Arcadia, features new digital artworks by five Sydney creative practitioners commissioned by the Powerhouse to respond to Gucci Garden Archetypes – an immersive, multimedia exhibition exploring the seminal advertising campaigns envisioned by Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele.
Arcadia features digital artworks from Serwah Attafuah, Jade D’Amico, Amani Haydar, Emma Pham and Justine Youssef. Collectively, their work speaks not only to the current talent of Sydney’s creative landscape but demonstrates the exciting future of Australia’s arts ecology.
Opens Friday 16 December
Floral installation by Colourblind Florist
UT SUPRA, UT INFRA (As Above, So Below)
Inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch and the biblical characters of Lilith and Eve, the artist has created a vignette featuring Gucci iconography in her metaverse about our realm and places beyond.
Artist bio: Attafuah is a multidisciplinary artist and musician based on Dharug Country in Western Sydney. She creates surreal cyber dreamscapes and heavenly wastelands, populated by afro-futuristic abstractions of self with strong ancestral and contemporary themes. Serwah has collaborated with Mercedes Benz, Nike, GQ, Adobe, Paris Hilton and Charli XCX. Recent notable achievements include her participation in Sotheby’s Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale and Apotheosis, a live motion capture experience with Soft Centre at The Sydney Opera House.
A family-based photography project highlighting Latin culture in so-called Australia. Exploring culture and connectedness through a series of inter-generational portraits, the artist explores the familial foundations of third world culture kids that defy trend-based representations perpetuated by mainstream media. Embedded in a garden setting, Entre Familia blends nature and memories of tradition across generations.
Artist bio: D’Amico is a photographer and creative director from South-Western Sydney. Her work is inspired by her Argentinian and Italian heritage. Jade works across fashion, music and events having shot content for Pania, Billy Maree, Jess War, Astrophe Magazine and Vice AU. Creativity and culture are at the heart of her photographic work, introducing audiences to her own heritage while brining to the forefront opportunities to learn and connect.
Girl in Garden Bed and Girl Under Lemon Branch
These works look at how gardens can act as a sanctuary and space for creative expression in a world where women’s bodies are constrained and overpoliced. Each painting references a real garment, textile or memory that holds meaning for me and the plants and flowers depicted act as a form of personal symbolism.
Artist bio: Haydar is an artist, lawyer, mum and advocate for women’s health and safety based in Western Sydney who uses visual art and writing to explore the personal and political dimensions of abuse, loss, identity and resilience. She authored the award-winning debut memoir The Mother Wound (Pan Macmillan, 2021), been published in Sweatshop Women Volume Two (Sweatshop, 2020) and Arab Australian Other (Picador, 2019), and had her writing and illustrations featured by ABC News Online and SBS Life. Amani’s self-portrait, Insert Headline Here, was a finalist in the 2018 Archibald Prize. She was the winner of the 2020 Cumberland Art Prize and 2019 Law Society of NSW Just Art Prize.
Enter The Third Space
A game-inspired pixel art animation ruminating on the possibilities for connection and speculative imaginings that linger between our public and private worlds. The animation extends upon sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s idea of the ‘Third Space’, as locations where we can hang out, exchange ideas and form connections outside of home and work. By introducing a mystical world inhabited by Gucci-dressed avatars, where nature grows abundant amid playful communal spaces, the work reflects the rise of the virtual as a much needed Third Space, particularly in a climate of physical and social isolation, and exclusion.
Artist bio: Pham is an emerging digital artist interested in how the ‘technically obsolete’ medium of pixel art can continue to evolve and re-invent itself in the contemporary age. Within the technical confines of pixel art, she finds infinite creative possibility to push the medium beyond its popular association with the video game world. She draws on the playful nostalgia of pixel art techniques to ruminate on the concept of ‘third places’ – in-between physical and virtual spaces within which alternative practices and futures may be dreamt. Her work superimposes themes of game-like technological fantasy onto local scenes, to emphasise the significance of creativity and community in re-imagining a collectively brighter future.
Their sleep keeps us somewhat eternal
A character study of a young girl, her receptionist, and a stranger who awaits a booking outside. Filmed at the site of the Parramatta City Motel, a temporary housing facility on Dharug land where the artist and her family were once housed thanks to the local women’s shelter.
Artist bio: Youssef an artist interested in moments and places that reconfigure authoritative realities. Their site-specific installations, video and scent works forge superstition into empirical worlds and embrace that which is warped through displacement. Youssef’s work has been exhibited with the Hawai’i Triennale (2022); Powerhouse Museum (2022); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2021) and in 2019 was recognised as a recipient of the Copyright Agency’s John Fries Award.
Individuals: Free entry, no bookings required.
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