Past exhibitions

13 - 29 June 2017

Killing Time

Killing Time is an exhibition of student photomedia investigating themes inherent in lens-based media that include notions of time, memory and death. The work explores what photography curator Helen Ennis describes as “an interplay between different states of being, between inside and outside, light and dark, self and the world.”


  • Nicholas Angove
  • Royce Beale
  • Lisa Butcher
  • Ebonie Denbrok
  • Lisa Guzzardi
  • Laura Hoye
  • Karen Kennedy
  • Evan Kraak
  • Alecia Midgley
  • Rachel Noble
  • Ainsley O'Connor
  • Harold Sheppard
  • Bridget Trewartha
  • Jacinta Theobold
  • Melissa Wells

Curated by Jessie Boylan, Kristian Haggblom and Warwick Baker, Lecturers, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Photography) La Trobe University, Bendigo.

Image Credit: Lisa Guzzardi, Untitled, 2017, courtesy of the artist.

3 – 26 May 2017

Hayley Millar-Baker, I'm the Captain now

Hayley Millar-Baker is a Gunditjmara artist born in Werribee Victoria. Growing up in an urban culture means Millar-Baker's work has naturally become highly political and engages with both personal and historical issues regarding Indigenous life. She uses an intellectual and satirically humorous approach to subtly confront and challenge the general misconceptions of Australian history, and the stigma the follows Australia’s First Nation people.

Image Credit: Hayley Millar-Baker, Untitled 10 (I'm the Captain Now) (detail), digital collage, 20 x 20 cm, 2016

5 - 27 April 2017

Pamela Isaacs and Joanne Osborne

Macro/Micro, Pam Isaacs and Joanne Osborne

This is the first joint exhibition for Pam Isaacs and Joanne Osborne - third year students in the Department of Creative Arts & English. The artists examine ways of seeing through the use of geo-mapping technology and the microscopic view.

Joanne Osborne’s abstract paintings draw on the subconscious impact that her investigation of the microscopic have had on her art, while Pamela Isaacs explores the distanced view of Google Earth, with her overlaid and sculpted linocut images.

This is a collaborative venture with both artists borrowing from and intervening in each other’s work.

Image Credit: Joanne Osborne and Pam Isaacs, Cellular City, 2017 (detail), Mixed Materials, 2017.

8 February - 9 March 2016

Left to chance Jessica Murtagh

Image: Jessica Murtagh, Untitled, Receipt paper, 2016, Photograph by Larissa Romensky.

Jessica Murtagh, Left to chance

'Working is like vomiting. At first you feel horrible, but then, it makes you feel better' - Martin Creed

Left to Chance is La Trobe University's fine art student Jessica Murtagh's first solo exhibition and features her experiments with putting thermal strips of paper in the microwave.

Left to chance is an exhibition exploring the relationship between artist and outcome. To create these patterns there is very little control in how they will turn out, the only factor that can be controlled is time, the rest is up to the microwave.

Jessica, who moved from her home town of Wangaratta to study a Bachelor of Creative Arts at La Trobe University Bendigo, is now in her third year of study.

For Jessica's works in Left to Chance, the grey and black patterns created on the thermal paper by the microwave are then turned into strips, which have been displayed on the gallery's walls.

Jessica describes the process of having little control over her work's outcomes as "both reassuring and unnerving".

"To have no power, to leave it up to something else to create - nothing turns out exactly as what you would expect," Jessica said. "When you are creating the work it can go smoothly or terribly wrong."

20 - 23 October 2015

Image: Helen Hindson, Patchwork Wallhanging, machine quilted, 2015

Image: Helen Hindson, Patchwork Wallhanging, machine quilted, 2015

Pop Up Exhibition, Reimaging Ned

Why and how have the character and crimes of Ned Kelly taken such a strong hold upon the imaginations of Australian artists, and the products of popular and commercial culture?

In response to the 2015 Imagining Ned exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, La Trobe students of the Exhibiting Culture subject exercised their own imaginations upon these questions. The result is an original and personal collection of creative responses that adds the students' diverse personal perspectives and identities to established cultural understandings of Ned Kelly.

Encompassing a wide range of media, including digital film, textiles, painting, written text, metal, pottery, collage and performance art, this exhibition also explores the idea of repurposing objects and iconography, much as Ned himself repurposed plough disks as armour, and history as myth.

