Exhibition examines Australia as an exotic continent

Date published: 13 June 2017

Ever since the 15th Century, when European cartographers began including the contour of Terra Australis Incognita (The unknown land of the south) in their speculative maps of the globe, the continent of Australia has been thought of as an exotic place.

The characterisation of Australia as a land down under, where things are out of the ordinary and colourfully unconventional, remains a key feature of this country’s national identity.

No longer just a projection of a European imagination, Australians themselves have come to celebrate the topsy-turvy nature of life in the land of Oz, where marsupials lay eggs, where Christmas celebrations take place at the height of summer and where water supposedly goes down the drain in an anticlockwise direction.

For the next month Pinnacles Gallery will host the Monash Gallery of Art travelling exhibition Australian Exotica that showcases a range of photographic work that engages with the theme of exotic antipodes.

The exhibition features a selection of works from MGA’s nationally significant collection of Australian photographs and is an important part of its commitment to making a collection that is widely accessible to promoting the work of Australian photographers.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chair Cr Colleen Doyle said this new exhibition was the first to be held at the gallery after its recent refurbishment.

“Over the past few weeks we’ve installed a new ceiling and internal walls, so the gallery is looking fantastic,” Cr Doyle said.

“I invite the public to come in, see the facilities at the gallery and this wonderful new exhibition.”

Australian Exotica will open at Pinnacles Gallery, Riverway on Friday, June 16 and will be on display until July 16.