Jo Lloyd

VAULT talks to choreographer Jo Lloyd about the psychology of her craft and the importance of collaboration.

“More and more, it’s the intimate relationships that happen in performance – and they’re not so obvious,” says choreographer Jo Lloyd about what interests her. “It’s the psychology behind the choreography – the psychology of the behaviour in it – and the negotiation between performers.”

Based in Melbourne, Lloyd has presented work in the Biennale of Sydney, Liveworks and Dark Mofo, as well as in New York, Japan and Hong Kong. Her works often treat dance as a form of social encounter. They are highly choreographed but involve a lot of variability and choice for performers. It’s an approach that draws out those processes of observation, modulation and response that we, as social creatures, engage in constantly, almost without thinking.

Full story in Issue 34 of Vault magazine.

Hilma af Klint

Science, geometry, séances: the extraordinary spirit world of once-forgotten artist Hilma af Klint.

Commissioned by a spirit guide, Swedish artist Hilma af Klint spent a decade of her life painting 193 works for a spiralling temple. The temple was never built, and when she died in 1944 she entrusted the works to a nephew, instructing that they not be opened for 20 years. It was a protective act. The world, she thought, was not ready for them.

These temple works were “far ahead of their time,” says Sue Cramer, the curator of The Secret Paintings, which comes to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in June. “For a long time, her work was dismissed because it was spiritual, and therefore not art.”

It has been a remarkable reappraisal. In 2012, when MoMA staged its canonical exhibition Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925, her work was not even included.

Full story in Issue 131 of Art Guide.

Build it and they will come

But will they? VAULT looks at the extraordinary amount of investment in bricks and mortar for the arts.

“You need that scale to convey its world class nature,” said National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) director Tony Ellwood, when the plans for the new 30,000-square-metre NGV Contemporary were announced late last year. Ellwood’s comments echoed Michael Brand in the early days of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ (AGNSW) Sydney Modern project, when he said: “Sydney is a global city and we have to behave like a global institution.”

The $344 million Sydney Modern project is now a quarter of the way there, and is expected to open in 2022. It has been a massive public-private partnership, with AGNSW raising over $100 million.  In Melbourne, the funding for the first stage of NGV Contemporary is coming out of the Victorian Government’s $1.46 billion redevelopment of the Southbank arts precinct, but now the NGV must embark on a major philanthropy campaign, too.  These projects are among the largest in a raft of arts building projects across the country – from the relocation of Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and Perth’s recent $400 million Museum Boola Bardip, to the construction of new regional galleries and smaller refurbishments. Not all of these projects share Ellwood’s and Brand’s world-class ambitions, but they have a common, codified language.

Full story in Issue 33 of Vault magazine.  

The ’emerging artist’ label

Is the emerging artist label only useful for finding grants and opportunities, or can creative practitioners benefit from thinking about different phases of their practice?

There’s no consensus on what an emerging creative practice is. The Vogel Literary Award, established in 1980, is famously for authors under 35. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual Primavera art exhibition, founded in 1992, also stipulates 35. That link between emerging practice and youth is strong, although it is slowly changing. 

‘It’s a tricky one,’ said Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh, the artistic director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. People often assume the festival is just for young writers, she said, but that’s not the case. ‘We do try to program older emerging writers as well. We’re quite conscious of that.’ Full story on ArtsHub.

The future for exhibition openings in a post-COVID world

As galleries moved online in the pandemic some found tools that would bring them to new audiences while others missed the human connection. Jane O’Sullivan looked at how COVID-19 changed galleries forever.

‘Yes and no,’ said Artereal Gallery’s associate director Rhianna Walcott about whether she misses pre-COVID exhibition openings. She’s not the only one.

‘Exhibition openings are a lot of work,’ says Raft Artspace’s director Dallas Gold. ‘It was good to have a break.’ Full story over on ArtsHub.

Kitchen creations

Kitchen creations in Art Guide

This was a fun one! I got to speak to three amazing artists, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Tai Snaith and James Tylor, about the connections between art and cooking in their practices, and what they’ve been cooking during iso. Read the full story and find their recipes over on Art Guide.