Friday was the launch of the sixth ScanArt exhibition, featuring mixed-media artworks by Scandinavian students and alumni living in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
An initiative of The Association of Norwegian Students Abroad, the juried exhibition – shown at Melbourne’s 1000 £ Bend Gallery – included the work of 18 artists, making it the biggest ScanArt exhibition to date.
On the panel was Humphrey Clegg, curator of Australian art at the National Gallery of Victoria; Martin Comte, musician and former Dean of Faculty of Education at RMIT; David Milne, Melbourne-based painter and sculptor; and Sarah Jones, visual artist and co-founder of Melbourne’s West Space Inc.
Fittingly, guests picked at mounds of the iconic Norwegian cheese, Jarlsberg, and judging by the number of blue-eyed blonds in the crowd – Melbourne’s Scandinavian community got behind the event.
1000 £ Bend Gallery’s large, open space worked well to not only showcase the work, but also to house the large number of guests who turned up to the launch.
Noteworthy pieces included Norwegian-born, Byron Bay-based Ann Kristin Ulrichsen’s small, ink, acrylic and charcoal paintings; Melbourne-based Elmedin Zunic’s coffee covered sketches; and Dida Sundet’s beautifully lit grotesque photographs.
The annual exhibition aims to showcase emerging Scandinavian artists and to act as a forum where ideas about cultural identity can be expressed, helping to build cultural connections between Australian and the artist’s homeland.
Exhibitors make a donation of 25 per cent of their sales to the Thailand Project, a non-profit organisation run by Norwegian students in Oceania and Singapore. The charity helps fund a number of orphanages in the Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand, and does preventative work against opium dependency and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region.
Jean Kemshal-Bell is an Honours Journalism student at La Trobe University and part of upstart’s editorial team.