Renowned artist Sally Smart to open solo exhibition at Southbank

World-renowned visual artist and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor’s Fellow Sally Smart will open a major solo exhibition at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery in Southbank this week.

Professor Smart is known for her large-scale cut-out assemblage installations which engage identity, politics and the relationships between the body, thought and culture.

In Staging the Studio (The Choreography of Cutting) Professor Smart explores the themes and ideas associated with the studio as a place of work, contemplation and thought in action.

“I tend to make art in series although it is quite fluid,” she says.

“One piece bleeds into the next then leads on to something else. It’s a bit like creating a whole world, I guess. This new assemblage work is still playing itself out.”

Professor Smart has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally and is represented in most major galleries and collections throughout Australia and in various and public and private collections.

Margaret Lawrence Gallery Director David Sequeira says Staging the Studio – which runs from 6 October to 4 November – draws on Professor Smart’s recent work examining the avant-garde dance company Ballets Russes and its experimental choreography, costume and theatre design.

“Whilst Sally’s investigations of the body, cultural heritage and pedagogy have been shown in a number of important Australian and international museum contexts, they have a special resonance here, within an art school – a place known for the thinking and experimentation taking place within its studios,” Dr Sequeira says.

“In this light, Staging the Studio is an ambitious and imaginative drawing together of themes that are at once personal and shared, localised and global.”

As a University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, Professor Smart will collaborate with Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso on their project Conversation: Endless Acts in Human History to build networks in artistic practice and cross-cultural dialogue between Australia and Indonesia. She will also collaborate on projects with academic colleagues across the University and provide mentorship to Victorian College of the Arts students.

On Friday 6 October, at 12.30pm, choreographer Brooke Stamp will present an improvised performance with and within Professor Smart’s assemblage elements, created and appropriated from Ballets Russes costumes and sets.

  • Come to the opening night of Sally Smart – Staging the Studio (The Choreography of Cutting) at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, on 5 October, from 5.30pm. Registrations essential.
  • Professor Smart will discuss her work in a talk as part of the ART150 Forum Series on Thursday 12 October, 12.30-1.30pm at Federation Hall, VCA. Bookings are essential.

Further reading: Sally Smart interview: Staging the Studio.

More Information: Nicola Webber, +61 3 8344 9624/ 0411 758 984,