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Benjamin Armstrong | Invisible Stories: Meditations on Port Essington

Tuesday, 31 July, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tolarno Galleries, Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

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Since his 2008 Tolarno debut, Sculptor and printmaker Benjamin Armstrong has exhibited at the Adelaide Biennial (2010), Melbourne Now (2013) at the NGV and the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) while his work has been acquired by the British Museum, Monash University Museum of Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Art Gallery of South Australia and Art Gallery of Western Australia. Most recently, Armstrong’s The shape of things to come linocut series (2008) inspired the title of the inaugural exhibition at Buxton Contemporary in the Southbank Arts Precinct.

Invisible Stories: Meditations on Port Essington is Armstrong’s new series of linocut prints. Armstrong, a graduate in painting from Victorian College of the Arts, famously has no formal training in print-making, and his unusual, unorthodox techniques are “always an inventive, alchemical thing”. Using his techniques combined, Armstrong relates to Mark McKenna’s book, From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories (2016), which details the physical and psychological impact of colonialism including the failed establishment of “a new Singapore” by 19th Century, British explorers in Port Essington, 300km north of Darwin in West Arnhem Land. The prints exist as standalone moments, rather than a complete narrative. The contrasting imagery thus, provoking complex ideologies and narratives between the coloniser and the colonised.

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Free

Benjamin Armstrong, Embedded, 2018, Linocut on BFK rives, ink and pigment, 76 x 56 cm, Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Tolarno Galleries.