Watt Space Gallery
Contemporary and dynamic, Watt Space operates in the University’s Newcastle City precinct in an award winning re-purposed civic building, Northumberland House. Its heritage facade opens to industrial style galleries within, designed by UON alumnus Andrew Donaldson.
Watt Space has acted as an inspirational cultural hub for our students and community for almost 30 years. In 2018 the gallery welcomes a new, talented student committee and an extended student internship program to support its exciting and diverse calendar of exhibitions.
Photo: Danielle Minett
2019 begins with an excellent group of curated exhibitions from our talented UON students, including an exhibition supported by UON’s GLAMX Lab and uses the UON archives. Each exhibition delves into or responds to history, from 19th century photography to sculptural traditions, the cyanotype process invented in 1842 and portraits of ghosts that allude to Victorian superstitions.
6 FEBRUARY - 3 MARCH 2019
OPENING NIGHT LAUNCH THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY 6PM
DANDELION: THE WORDS AND IMAGES OF JOSIAH COCKING
Curated by Jodi Vial
Supported by the GLAMX lab at Auchmuty Library
Image: Family group portrait c.1900, Wallsend, glass plate negative. Courtesy of the Josiah Cocking Archive, University of Newcastle (Australia).
Dandelion: The words and images of Josiah Cocking draws on a photographic and written archive donated by the Cocking family to the University of Newcastle in 1999. The archive includes photographic portraits of Josiah’s and others’ families, while providing indelible images of life around the closing of the nineteenth century in outerlying Newcastle towns. Josiah may have been behind the camera when many of the images were captured, but his archive provides a distinct image of the man he was - his passion for poetry, his socialist heart, his joy and grief and his love of family. He often submitted poetry for publication under the pseudonym “Dan D. Lion”, and this exhibition reflects the nature of the dandelion - to bloom briefly with great intention, to embrace the seasons of its life and to scatter the seeds of its memory far beyond the ground in which it once grew. The photographs included in this exhibition were chosen from 221 images digitised in 2018 by the University’s Cultural Collections and available at livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au.
PORTRAITS OF GHOSTS
RIBBON 2018, digital print
Exploring the idea of the photographic self-portrait beyond traditional definition, Portraits of Ghosts documents a diverse collection of materials to consider a less conventional idea of self. Visualising the forms and the planes of the face through fabric, plastic and paper, the works consider identity in an uncanny and haunting way that draws allusion to the mortal, dying self. In documenting the absence of a specific self this exhibit confronts the human condition in a sombre yet unsettling way.
HEADLINES OF FUTURE PAST: WRITING ALTERNATIVE HISTORY WITH ALTERNATE PROCESSES
Image: TRUMP WARHOL 3 PROMO, cyanotype
Alternative processes speak of alternative times, usually reminiscing about the past. But we can turn the same techniques to the future, and consider what our history to come may be.
PROCESS AND REALITY
IMAGE: PROCESS AND REALITY 2018 (detail), plaster, fabric
Process and Reality is about the state in which things exist. This idea is explored through a post-minimal installation that includes obscure materials used throughout the casting process. Making use of crumpled, folded and draped materials is a way to suggest metaphorical notions of movement: as a result they act as a sort of action sculpture, a contemporary means of the artist’s expression, further engaging the viewer’s experience of the fundamental nature of materiality.