Last days of three RMIT Gallery exhibitions


Composer Liza Lim and ELISION Creative Director Daryl Buckley in the exhibition ELISION: 30 Years at RMIT Gallery. Photo by Vicki Jones.

Elision: 30 years

Australia’s international and enduring contemporary classical music ensemble Elision, is 30 years old this year and celebrating with an exhibition at RMIT Gallery.  Elision: 30 years explores the group’s musical journey from Melbourne church halls to the Paris Opera House, Kings Place London, and the Fomenko Theatre Moscow.

Through films, recordings, press, posters, sketches and drawings, this exhibition celebrates thirty years of contemporary practice and ELISION’s involvement with artists such as theatre directors Barrie Kosky, Michael Kantor, writers Allison Croggon, Beth Yahp, visual and new media artists Justine Cooper, Heri Dono, Judy Watson, Per Inge Bjørlo, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Ensembles Modern and CIKADA, and composers Liza Lim, Brian Ferneyhough, Richard Barrett, Aldo Clementi, Franco Donatoni, John Rodgers, Aaron Cassidy, Dmitri Kourliandski, Turgut Ercetin, Timothy McCormack, Matthew Sergeant, and Luke Paulding amongst others.


Radical Actions: Seamus Nolan’s 10th President. Installation image at RMIT Gallery by Tobias Titz, 2016.

Radical Actions

Commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, which marked a pivotal moment in the Irish struggle for independence, the contemporary Irish exhibition Radical Actions, curated by Linda Shevlin, explores the after effects of Irish independence and self-governance and features new and existing work by high profile Irish artists Kennedy Browne (Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne), Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones and Seamus Nolan.

Nolan is one of Ireland’s top young artists and his powerful work The 10th President, a political campaign to commemorate victims of institutional abuse, has a new recording using an Australian voice which highlights the global nature of institutional abuse.


Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016 features sketches, inspirations, drawings by the architect as well as large portraits by Australian photographer Nicholas Watt.

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016

This exhibition presents the creative process in the design of this year’s MPavilion and explores the inspirations and processes of making and designing MPavilion 2016.

In addition to samples of materials and modelling sourced from Studio Mumbai, the exhibition includes photography from Australian photographer Nicholas Watt, providing a rare insight into the renowned architect’s process—one that has taken place both in Mumbai and Melbourne with local and international collaboration.

Presented in partnership with RMIT Gallery, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Confluence: Festival of India and celebrates the forthcoming arrival of MPavilion 2016 to the Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne.

What: Elision: 30 years, Radical Actions, Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016

When: Exhibitions close 5 pm Saturday 22 October 2016

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Radical films: John Hughes film screening & talk at RMIT Gallery

On Thursday 20 October from 5.30-7.30 pm, RMIT Gallery screens Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia. The documentary film, directed by John Hughes, recalls the birth of Indonesia, and the impact of a small film and its legacy for Australian documentary film culture.

Adjunct Prof John Hughes will introduce his film, and answer questions after the screening.

Ivens’ film was an activist documentary that depicted the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Republic of Indonesia. All those who worked on it became ‘adversely known’ to the security services.

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia revisits the making of Ivens’ radical film, Australia’s early relationship with Indonesia and the impact of Ivens’ film.

Hughes has been recognised with a Lifetime Membership at the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) awards, and has been nominated for many awards for his films including the Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards and the Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE awards.

An independent producer, writer and director for film, television and online media, Hughes’ work has engaged with Australian cultural and political history and issues over a number of decades. Among his credits are After Mabo, TrapsMoving HistoryThe Art Of WarOne Way Street and the cinema feature What I Have Written.

Hughes’ films have been screened at major national and international festivals, and broadcast by such networks as the ABC and SBS. He has a PhD by practice from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication and had a fellowship from the AFI Research Collection (a specialist film library housed at RMIT).

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia is part of the RMIT Gallery’s public programs for the current exhibition Radical Actions (until 22 October) that showcases work by contemporary Irish artists to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.

