Born in Gippsland, Helen S. Tiernan draws on her Irish and Aboriginal heritage to explore issues of identity; Black/White contact history; connection to and management of country; environmental concerns; and the experience of women. As well as drawing on her own experiences, she looks to art history and literary, historical and cultural references. Her landscapes build on her understanding of the land as a cultured space of ancient knowledge and deep memory; storied with songlines. By redirecting and transforming history through her own creative process Helen challenges us to revisit and reinterpret it.
“A central idea in my work is the importance of the Australian landscape as a repository or memory bank that is rich with Indigenous knowledge and stories associated with traditional life, colonial encounters and life today. The work is complex, layered and deliberately playful. The paintings are encoded with Indigenous symbols and patterns that express meanings that go deep into the unconscious, pointing to understandings related to the sentience, sacredness and power of the land which words can’t always capture. It is a way of allowing the viewer to engage more imaginatively with the painting and bring their own experiences into their reading of the works.”
Exhibition showing 22 October – 18 November 2022 : Preview the exhibition online
Exhibition to be opened Saturday 22 October at 2pm by Steve Dimopoulos MP, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events; Minister for Creative Industries. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the catalogue – colour illustrated with essay by Dr Marie Geissler, Visiting Associate Researcher, University of Wollongong; Associate Researcher, National Museum of Australia, Canberra and author of Dreaming the Land, 2022. Dr Geissler will also speak at the exhibition opening.