One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water

Event status:

One Foot grave Catherine Bell, Timothy Cook, French & Mottershead, Mabel Juli, Richard Lewer, Sara Morawetz, Michael Needham, Nell, Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri, Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra.

Tuesday 03 November 2020 10:00 am until Sunday 17 January 2021 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
La Trobe Art Institute
5444 7272;
Presented by:
La Trobe Art Institute
Type of Event:

"We discovered that grief was much more than just despair. We found grief contained many things — happiness, empathy, commonality, sorrow, fury, joy, forgiveness, combativeness, gratitude, awe, and even a certain peace. For us, grief became an attitude, a belief system, a doctrine — a conscious inhabiting of our vulnerable selves, protected and enriched by the absence of the one we loved and that we lost.

…in time, there is a way, not out of grief, but deep within it." --Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files, Issue #95 / May 2020

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

One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water is an exhibition that explores death and dying as states of transition, presenting processes of art making as a means of facing mortality collectively and individually.

At a time when the universal fact of our mortality has never been more potent, this exhibition presents artwork by a group of leading contemporary artists, who challenge us to reckon with death and dying as an inherent part of life.

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.

This exhibition advocates for the significant role art and creative processes can play in increasing death literacy and normalising experiences of death and dying. It draws together a group of contemporary artists who explore ideas around loss, mortality, impermanence, transcendence, remembrance, memorialisation and a range of grief narratives that help us make sense of our shared mortal condition, exemplifying the way that art can help us learn to better live with death.

Each exhibiting artist provides a sensitive and unique insight into the many ways the living let go of 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 powerful carriers of residual being.

One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water is accompanied by a fully illustrated e-catalogue featuring six newly commissioned texts.

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.

This exhibition has received assistance from NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund 2020 supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Nets Vic


121 View Street, Bendigo

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23rd Oct 2020 7:08pm

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