One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water

Event status:

One Foot grave Death is an unfortunate part of life, but part of life nonetheless.

Monday 02 November 2020 10:00 am until Wednesday 23 December 2020 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
La Trobe Art Institute
5444 7272;
Presented by:
La Trobe Art Institute
Type of Event:

Artists include: Catherine Bell, Timothy Cook + Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri, Richard Lewer, French & Mottershead, Nell, Michael Needham, Mr Wunuŋmurra.

Curated by: Travis Curtin.

Hold on Magnolia, to that great highway moon
No one has to be that strong
But if you're stubborn like me
I know what you're trying to be

Hold on Magnolia, I hear that station bell ring
You might be holding the last light I see
Before the dark finally gets a hold of me […]

Hold on Magnolia to the thunder and the rain
To the lightning that has just signed my name to the bottom line […]
Hold on Magnolia, I hear that lonesome whistle whine
Hold on Magnolia, I think it’s almost time

-  ‘Hold On Magnolia’, Jason Molina

Death is an unfortunate part of life, but part of life nonetheless.

One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water is a group exhibition that explores death and dying as a state of transition, presenting processes of making as a means of facing mortality and being with grief, collectively and individually. The exhibition seeks to encourage a range of conversations that normalise experiences of death and dying, providing insight into the ways the living let go and hold on to the dead, as a physical presence in the world transitions into a form of present-absence, occupied in memory or objects as carriers of residual being.

Death is a natural part of life. Death is part of our biology. The unfortunate reality of being made up of living cells is that they too die-off. Apoptosis, the self-destruction or programmed death of cells, is a normal part of a living organism's growth and development. The very thing that life is built on, that which gives us our shared humanity, sooner or later ceases to exist at both a micro and eventually macro level. For the duration of our lives we are in a state of growth and development, yet simultaneously decline and loss. For as long as we are living, we are living a process of dying.

One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water draws together a group of artists who explore ideas around loss, mortality, impermanence, transcendence, remembrance, memorialisation and a range of grief narratives that help us make sense of death.

One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water looks at how we process the reality of death, offering ways we might be able to continue to live with and face mortality. Each exhibiting artist provides a highly unique, engaging and sensitive approach towards our shared mortal condition, exemplifying the way art can help us learn to better live with death.

Image:Nell, ‘Mother of the Dry Tree’ (detail), 2017, acrylic paint and mixed media on linen, wood, 296.5 x 223 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and STATION, Melbourne.

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