3 September – 27 November

Opening event 4-6pm 3 September

Gravity invisibly governs the movement of the world, the shape of space and the flow of time. Gravity (and Wonder) explores human fascination with these fundamental aspects of the universe through scientific investigations and artistic explorations.

Marking the beginning of a long-term partnership between Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Gravity (and Wonder) is a vibrant three month program with a range of events, workshops and programs extending the themes of a central exhibition. The project collaborators are joined by education partner Western Sydney University, bringing its Penrith Observatory and academic expertise into the project alongside citizen science events to intrigue the community. Eminent astronomer and science communicator Professor Fred Watson AM is the patron of this multi-faceted project.

The Gravity (and Wonder) exhibition at Penrith Regional Gallery, curated by Dr Lee-Anne Hall and Katie Dyer, will bring together rare scientific instruments and inventions, specialist objects and archival material from the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences alongside the work of contemporary artists who examine gravity as phenomena and effect, mass and attraction, motion and acceleration, time and space and ultimately transcendence

The exhibition will include sculpture by Richard Serra (USA), installations by Sandra Selig (Australia) and Amy Joy Watson (Australia), paintings by Mabel Juli and Rusty Peters (Warmun, Western Australia) kinetic sculptures by Marley Dawson (Australia), and video work by Hiraki Sawa (Japan). Australian artists David Haines and Joyce Hinterding will drop a sound from the edge of space and document its fall back to earth in a world-first commission which will also be documented through an online project.

The Gallery’s Lewers House will be transformed into a House of Wonder, hosting artists-in-residence working with scientists-in-residence, while the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre will play host to a Gravity Geeks Symposium, exploring the work of artists working with scientists to illuminate scientific concepts and related research concerning gravity. A gravity-defying performance element will also be part of the one-day event, which will be held on 5 November.

The public will also have the opportunity to experience the wonder of the night skies with Western Sydney University’s Penrith Observatory (8 October) and in the Gallery Garden (22 October) and via a Planetarium being installed onsite during the Symposium.

Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest is the inaugural recipient of the Dobell Exhibition Grant, a $40,000 gift from the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, administered by Museums and Galleries NSW, with the purpose of developing exhibitions such as Gravity (and Wonder) that provide opportunities for development, engagement and enrichment of audiences, institutions and artists.  Additional support from key Penrith Performing & Visual Arts sponsors Celestino and Penrith Lakes Development Corporation will also ensure this pivotal project is delivered successfully as part of a raft of activities that contribute to building Western Sydney through creative partnerships.



Exhibiting artists:

Images (L-R):

Amy Joy Watson
Floating Sequence
balsa wood, watercolour, gouache, polyester thread, lead weights, balloons, helium
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist
Photography by Andy Nowell

Sandra Selig
heart of the air you can hear
spun polyester sewing thread, nails, paint
Monash University Museum of Art
3m x 4m x 5.7m
Collection: National Gallery of Victoria
Photography by Sandra Selig

Richard Serra
259 x 152 x 112cm
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1973
©Richard Serra/ARS. Licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Marley Dawson
High Speed counter-balance disc (study 2)
polished 316 stainless steel, mild steel, bearings
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Gillian Lacey
Play: On the Beach with the Ballet Russes
digital film
14min 33sec excerpt
Courtesy of the artist

Rusty Peters
Three mothers for the moon
ochre on canvas
150 x 150
Courtesy of the artist and Warmun Art Centre



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