Fiona Hall, at the beach…
To the surprise of probably no one, Fiona Hall has been announced as the artist who will represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2015. A seven member panel headed by Simon Mordant made the selection by drawing letters from velvet bag until they could be assembled into a name – the letters thus emerging from the bag spelled out R C H A R D B L – and so Fiona Hall was chosen. A press release soon followed:
Fiona Hall AO to represent Australia at the 2015 Venice Biennale
The Australia Council for the Arts today announced Fiona Hall AO has been selected to represent Australia at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2015.
The Adelaide-based artist, who works across a broad range of media, will be the sole artist exhibiting at the newly constructed Australian Pavilion in the Giardini from May 2015. The exhibition will be curated by Linda Michael.
Venice Biennale 2015 Commissioner Simon Mordant AM said he was delighted Fiona Hall had agreed to represent Australia at the most prestigious, international contemporary art exposition.
“Fiona Hall is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists,” Mr Mordant said. “Her work is deeply thoughtful, insightful and engaging. I can’t wait to see the new works she will create for the exhibition in Venice.”
Ms Hall said she was thrilled to be invited to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2015.
“It is a great honour to be offered this opportunity to create the first exhibition in the new Australian Pavilion,” Ms Hall said.
Fiona Hall first emerged in the 1970s as a photographer and during the 1980s she began working in a diverse range of art forms. The core theme throughout her work has been the relationship between nature and culture.
A major retrospective of her work was held at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and toured to the Art Gallery of South Australia (both 2005) and the survey exhibition Fiona Hall: Force Field at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with City Gallery Wellington (2008) toured to Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand and Newcastle Art Gallery.
She has been included in many important group exhibitions and biennales, such as ‘dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2009), The Biennale of Sydney (2000 and 2010), and Prism: Contemporary Australian Art at the Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo (2006). Her work has been collected by all major Australian State galleries as well as the National Gallery of Australia.
Australia Council Chair Rupert Myer AM said the Council was extremely pleased to have one of Australia’s most prominent contemporary artists exhibiting at the pavilion. “The Venice Biennale is the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar and the Council considers our involvement to be an important part of the way we promote Australian artists to international audiences,” Mr Myer said. “At this year’s biennale, about 200,000 people visited the Australian Pavilion to see Simryn Gill’s work and I have no doubt Fiona Hall’s exhibition will also attract an impressive number. The 2015 Venice Biennale is a particularly exciting one for Australia, as it will be the first year the new pavilion, designed by Denton Corker Marshall, will be open.”
Melbourne-based curator Linda Michael will return to the Venice Biennale after curating Australia’s 2003 exhibition of Patricia Piccinini’s work. She is the Deputy Director and Senior Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and is also a respected editor and writer.
Fiona Hall was selected by a seven-member expert panel comprising: Simon Mordant AM, Australian Commissioner for the Venice Biennale 2015, Chair of the Selection Advisory Panel and Chair, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Danie Mellor, artist and Chair Australia Council Visual Arts Strategy Panel; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Curator, Rome and New York; Max Delany, Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Rachel Kent, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Suhanya Raffel, Director of Collections, Art Gallery of NSW; and Leigh Robb, Curator, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Mr Mordant said he was delighted to announce the continued support of The Balnaves Foundation as the Major Partner and Maddocks, The University of Melbourne and White Rabbit Gallery as Supporting Partners. “Their long-term support, as well as the contribution of the Commissioner’s Council and many individual donors, ensures our presence in Venice is maximised to provide international opportunities for the Australian contemporary visual arts sector.” The Commissioner’s Council helps position Australia in Venice with its national membership, comprising Simon Mordant AM, Charles Green, Deputy Commissioner for Australia at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Hamish Balnaves, Anita Belgiorno-Nettis, Adrian Fini, Mark Henry, Ross Nielson, Roslyn Oxley, Lisa Paulsen and Nick Tobias.