Super 8 film developed in Caffenol, 2021. Documentation by ALEC.
Paul Prato, A Portrait for Half Moon Bay, Marble, lapis lazuli, found pendant, beach sand, ocean water, glass, cement, wire, 2021.
Shannon Slee, Quilt for Pentridge Dude, personal discarded denim, fabric remnants, wadding, 2021. Documentation by Guy Grabowsky.
Pang Siah, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 45.5 x 61 cm, 2021.
Grace Spence, Constellation (detail), Graphite on paper, 2021.
Grace Spence, Constellation (detail) , Inkjet on Kozo Paper, 2021.
Melody Woodnutt, Tropical Gothic Disco Ball, Archival pigment print from 16mm film still, 2021.

José Da Silva

José Da Silva is the Director of UNSW Galleries, one of Australia’s leading university art museums. He is a fine arts graduate from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Western Sydney – Nepean.

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We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which our campus is situated, the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people of the Kulin Nations, who have created art, made music and told their stories here for thousands of generations. We also acknowledge and extend our respect to the Traditional Owners of all lands on which our work is viewed, shared and enjoyed, and to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

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