For multi-media artist Lisa Reihana, having her work from the past 30 years on display is surreal and rewarding.
Curating an exhibition of her art at Campbelltown Arts Centre has allowed the New Zealander to reflect on how technology has advanced during her career and how discussions around her subject matter – mainly gender politics and Indigenous representation – have changed.
Ms Reihana is of Maori and British decent and her works look at Maori identity, colonisation and the fabrication of history.
Her experimental art uses digital video, film, photography, sound, performance, sculpture and design.
Ms Reihana’s showcase Cinemania opens on Friday, January 12 until Thursday, March 29.
“This is my first opportunity to see all my work on display.
“It is interesting to see how my work has changed.
“The exhibition is a snapshot of different times in my career.”
Ms Reihana said her exhibition would interest “people of all ages and persuasions”.
“I want locals to come and see my art and I would encourage Sydney-central locals who have never come to Campbelltown to come out here,” she said.
“I hope people get inspired, look at more art and learn from what is on display.
“I hope they get another understanding about what my art discusses.
“Campbelltown has a similar community to mine back home with the Indigenous population.
“People in Sydney probably think about Campbelltown in a certain way that may not be correct.
“I want to help break down stereotypes.”
Campbelltown Arts Centre director Michael Dagostino said the centre was thrilled to be presenting the first Australian survey of Ms Reihana.
“Ms Reihana was instrumental in forging the development of time-based art in New Zealand, and her technically ambitious works have gained her international acclaim, including representing New Zealand at the 2017 Venice Biennale.”
“Ms Reihana assumes many roles in the creation of her work - that of the artist as well as actor, filmmaker, photographer, director, historian and dramaturge.
“Her practice is driven by collaborative work with First Nation communities, across Australia and the Pacific, and she has continued this commitment by working with the local Dharawal community in Campbelltown.”
Ms Reihana said she loved making films and sounds during her career.
“Films connect with people on an emotional dimension,” she said.
“I have worked on all types of films from 8 millimetre, 16 millimetre, VHS, ultra-HD and so many more.
“If someone I work with spends their time and energy helping me make something then I want to make it as special as I can.”
Ms Reihana’s most ambitious work to date, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], premiered at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.
Almost ten years in the making, this work is a cinematic reimagining of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, 1804—1805, or The Voyages of Captain Cook, and includes scenes featuring Campbelltown’s local Dharawal community.