Unknown, Untitled: Showcasing new artworks based on historical and civic artefacts

Unknown, Untitled is the latest exhibition showing at Hawthorn’s Town Hall Gallery which commemorates 130 years since the layout of the foundation stone at Hawthorn Town Hall, now Hawthorn Arts Centre, showing Saturday 7 July until Sunday 26 August.

Four contemporary artists have been commissioned to create new work based on the historical and civic items in the collection. Artists chosen are Mathew Greentree, Sai-Wai Foo and ek.1 (Katie Louise Williams and Emma Hicks). Their works focus on harnessing the breadth of creative activity and history that the City of Boroondara encompasses.

The artists have studied the collection to find aspects and elements to drive their contemporary response. Unknown, Untitledruns concurrently with the exhibition Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, also showing at Town Hall Gallery, where memorabilia, historical photographs and artefacts are on show to also commemorate the 130th anniversary of the building.

Sai Wai Foo’s practice primarily focuses on the reworking of objects that are discarded and obsolete. “I work predominantly with vintage books, manuscripts, silverware and objects that show the marks of a former existence and of their previous lives. Items that have out-lived their owners or usefulness in a digital age.”

Sai Wai Foo’s work (pictured above) explores ideas of status in society, focusing on the manipulation and folding of cut paper to produce sculptural volume and structure from a 2-dimensional medium.

Her works combine organic paper with other pieces of collected ephemera to create vignettes and still points in time. For Unknown, Untitled, Sai Wai is currently looking at the origins of an ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lace.

ek.1 is collaborative duo Dr Emma Hicks and Dr Katie Louise Williams.

The pair have been working together for over 10 years and through writing, film, installation and performance explore spaces for thought and questioning around cultural forms, identity, authenticity, audience activation and agency.

For this exhibition, ek.1 presents 16 wall necklaces created from washed up natural and manmade objects, collected and sorted over a year of beach combing, recombined into hybrid objects that adorn the gallery walls.

Mathew Greentree has been inspired by historic group photos in the collection. Town Hall Gallery and Mathew Greentree collaborated on a callout inviting all creative practitioners of Boroondara to gather on the stage of the Main Hall at Hawthorn Arts Centre, for a group photo on 19 May 2018. The purpose of the group photo was to invite active participation from all people involved and supportive of creative arts within the City of Boroondara. For Unknown, Untitled, Mathew presents a large format group photo of the Creative Class of Boroondara, 2018.

The gallery will also host two Walk and Talk events where visitors can join a curator-led tour of the exhibition and hear directly from the artists and gain a deeper understanding of the artworks and the exhibition.

Spanning three gallery spaces, Town Hall Gallery features a diverse range of contemporary public programs, curated exhibitions and exhibitions drawn from the Town Hall Gallery Collection, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the City of Boroondara. Part of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria, Town Hall Gallery supports local, national and international artists at varying stage of their careers and offers a space for local artists and community groups to exhibit professionally on the Community Project Wall.

Unknown Untitled
Saturday 7 July – Sunday 26 August
Exhibition opening: 2PM, Saturday 7 July
Walk and Talk: Saturday 7 July, 1PM – 2PM and Wednesday 1 August, 11AM – 12PM