6 - 16 October 2015

Image: Gerry Gill, Bunjil, inkjet print, 2015

Image: Gerry Gill, Bunjil, inkjet print, 2015

On the Map Revisited

Over the course of 2015 a series of printmaking workshops and guided field trips have brought together artists, field naturalists, farmers, scientists, accountants, photographers and bird enthusiasts, in an interdisciplinary exploration of landscape. Printmaking workshops were conducted by master printmakers and the field trips were led by experts in the field of Aboriginal and European history, geology, climate change, ecology and biodiversity.

This exhibition celebrates the diverse ways in which leaders and participants in the La Trobe Art Institute 'On the Map' project have responded to their experience. Drawings, notes, photographs, specimens, found objects, notebooks and journals come together in this collaborative 'work in progress'.

'On the Map' Revisited extends our understanding of how we interact with, think about and represent landscape.

2 - 25 September 2015

Elliot Howard, B, B, B, B, Office, Plywood, wire, timber, hooks, plastic ribbon, string, 3m x 20m (approx.), 2015

Elliot Howard, B, B, B, B, Office, Plywood, wire, timber, hooks, plastic ribbon, string, 3m x 20m (approx.), 2015

Informed Dissent

Staff in a University context who also carry on an art practice occupy a unique space. Irrespective of their preferred medium or area of expertise, there is an expectation that they possess an understanding of the history and the fundamentals of their field, conveying these core understandings and accepted standards as central to their course. Likewise, if employed in an administrative capacity, there are certain parameters that dictate activity, however such direction may be completely discarded when stepping into the studio.

Informed Dissent considers that old adage, "you've got to know the rules before you break the rules," asking how the practices of these artists challenge, subvert or flatly discard that which they champion, espouse or do in their day jobs. This disjuncture is brought to the fore across a display that takes in a diversity of practices, revealed and reflected upon in a collection of accompanying texts.

Curated by Michael Brennan

Staff involved: Neil Fettling, David Nightingale, Stephen Turpie, Michael Brennan, Melissa Scott, Elliot Howard, Danielle Hobbs, Kerryn Sylvia

3 - 28 August 2015

Photography Student Exhibition

Title: Print Matters

Work by undergraduate photography students.

Image: Marcus Patching, Dark Flux, digital print on aluminium, 73x80 cms, 2013

Image: Marcus Patching, Dark Flux, digital print on aluminium, 73x80 cms, 2013

20 - 30 July 2015

Art Teachers, Curated Exhibition

Art teachers from Bendigo and surrounding areas are contributing work to this group show in 2015.

This show will be an eclectic mix with 3D and 2D works being presented. Some of the works being displayed are also by current students such as Alanah Brand, a current Masters of Visual Arts students who is also working at Bendigo South East College.

This is a great opportunity to see a wide range of work made by art teachers who are continuing to keep their artistic practice current and lively.

22 June to 2 July 2015

Image: Michael Cook, Australian Landscape #2 (2010), inkjet print, edition 8

Image: Michael Cook, Australian Landscape #2 (2010), inkjet print, edition 8

Michael Cook, Australian Landscapes

In 'Australian Landscapes' celebrated Indigenous photographer Michael Cook explores  the tonality of contemporary life, our concepts of 'culture', 'stereotype' and 'reality', examining the search for identity and place in today's society.

The past seeps into the present; where Aboriginal men lived traditionally before, today they are pushed and pulled—torn between old and new cultures. There is more beauty than expected, both within the subject and the landscapes they fit so perfectly into. The landscape will mould itself to new conditions, just as these men will mould and meld themselves into new forms—so that they may be able to wear high heels, even in the red dust.

It's going to take a lot longer than 200 plus years of being displaced to find our focus on the future. When it's hard to see your ancestry it's hard to picture and focus on the future point. We all grow up and we wonder about our past, our ancestry and we find our strength in knowing that information whatever background we come from. They've lost their strength through the last couple of hundred years, so the identity is not as prominent from a past issue. It's a fairly lighthearted look. I've taken an ultra-modern, city - Aboriginal person that practices drag and put them back in the landscape where most people think about an Aboriginal person being. – Michael Cook

Image: Linda Wheeler, Split Duck, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm

Image: Linda Wheeler, Split Duck, 2013, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm

1 - 11 June 2015

Linda Wheeler, Painting, Recognition and the Unstable Image

Linda Wheeler is investigating how recognition and the intended or apprehended meaning of images can be limited or disrupted by placing paintings in states of instability. Instability and the unstable image reference the state of oscillation where images are uncertain and vibrate at a point where meaning and immutability are challenged.

