The latest Museum of Everything finds its home at the end of the earth and captures Australia’s imagination.
20 September, 2017 – On display at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) until 2 April 2018, The Museum of Everything’s latest iteration is the most expansive and ambitious to date. It includes almost 1000 artworks and creations from all over the world. The artwork featured spans three centuries (19th, 20th and 21st) and has been made by over 200 individuals.
James Brett, Founder, The Museum of Everything said, “The Museum of Everything is not an exhibition of art objects. It is a dictionary of private languages, a survey of human behaviours and an encyclopedia of profound beliefs. Our artists do not create for the markets or museums. They make because they must and—from Henry Darger to Nek Chand Saini—have something vital to say about the essence of their lives. We invite you to discover them and their lifetime’s labour; and we hope that they move you as they have always moved us.”
Previously un-shown Australian makers within the exhibition include: Stan Hopewell, a Perth-based electrician who began painting when his wife and childhood sweetheart, Joyce was diagnosed with dementia. He stopped the day she died. Hopewell’s creation The Last Supper is a memorial to Joyce – a technicolour hybrid of painting and spectacular bric-a-brac; and mediumistic artist, Georgina Houghton from The Victorian Spiritualists Union in Melbourne who created two Victorian-era drawings inspired by communications with her own spiritual guides.
“The Museum of Everything encourages visitors to question what actually makes an artist an artist, or a studio a studio, for that matter,” explains Brett. “A hospital room, a prison cell, a bedroom, a public garden, the lake, the street – I’m really saying that art structures that exist are very constricting to people and deny people the right to have their art seen on the walls of big museums. What we try to do is provide a platform for all these minor, minor players and tiny, invisible voices to be seen loudly and proudly.”
The Museum of Everything has sparked the imaginations of its Australian audience and visitors to Mona who have come to expect boundary-pushing and ground-breaking definitions of visual culture through the museum’s previous exhibitions.
“We at Mona are continually interested in this idea around why we make art,” said Olivier Varenne, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Mona. “In this exhibition, The Museum of Everything redefines and contemporises the personal objects which were once described only as naïve art, outsider art and art brut.”
Entries in The Museum of Everything guest book and reviews online include the following comments: “anything is everything”, “equally as good as famous artists – equally valuable in their own right”, “fascinating and touching”, and “authentic, utterly real, and very, very niche.”
The Museum of Everything is on show at Mona until 2 April 2018.
The Museum of Everything:
Launched in Britain in 2009, The Museum of Everything is a British non-profit organisation dedicated to the exhibition, advancement and integration of private and non-academic artists. It regularly collaborates with contemporary artists, curators, writers and thinkers, as well as cultural institutions and organisations around the world.
Mona is Australia’s largest private museum, located within the Moorilla winery on the eight-acre Berriedale peninsula in Hobart on the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Alongside temporary exhibitions, the permanent and evolving collection of founder, philanthropist and collector David Walsh displays ancient, modern and contemporary art across 6,000 square metres (64,500 square feet) of gallery space. The museum opened 21 January 2011.
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