This selection of Australian and international artists shared a connection with Australia as a place of profound and ancient spiritual wealth.
Spirit & Place was a major exhibition of Australian and international artists who shared a connection with Australia as a place of profound and ancient spiritual wealth, and of vast, sometimes daunting landscape. Including both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal works, the exhibition explored the spiritual connections to land that is so evident in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic practice, as well as the European immigrant experience of the landscape and the spiritual.
In Western society, art in the 19th century moved away from figurative and symbolic representations of the spiritual or objective world towards an abstract expression. Art expressed and explored the same spiritual ideas through pure forms and condensed elements, using colour and line to provoke an emotional response in the viewer that was previously attained by figurative subject matter or a visual narrative.
This exhibition aimed to bring together these Western ideas of the visual expression of the spiritual with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Works were selected with four broad categories in mind: Celebrating the Land; Human Presence and Absence; Seeking the Inexpressible; and Anthroposophy and Theosophy. Each work was not defined by a single category, but was chosen because of its relationships with these themes and to the other works in the exhibition, creating a fluid dialogue. The exhibition sought to reflect the ancient traditions of spiritual art in its evolution into a contemporary society.
Text extracted from Museum of Contemporary Art Australia website.