Many works are based on photographic material woven with recalled incidents, and embellished with non-related references or figments of imagination. The intention is to test the boundaries of comprehension, recognition and affect associated with the work by using tactics that either confuse the recognition of the image and the form of its appearance, experimenting with methods of display to destabilise the reading of works, or the use of painterly marks to obscure recognition.

11 May - 28 May 2015

Joint Exhibition: Filomena Coppola, Elif Yavuz

Image: Filomena Coppola, Reclaiming Isis – Filomena Coppola, Colour photograph, 60 x 60cm (image size), 2015

Image: Filomena Coppola, Reclaiming Isis – Filomena Coppola, Colour photograph, 60 x 60cm (image size), 2015

Reclaiming Isis – Auset, Filomena Coppola

Reclaiming Isis – Auset is a work that has been evolving for some time. Initially it was a growing despair which began in my cultural upbringing that women should be married, and only when married do they have currency and an attributed value in the community. Unmarried women are perceived as other or remain the responsibility of the father.

The value of women as individuals, the equality of women and the acknowledgement of the power of the feminine is the driving force in this work. Currently, this is even more relevant with the attacks, deaths, domestic violence and disempowerment of women. Even when women are the victims of violent acts, one of the first responses is to tell the community of women (50% of the population) that parks are not safe for women, why was she out so late, why didn't she catch a cab. Why is the first response not to ask how can we make our parks, streets and community safe for all women, men and children?

Reclaiming Isis – Auset, draws on the Egyptian goddess and her feminine, maternal, and nurturing qualities and acknowledges that these are powerful strengths. What differentiates women is what empowers them. The mysteries of creation - life, birth and death are held within her body. Women's bodies cycle with the moon and her name is given to mother earth. This exhibition represents a selection of photographs that honours women, their choices, their feminine strength and their power as unique individuals in this diverse society.

Benevolence, Elif Yavuz

Image: Elif Yavuz, 40 years,  Digital Print, 41x28, 2015

Image: Elif Yavuz, 40 years, Digital Print, 41x28, 2015

Nearly 14 years ago living in Turkey at the age of 13, after the tragic 9/11 attacks in the US and the subsequent media that swiftly followed, I, as a young Muslim girl became afraid for my culture's future. I was scared to part from my parents, travelling interstate and of returning home to the western society of Australia after having lived in Turkey for 2 years. I was and still am very sorry for the people that were affected by these devastating events.

Now at the age of 27, I am just as concerned about my identity as a Muslim woman living in a western society governed by a cruel bIockhead. I try my best to research, read and practice Islam the way it should be and try my best to inform others about the true facts. We always hear about suicide bombers, jihadist's, the holy war… What is this holy war they speak of? What is so holy about murder? Who is a jihadist? Jihad is not a violent concept, nor is it a declaration of war against other religions/beliefs. In a purely linguistic sense, the word "jihad" means struggling or striving. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslim or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam. Many political and religious groups have hijacked the concept of jihad over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence. Along with many Muslim's, I don't accept this.

As a Muslim female artist, I believe it is my job to inform my viewers about my peaceful practices. Each photograph is a depiction of a hadith, which is a collection of traditions containing sayings, deeds and teachings of the prophet Mohammed, which constitutes the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran. The series of my photographs in this exhibition were captured in my parents home to signify the domesticity and the simpleness of compassion and kindness. This is my jihad.

27 April to 7 May 2015

Image: Tony Day, Blue plane. Mixed media Drawing on Fabriano water colour paper

Image: Tony Day, Blue plane.Mixed Media Drawing on Fabriano water colour paper, Approximately 2000 mm x 1500 mm

Tony Day, Ephemories: Line and Time

This exhibition represents an exploration of the use of line. Over the last year and through a recent break in study I have experimented with and researched my use of line to describe memories from my past. I have taken ideas from those memories for a walk in time to try and find a better understanding of memory and how fugitive it is once your attention has been stolen.

We all have flashbulb moments of memory which give us tantalizing glimpse of the past, or the traumatic glimpse that we would rather forget, and to my mind I cannot escape the desire to try and capture those paste experiences that we all universally feel.

I have taken the title of this exhibition from the words ephemera and memory, the former meaning things short lived or transitory, which I have attached to the word memories in order to subjugate the meanings of both words. Is memory something most of us consider reliable, dependable or true, if not then why?