Together with RMIT’s research centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, RMIT Gallery’s complementary ‘Images of Revolution’ film program presents films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.

What: Film screening: Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia

When: Thursday 20 October from 5.30-7.30 pm

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Bookings: Free. Register here

Strikebound revisited: Richard Lowenstein talk & film screening at RMIT Gallery


On Thursday 13 October 5.30-7 pm RMIT Gallery screens the Director’s Cut of the digitally remastered version of Strikebound, the 1984 film that reconstructs the true story of a coal miners’ strike in the small Victorian town of Korumburra in the mid-30’s.

Celebrated Australian film and music video director Richard Lowenstein will give a short talk and answer questions after the screening.

Lowenstein has written and directed the feature films including Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard, Dogs in Space, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, and Strikebound, as well as numerous award-winning music-videos, concert films and commercials.

Lowenstein wrote the ‘docudrama’ Strikebound about the Gippsland coal workers’ strike of 1937, adapting the screenplay from the book by author Wendy Lowenstein, a pioneer in oral history, notable for her recording of people’s everyday experiences and her advocacy of social activism.

Strikebound, featuring Chris Haywood, Hugh Keays-Byrne, and Carol Burns is based on the real-life story of two remarkable characters, Wattie Doig, a miner who became a militant Communist activist, and his wife, Agnes, who progressed from staunch Presbyterianism to membership in the Salvation Army and, finally, to labor organization.

Strikebound is part of the RMIT Gallery’s public programs for the current exhibition Radical Actions (until 22 October) that showcases work by contemporary Irish artists to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.

Together with RMIT’s research centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, RMIT Gallery’s complementary ‘Images of Revolution’ film program presents films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.

Film critic Richard Kuipers calls Strikebound ‘a rare example of Australian political filmmaking’. Kupiers writes: ‘Strikebound takes a sympathetic look at one of the most significant events in the nation’s industrial history. The Sunbeam Colliery strike of 1937 was the first sit-in (occupation) by workers and its ultimate success provided a great boost for the Australian trade union movement – especially during the Depression when jobs were scarce and workers were not protected by many of the laws passed in the postwar era.” Read Kuipers’ extensive notes on the film.

What: Strikebound – film screening of digitally remastered Director’s Cut.

When: Thursday 13 October 5.30-7 pm

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Guest speaker: Director Richard Lowenstein

Bookings: FREE – register for tickets

Images of Revolution film program

eat-your-childrenRMIT Gallery’s exhibition Radical Actions (until 22 October) showcases work by contemporary Irish artists to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
Together with RMIT’s research centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, RMIT Gallery’s complementary ‘Images of Revolution’ film program presents a curated selection of films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.
The free film screenings at RMIT Gallery include talks by film directors and academics, exploring filming traditions of resistance.
Thursday 6 October, 5.30-7.30 pm  Australian premiere of the new timely and provocative Irish documentary Eat Your Children will include tastings from Dublin based Teeling Whiskey. Book here
Tuesday 11 October, 1-2 pm The Australian documentary Michael, They’ve Shot Them explores the impact in the Australian Catholic community of the 1916 Easter Rising, with a talk  by director Eoin Hahessy.Book here
Thursday 13 October, 5.30-7 pm Renowned Australian film director Richard Lowenstein will discuss his 1984 film Strikebound, and take questions after the screening of this digitally remastered director’s cut of the film. Book here
Thursday 20 October, 5.30-7.30 pm  Australian documentary Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia, recalls the birth of Indonesia. Director John Hughes talks the impact about Ivens small film had and its legacy for Australian documentary film culture.Book here
Friday 21 October 1-2.30 pm The Battle of Chile, Part 1, is Patricio Guzmán’s epic chronicle of Chile’s peaceful socialist revolution, and of the violent counter-revolution against it. Dr Antonio Castillo, Director of the CPC, will discuss how the film changed concepts of political documentary.Book here 

RMIT Gallery Images of Revolution film screenings start tonight

Tonight’s special evening screening of Rocky Road to Dublin at RMIT Gallery provides an important portrait of Ireland in the Sixties, and is part of the film program that complements the Irish exhibition Radical Actions.

