View :: Story-Telling – Tales from the Union Art Collection

October 18th 2011


The University of Sydney Union is sitting on a pretty handsome secret: it’s home to the largest art collection owned by a student body in the world. Hands down, this thing is impressive. In a bid to share the love, each year the Union invites two aspiring curators to get to know the collection a little better and install their own selection in an exhibition in Verge Gallery.

This year’s gig is a narrative affair, with aspiring curators Beth and Elyse finding inspiration amongst the more figurative works for Storytelling: Tales from the USU Art Collection. Generating a kind of ‘if these works could talk’ atmosphere, they’ve rounded up all the popular kids, with Australian darlings Del Kathryn Barton, Bill Henson, and Trent Parke each lending a visual anecdote. Look out for a very special piece by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam too – he apparently drew a sketch while here on a visit to the University’s Sydney Python Appreciation Movement (SPAM), which to the dismay of many, no longer exists. Gilliam will be in conversation via Skype sometime this month in a special event held in the gallery, so keep your ear to the ground for that one.

It’s a playful and inclusive idea that invites visitors to imagine the stories and conversations between the works themselves, and develop them by scribbling on a giant roll of butcher’s paper on the gallery floor. Local writers have also contributed poems, prose and historical ditties which have been scrawled on the glass walls and windows to add to inspiration.

“It’s a sort of literary-visual-exquisite-corps-type Frankenstein concept,” laughs co-curator Beth Cannan. “You can just go crazy and do whatever you like.”

What: Story-Telling: Tales from the Union Art Collection

Where: University of Sydney Union's Verge Gallery, Jane Foss Russell Plaza, City Rd, Camperdown

When: Until November 4

How Much: Free



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