Exploring death through art in Bendigo

A new exhibition at the La Trobe Art Institute in Bendigo will explore death and dying, at a time when many are experiencing complex feelings about the fragility of life.

Running from 10 November to 17 January, depending on Victorian Government advice, One foot on the ground, one foot in the water is the first exhibition the Institute has been able to hold since closing its doors in March due to the pandemic.

The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, installations and sound works by 11 contemporary artists that invoke experiences of loss, impermanence, transience, remembrance, memorialisation, and expressions of grief and loss.

The artists are based in London, New Mexico and across four Australian states, including a remote Indigenous community in Western Australia.

La Trobe Art Institute Director, Ms Bala Starr, said as the world continues to tackle a deadly pandemic, exploring the complexity of death and dying has never been more relevant.

“As we read about deaths from COVID-19 around the world, the idea of our own mortality, and the process of grieving, is front of mind for many people,” Ms Starr said.

“This powerful exhibition offers an environment of gentle calm for people to undertake quiet contemplation or discuss this very important topic,” Ms Starr said.

One foot on the ground, one foot in the water presents more than 25 works of art ranging in scale from a massive 3.3 metre cast iron and steel monument to 100 intricate vessels handcrafted out of biodegradable floral foam.

It also includes a sound work by UK artist duo French & Mottershead that invites the participant to sit and listen to a 20-minute sound recording that describes what would happen to their body if they were to die right there, in the gallery.

The exhibition will be complemented by a public program of events, including online panel discussions, virtual tours and film screenings.

The La Trobe Art Institute (LAI) is La Trobe University’s hub of arts practices, engagement and cultural collections. It is a civic gathering place that fosters artistic and intellectual exchange through collaboration.

More information on this exhibition here. More information on the LAI here.

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

Media contact:
Kate O'Connor: k.o'connor@latrobe.edu.au or 0436 189 629

Image: Richard Lewer, Crucifixes, from the series There is light and dark in us all, 2018. Photo by Andrew Curtis.