As artists have always played a key role in shaping cultural identity, and given the far reaching repercussions of the 1916 Rising, RMIT Gallery and the Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre present Images of Revolution – six films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.

Directed by Peter Lennon, with cinematography by Raoul Coutard,  Rocky Road to Dublin will be introduced by documentary maker David Muir ACS BSC. Event – Thursday 29 September 5.30-7.30 pm. Free – register here.

Encouraged by the controversy he had stirred with a series of newspaper articles and inspired by French ‘New Wave’ filmmakers, Dublin-born Peter Lennon, who worked in Paris as a journalist for a decade, revisited his native country in 1967 to make a film assessing the state of the nation.

Muir (pictured above, in orange) lived and worked in Europe in the 60s and 70s and was a colleague and close friend of cinematographer Raoul Coutard (above, black and white photo), who he describes as “as an independent ‘Radical’ in all ways”.

Lennon took the then young, now legendary, cinematographer Raoul Coutard with him and they created a provocative and revealing portrait of Ireland, a society characterised by a stultifying educational system, a morally repressive and politically reactionary clergy, a myopic cultural nationalism, and a government which seemingly knew no boundary between church and state.

Muir will talk about the Paris Lennon and Coutard left for Dublin, and Coutard as a radical in both use of camera and ideas.


Images of Revolution film program

On Thursday 6 October 5.30-6.30 pm, RMIT Gallery presents the Australian premiere of the provocative new Irish activist film Eat Your Children (dir. Treasa O’Brien & Mary Jane O’Leary) 2015. Bookings

With tastings from Dublin distillery Teeling Whiskey.


The screening of Eat Your Children has been generously sponsored by the EU Centre at RMIT. Guest speaker: Liam Ward, Associate lecturer, RMIT

Tuesday 11 October 1–2 pm


Michael, They’ve Shot Them (dir. Eoin Hahessy) 45 min. Australia. Book here 

Guest Speaker, Eoin Hahessy, film director.

Thursday 13 October 5.30–7.00 pm

Strikebound (dir. Richard Lowenstein) 1984. 101 min. Australia.Book here 

Guest Speaker, Richard Lowenstein, film director.

Thursday 20 October 5.30–7.30 pm

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia (dir. John Hughes) 2009. 90 mins. Australia. Book here 

Guest speaker: Adjunct Prof Dr John Hughes, film director.

Friday 21 October 1-2.30 pm

The Battle of Chile, Part 1: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (dir. Patricio Guzmán) 1975. 96 min. Chile. Book here 

Guest speaker: Dr Antonio Castillo, Director of the Centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, CPC, RMIT University.





Bijoy Jain – MPavilion 2016 exhibition inauguration on September 28


Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016, installation image, Tobias Titz, RMIT Gallery.

Step inside the creative process of celebrated Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai at RMIT Gallery’s new exhibition that explores the inspirations and processes of making and designing MPavilion 2016.

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016 (9 September – 22 October) provides a rare insight into the renowned Indian architect’s process.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by opera singer Deborah Cheetham  AO, Artistic Director of the Short Black Opera Company on Wednesday 28 September, 6-8 pm.

We warmly invite you to join us at this event – Bijoy Jain will be flying in from India that morning, and will be attending this event in his honour.

RMIT_MPavilion_FinalEvite_1200pxTo coincide with the public opening of MPavilion 2016, Bijoy Jain will present a highly anticipated public lecture at RMIT Gallery on 5 October 1-2 pm. Jain will elaborate on his design philosophy and the inspirations and challenges in designing this year’s MPavilion.

Bijoy Jain said that the exhibition at RMIT Gallery will provide context and insight into Studio Mumbai’s objective in designing MPavilion 2016.

