24 March – 10 July 2022
TarraWarra Museum of Art presents a major new exhibition, Only when it’s cloudless, by one of Australia’s most successful contemporary artists, David Noonan.
Haunting, uncanny and enigmatic, Only when it’s cloudless presents predominantly new works including a major new sculptural installation; the artist’s first 16mm film since 2001 with a score by the acclaimed Australian musician Warren Ellis; two major new tapestries; and several new collages on linen.
The exhibition also includes significant loans from the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of Ballarat, and private collections.
Curated by TarraWarra Director, Victoria Lynn, in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition is conceived as a single installation.
As a collagist, Noonan is renowned for his imaginative incorporation and recombination of found imagery —ranging across dance, theatre, sub-cultures, abstract art and everyday scenes. This is an art of juxtaposition, where one world can rub up against another, triggering memories and feelings within the viewer.
In this exhibition Noonan juxtaposes figures from both eastern and western theatrical traditions, contemporary performances, as well as fragments from popular subcultures and social media sites. The figures often appear to be caught ‘off guard’, accidentally captured during moments of quiet and intimate introspection. They possess an uncanny quality that sits somewhere between being themselves and being ‘on display’. Caught in this transformation from one state to another, they appear to be ‘outside’ conventional behavioural patterns. Archival images hover and drift in a liminal space.
Only when it’s cloudless (the title of the major installation in the exhibition) is adapted from Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko. The 14th century Japanese Buddhist monk offers the observation that we should be more mindful of our present moment, and not look at the moon ‘only when it is cloudless’.