Cathedral Artist in Residence curates Vision of Hope

Credit: Simply Gray Photography

One of the hot questions being discussed today is what Voice, Truth and Treaty mean. And what do we hope for? In an exciting group exhibition, ‘Visions of Hope,’ Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian artists have joined together to explore these themes.

This new exhibition in the Murnong Gallery, in the heart of upper Glen Iris, is now open.

You will find highly sought after works by Glenn Loughrey who has been a finalist in several major prizes. View creative painted logs by Mark Lumley, paintings of country by Maddison Thorpe and Dylan Charles, and paintings by Russell Shiells, a local artist of Scottish heritage. All these works carry stories of history and hope.

The centrepiece in the exhibition is a mandala of painted wood, fabric and branches. ‘Bark Mandala’ is a collaboration with Uncle Shane Charles, Maddy Rzesniowieki and Sarah Naarden. Uncle Shane created the centre of the bark mandala in response to reading ‘Dear Son’ from Thomas Mayo, a signatory of the Uluru Statement of the Heart. The layers of stringy bark, paper bark, red earth and native flowers were foraged from Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Country and arranged by Maddy and Sarah.

Glenn Loughrey is a Wiradjuri artist, an author and, as an Anglican priest, the first Aboriginal to be a Canon in 141 years.

Loughrey’s work is both a lament and celebration of Country. His overriding concern is for the ongoing impacts of colonisation and the resilience and resistance of Aboriginal people, not as victims or survivors, but as Sovereign Peoples of this land.

He has been both finalist and shortlisted in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2017, 2018) and has held a number of solo exhibitions. In 2020 Loughrey become finalist in the Paddington Art Prize, the Mandorla Art Prize, and the Blake Art Prize, and has just completed a large glass installation at St Paul’s Cathedral.

“This exhibition is the perfect way to use our new gallery space. The artists’ works really encapsulate the spirit of hope, and will give our visitors the chance to experience and learn more of our heritage.”

Glenn Loughrey

Uncle Shane Charles is a Wurundjeri – Boon Wurrung – Yorta Yorta elder. Of his painting, he says “This painting reflects the spirit within as all living things have Spirit. We are all connected by energy and spirit. This painting hopes that all spirits on this land live in hope of a better place, where we can join together as one for a better future.”

Russell Shiells added “My paintings, in a more western and contemporary style, have found new resonance being displayed beside the heartfelt work of our First Nations artists. Their portrayal of Country gives a context to the stories I tell. In this gallery, themes of truth and art go hand-in-hand, making it the perfect place to host this exhibition.”

Visit the Exhibition

Murnong Gallery, 100 High Street, Glen Iris.
Open 11 to 4 Friday, Saturday & Sunday, until 29 January 2023.