Ephemories is made up of drawings in mixed media on paper which I began working on halfway through 2014 and have continued to develop through my Honours year to date.

12 - 23 April 2015

Expanding the Definition: Drawing Show (student exhibition)

Image: Jessica Murtagh, 2015

Image: Jessica Murtagh, 2015

The contemporary practice of drawing encompasses many different forms and modalities of drawing that did not appear 30 years ago. Expanding the definitions of drawing is an ongoing quest, where traditional media along with new media and methods are re-presented, and reanalysed and synthesised in a contemporary light.

Students here have tackled the definition of drawing in their own unique ways. Many practitioners would say that installations of objects is a form of spacial drawing, that is, defining, or inscribing a space through arrangements of various objects. The objects become the medium and the uses of walls, corners and ceilings now become the edges of the work. These reference points become the ground or the canvas so to speak. Spacial drawing has now become part of our terminology in this ongoing narrative of contemporary art practice.

The viewer is asked to experience the space, and translate somehow in his or her own terms the relationships, the tensions, the readable forms, and find the implied connections of the parts within the space. The viewer is asked put it all together in their minds.

How has drawing changed with contemporary approaches to art practice? New modalities of drawing encompass such areas as immersive environments, site-specific work, video and the moving image, animations, collaborations and performances with the body. Time based work has reasserted itself into drawing practice. Hans Richter and Duchamp would love this era.

There are many crossovers with other activities such as performing episodes, scribbling, lettering, the incident, personal cartography, and an opportunity to examine the world intuitively.

Maybe these works here are simply a grabbed moment as Stephen Farthing suggests, between various different modes of visualising, a mediation between thoughts and the possibility of making something.[1]The analogue systems of technology suggest a pre-digital world, this exhibition has mostly drawings made in the analogue way, purely co-incidentally of course.

What these drawings suggest is a vital and energetic response to the world through, measurement, time, systems of invention, and narrative and other free play and thought processes. Finding a voice and a personal definition for a practice is here on show.

Stephen Turpie

Curator & Lecturer in 2D, Drawing and Painting & Expanded Practice

La Trobe University

[1] Farthing, S, 2011, This is Drawing, viewed 1 April 2015,

12 February to 31 March 2015

Selected works from the F.M. Courtis Collection

'We make our collections and our collections make us.'[2]

Image: Dale Hickey, Suburbia Malvern

Image: Dale Hickey, Suburbia Malvern, 1967, acrylic on canvas.

The Phyllis Palmer Gallery Committee is delighted to present 16 works from the F.M. Courtis Collection. Based on the personal preference of the committee members the exhibition is a dual celebration: the 'well-used and well-loved collection'[3] itself, and the considerable contribution made by Sylvia Reeves through her involvement with the collection from 1990 to 2014.

Bryan Clemson's essay for the 1986 Foundations exhibition catalogue speaks to the importance of teaching collections generally and the F.M. Courtis Collection in particular. Clemson, the second curator, states that fostering 'cultural literacy in our society'[4] was a key aim of the collection started by Fred Courtis in 1958.

Dr Penelope Collet writes in A History of the F.M. Courtis Art Collection, (2012), that 'the development of the F.M. Courtis Collection has been mapped over the changing landscape of teacher education in Bendigo.'[5] It continues to provide an invaluable resource for the students and staff of La Trobe University.

Selected works from the F.M. Courtis Collection will be opened by Sylvia Reeves who began her involvement with the collection when she started working at the Bendigo College of Advanced Education 26 years ago. Until her retirement in December 2014 Sylvia was curatorial assistant to the collection. She was involved in much of the decision making, including buying work and arranging the installation. She personally selected Julie Millowick's photogram Fruit for acquisition which is on display during the exhibition.

[2] Clemson, B. (1986). Foundations: Bendigo College of Advanced Education's F.M.Courtis Collection. Bendigo, Australia: BCAE. As cited in Collet, P. (2012) p102.

[3] Mackay, M. (1986). Forward foundations: Bendigo College of Advanced Education's F.M. Courtis Collection. Bendigo, Australia: BCAE. As cited in Collet, P. (2012) p129

[4] Clemson, B. (1986). Foundations: Bendigo College of Advanced Education's F.M. Courtis Collection. Bendigo, Australia: BCAE. As cited in Collet, P. (2012) p102.

[5] Collet, P. (2012). A History of the F.M. Courtis Art Collection. Youngstown, USA: Teneo Press.