“This is not just to create a new building, but to capture the spirit of the place by engaging the right materials and by respecting the surrounding nature through close collaboration with local artisans, craftsmen and engineers,” Jain said.


Bijoy Jain, photo courtesy of Nicholas Watt.

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016 is presented in partnership with RMIT Gallery, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Confluence: Festival of India in Australia.

 MPavilion 2016, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, will be presented free to the public from 5 October 2016 through 5 February 2017.



ELISION’s concert takes audiences on a dynamic sound journey


Tristram Williams performing Matthew Sergeant’s work ‘terrains’ at ELISION Ensemble’s concert The Surface Project, RMIT Storey Hall, 2016. Photo by Margund Sallowsky.

Congratulations ELISION Ensemble on a wonderful performance at last night’s concert of The Surface Project at RMIT Storey Hall, presented by RMIT Gallery in partnership with RMIT SIAL Sound Studios.

The concert was part of the public programs for the RMIT Gallery exhibition ELISION:30 years, on until 22 October.

Composers Matthew Sergeant flew in from the UK and Timothy McCormack from the US to hear their works performed.

Sergeant’s work [terrains] was written for Tristram Williams (who performed the piece), “in friendship and the sincerest admiration.”


Composer Matthew Sergeant applauds musician Tristram Williams after his performance of ‘terrains’

“It’s certainly not really about development, as the word is usually defined. Nor is it really about contrast,” explains Sergeant.

“In one way I suppose it’s more like watching an earwig or a mountain goat weave its way across different planes – some steep, some high, some tight, some sprawling – and watching that same creature accommodate such different lands in its gait.

“And yet, in another way, it’s about the land itself. A mountain not just as a relief but as an imprint in the sky. And how – just like the ‘Gestalt Vase’ (is it a vase or two opposing faces?) – one’s impression oscillates between foregroundings of these different states. Relief/imprint. Pitch/noise.

The Surface Project concert performance was especially emotional for composer Timothy McCormack, as it was the world premiere of his work ‘subsidence’.

The music, performed by Daryl Buckley and Peter Neville, took audiences on a haunting Gothic journey – and the composition itself took four years and featured a ‘third player’ – according to Buckley, ‘the instrument asserted itself in the piece.’

McCormack explains: “subsidence plumbs a nearly featureless world of soft but charged noise to reveal its subterranean motion. At times static, at times turbulent, the movements and behaviours within this noise embody a geologic heaviness and hugeness.

“Named after the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land, subsidence enacts a slow concentration of matter and energy which give way to a protracted, eventually cataclysmic implosion.”


(left to right) Daryl Buckley in rehearsal with composer Timothy McCormack, working on McCormack’s piece ‘subsidence’.

Subsidence was commissioned and recorded for the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection.

The Surface Project comprised four works – Aaron Cassidy’s The wreck of former boundaries (for electric lap-steel guitar and electronics),  Matthew Sergeant’s  [terrains] (For quartertone flugelhorn with preparation), the world premiere of Timothy McCormack’s subsidence (for electric lap-steel guitar with two players) and Richard Barrett’s Codex III (for three players).

Associate professor Lawrence Harvey, Director of the RMIT Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) provided sound spatialisation, along with technical management by Simon Maisch.

“This concert continues RMIT’s research and practice into spatial music performance,” said Harvey.
“For this performance we used a different software solution, but similar technique to previous events.  The different software for sound spatialisation, meant we could move individual instrument sounds in real-time, making for a more dynamic and responsive approach to the sound.

ELISION Ensemble musicians (left to right) Tristram Williams, Peter Neville and Daryl Buckley perform Richard Barrett’s ‘Codex 111’ at The Surface Project concert performance, RMIT Storey Hall, 2016. Photo by Margund Sallowsky.

 “We also placed the performers further into the sound-field of the speakers, allowing them to hear more of the spatialisation.”
A video of The Surface Project concert will be shown during the RMIT Gallery exhibition ELISION: 30 years (9 September – 22 October).