Exhibition a labour of love for CDU Art Gallery team 

CDU Art Collection and Gallery Curator Anita Angel (right) and CDU Art Gallery Assistant Curator Eileen Lim (centre) work on the installation of the latest CDU exhibition "roads cross" with visiting Exhibitions Manager Celia Dottore from Flinders University

An exhibition that explores how Aboriginal Australia has informed contemporary art will open in the Charles Darwin University Art Gallery next week.

In preparation for the exhibition, entitled “roads cross: contemporary directions in Australian art”, a work 250cm x 400cm in dimension by Melbourne-based artist Lauren Berkowitz will be painstakingly recreated on site by CDU and Flinders University exhibition staff.

The piece, entitled “Drift”, was originally created by the artist using herbs, spices, grains and pulses, but had to be remodelled by hand using locally-sourced stones: red and brown laterite, Territory ochre, Mt Bundy granite, purple quartz and red jaffa.

CDU Art Gallery Assistant Curator Eileen Lim said the materials used in the original installation would not have survived tropical, wet season conditions.

“It will take around three days to reconstruct Lauren’s work, using 220 kilograms of rocks,” Ms Lim said.

“Drift” will be part of an exhibition of two and three dimensional works including paintings, collages, photography, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, found-object installations and sculptures.

The exhibition has been curated jointly by CDU’s Art Collection and Art Gallery Curator Anita Angel, Director of Flinders University Art Museum and City Gallery Fiona Salmon and independent curator Vivonne Thwaites.

Ms Angel said that since the late 20th Century, opportunities to engage with Australian Aboriginal art, its makers and their communities have influenced Western approaches to art production.

“‘roads cross’ explored how this development has left traces and echoes in recent Australian art,” Ms Angel said.

“Ultimately, it signals an important development in non-Indigenous creative practice in Australia, and in our understanding of Australian art in the 21st Century.”

The exhibition will be open to the public from 22 November 2012 to 22 February 2013 in the CDU Art Gallery, Ground Floor, Building Orange 12, CDU Casuarina campus. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 3pm, or by appointment.

Floor talks will take place in the gallery on Thursday 22 November from 12pm to 1pm, and on Saturday 24 November from 11am to 12pm.