Figure and Ground

Get to know your Collection

Figure and ground, featuring works drawn across four decades, 1971 – 2012, showcases key works from two distinct components of the Araluen Art Collection and takes the viewer on a journey; a journey that tells a unique story that began well before the Araluen Arts Centre existed, led by two Central Australian arts institutions; the Central Australian Art Society (CAAS) formed in 1963 and the Alice Springs Art Foundation (ASAF) formed in 1969. This exhibition highlights the strength and depth of the unique bodies of work collected by CAAS and ASAF that came to form the foundation of the Araluen Art Collection. These works were donated to the Alice Springs Town Council and now form the Alice Springs Town Council Collection.

This exhibition explores two fundamental and recurring themes in the works. The figure – with artists exploring and pushing the figurative subject in new ways through painting, printmaking, photography and in the medium of video. And ground – most commonly in the form of landscape painting, the intimate knowledge of country reflected in paintings by Aboriginal artists, or the very surface of the canvas in abstract works. This exhibition brings the diversity of exploration and representation of figure and ground by artists represented in this Collection into focus.

Some of these artworks may be familiar; others less so. Figure and ground invites the viewer to be ‘introduced/re-introduced’ to the Collection, exploring its depth and diversity through the lens of figure and ground. It offers an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the CAAS, ASAF and the Alice Springs Town Council Collection and how this strengthens the Araluen Art Collection and the culture of our community.

Shoufay Derz, Depart without return, 2011, Digital video. Araluen Art Collection. Acquired from the 2012 Alice Prize by the Alice Springs Art Foundation.
13 November21 June 2015
10am – 4pm
Araluen Arts Centre, Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs