Collins Obijiaku, Red Head II, 2021
The Artbarn
February 20 – May 31, 2023
The ARNDT Collection is delighted to announce its latest presentation “NEU: Recent Acquisitions from the ARNDT Collection”, showcasing a curation of current acquisitions presented at The Artbarn in Cape Schanck, available to view upon appointment. Artists within the exhibition include: Joseph Beuys, Kwesi Botchway, Patrick Eugene, Zaachariaha Fielding, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Nadia Hernández, Thomas Hirschhorn, Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne, Pierre Mukeba, Collins Obijiaku, Daisy Parris, A.R. Penck, Victor Ubah, Xiyao Wang, Kaylene Whiskey, Justin Williams, and Paul Yore.

These diverse artists represent an array of cultural backgrounds that illustrate the depth and dynamism of the various works that make up the ARNDT Collection, while providing an insight into global contemporary artistic production. The varied positions within this presentation aim to transcend formalised geographic borders that at once convey national, but also global connections. By communicating uniquely nuanced, universal notions of a sense of place and belonging, these works provide a melting pot of creative output.

A curation of striking works by First Nations artists are included in a selection of paintings by indigenous Australian artists Zaachariaha Fielding, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and Kaylene Whiskey. These pieces provide audiences with three distinct painting styles. Fielding and Gabori’s vibrantly populated aerial landscape views are conveyed via instinctual and expressive designs and brushstrokes respectively. In contrast, Whiskey’s whimsical figurative diorama linking iconography from British urban life to that of the experience of the Australian bush, is conveyed by a “London lady” dressed in the Union Flag and an indigenous female figure emblazoned with the Aboriginal flag. These works all speak directly to ideas concerning ancestral identity, storytelling and a strong connection to place and country.

These artistic positions are further complemented alongside pieces from Africa and the African diaspora in the form of figurative compositions with an emphasis on portraiture that include the work of Congolese, Adelaide-based Pierre Mukeba; Ghana-based Kwesi Botchway; and Nigerian-based Collins Obijiaku. In doing so, Botchway aims to critique the colonial history of portraiture, and the stereotypical depiction of the Black subject in his work, while Obijiaku’s subjects allow for an intimate exploration that engages with his local community. Such references are also located in Mukeba’s employment of fabrics sourced from Africa integrated into his compositional linework that allow for commentary on lived experiences from his childhood spent in Bukavu.

Emerging creative voices from a new generation based within Europe and the United Kingdom are also on view. These transmissions include the ephemeral, abstract work of Berlin-based Chinese-born artist Xiyao Wang, and British painter Daisy Parris – known for her poetic, psychological landscapes. The intricate embroidery work of Australian artist Paul Yore is also included within this curation alongside Sydney-based artists Justin Williams and Venezuelan-born artist Nadia Hernández. Williams’ work focusses on notions of migration and modes of living whereby the artist attempts to depict both the migration of his grandparents from Egypt to Australia, countered by his own outsider perspective. Similarly, Hernández’s work is inspired by her personal, diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman living abroad.

Through the lens of this curated selection of artworks from the ARNDT Collection, a confluence of cultural origins are expressed by their creators. In this way, this presentation serves as a rich tapestry; a beautiful entanglement of the transnational that comprises the new art world.

-Rachael Vance, ARNDT Collection Director

View the Artwork List HERE