Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre ready for ‘significant’ exhibits

Petrina Hicks’ Lambswool 2008, Lightjetprint photograph, from the series The Descendants; Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation 2015; MAMA Collection.

Petrina Hicks’ Lambswool 2008, Lightjetprint photograph, from the series The Descendants; Gift of the Russell Mills Foundation 2015; MAMA Collection.

THE Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre (MRAC) is excited to present two exhibitions of unprecedented significance in the Upper Hunter for the very first time.

Lost Tales: Walking with Gods is the inaugural solo exhibition by Muswellbrook-born artist Travis De Vries. 

A multi-disciplinary artist who works with audio, painting and drawing, and writing, he is a proud Kamilaroi man exploring new ways to present age old Aboriginal stories. 

The exhibition will combine manga-styled paintings with film and found objects creating an exciting multi-media environment in the Centre Court and Wollemi Galleries at the Arts Centre.

“Many will remember the amazing performance piece Travis presented at the Muswellbrook Creative Arts Fair in 2014,” MRAC public programs officer Elissa Emerson said.

“Since then he has been working with the Sydney Opera House and presenting his story telling at various venues such as the Australian Museum in Sydney. 

“We are very pleased to be able to present his exhibition at the arts centre here in his birthplace Muswellbrook, because later this year both the exhibition Lost Tales and Travis will be travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he will present his stories at the Edinburgh Short Story Festival along with the exhibition.”

Also opening on Friday, July 7, at the MRAC is the touring exhibition from the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) Contemporising the Modern: Australian Modern and Contemporary Photography from the Russell Mills Collection. 

This extraordinary exhibit will bring to Muswellbrook for the first time the most significant images from Australia’s photographic history.

Contemporising the modern features works by Australia’s most famous photographers including Carol Jerrems, Harold Cazneaux, Wolfgang Sievers, Roger Scott, Gerrit Fokkema, Kerry Dundas, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain, David Moore, Rennie Ellis, Michael Riley and some of the cutting edge of today’s practitioners Bill Henson, Petrina Hicks, Narelle Autio, Justine Varga, and Pat Brassington. 

According to MRAC manager Brad Franks, this is one of the most important exhibitions ever held at the centre.

“An exhibition of art works this important is a rare treat indeed for a regional gallery such as ours,” he said.

“We are very grateful to MAMA for making this available to the people of the Upper Hunter.

“I think that anyone with even a passing interest in photography or contemporary art is going to find both of these exhibitions, Contemporising the Modern and Lost Tales, Walking with Gods extremely stimulating and a delight to the senses.”

The exhibitions open at 6pm on Friday, July 7, and continue until Sunday, August 27.

Entry to the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, located at the corner of Bridge and William streets, is, as always, free. 

View the exhibitions from 10am to 5pm (Tuesday to Friday) or 10am to 1pm (weekends).