MCA: Making it New

Making It New celebrates contemporary art in Australia today. Presenting a diverse selection of works by 18 established artists, the exhibition includes painting, installation, video, sculpture and new media. MCA curator Glenn Barkley has selected artists whose work engages with political and social worlds. These artists also play pivotal roles within a variety of social, historical, cultural and artistic communities.

The exhibition features the work of Raquel Ormella, who presents a series of wool and felt banners with stitched slogans. Ormella’s work investigates the means by which critical reflexivity in contemporary art encourages processes of self-examination regarding political consciousness and social action.

The banners are displayed leaning against the gallery walls and by utilizing both sides of the banner she reveals a conflicting slogan which corresponds to the text but amounts to an afterthought. Omella plays with the idea of a hidden meaning but only by displaying a sewn outline which continues a dialogue which allows her to question her intentions.

Khaled Sabsabi arrived in the culturally diverse suburbs of Western Sydney with his family in the late 1970s as a result of the civil war in Lebanon. Khaled Sabsabi’s knowledge of Middle Eastern culture and politics gives his work a global resonance. He is able to travel and show his work internationally without assistance from an established commercial gallery as an Australian artist.

Suspended in one of the galleries at the MCA is a large, hanging chandelier-like installation titled Coexistance. It displays the flags and logos of the many confessional political groupings that vied for support in the recent national elections in Lebanon.

Australian pop painter Jon Campbell combines the history of local and international pop art with local and subjective motifs. He creates witty and compelling DIY suburban art. For Making It New the artist presents Australian-themed tea-towels hung from the ceiling with paintings on the reverse side. The paintings are text based and depict signs from the high street. Both of these elements reference the mundane and the everyday which are central themes of his art practice. Jon Campbell is represented by Darren Knight gallery.