Re-animating art for contemporary audiences

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This article was published on 15, April, 2019. The infomation contained wihin may be out of date or inaccurate.

Arlo Mountford Walking the Line (still), 2013, dual channel HD digital animation, 4 channel surround sound, dimensions variable, 14 mins 37 secs.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) presents Arlo Mountford’s first major solo exhibition, Deep Revolt from 18 April – 10 June 2019 continuing SAM’s commitment to staging premier major shows by leading contemporary artists.

Melbourne-based, English-born artist Arlo Mountford’s exhibition Deep Revolt at the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), playfully probes the terms in which we engage with art and the way meaning can be twisted, through a contemporary lens.

The exhibition is the only showing of Mountford’s works in Victoria and features large-scale interactive installations with video, animation and sound, drawings and sculpture, challenging the ideas of time, history and our contemporary norms through a 14-year span of his work.

SAM director, Dr Rebecca Coates says “Mountford mashes up visual culture in order to engage with and reflect on our contemporary world. Time and history are common themes. Arlo’s work is complex and contains varying dimensions of joy, humour, history and horror making it hugely engaging for a wide audience,” she said.

“The exhibition will appeal to a generation where making videos, memes and text clips for social media is now second nature to communicate and comment on the world,” Dr Coates said.

Amusing, strange and laden with art and contemporary culture references, his animated films are hand drawn with a mouse directly into a computer. He reimagines both real and created spaces from the art world, digitally reconstructing the interiors of iconic museums or retracing the brushstrokes of European masterpieces well known and loved for centuries. This process allows him to experience art with fresh eyes and offer new readings of its ongoing meaning and relevance in contemporary society.

SAM has included two additional works in the exhibition, The Folly, 2009, and Clock, 2016. The Folly reimagines three paintings by the Flemish renaissance master Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569), Hunters in the Snow (1565), The Corn Harvest (1565) and Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558) stitched together into one long panel. A bird flits from one painting to another, and the sounds of nature and barking dogs permeate the space. The results are a pleasing naivety that Mountford describes as very South Park.

The Clock, 2016 continues Mountford’s interest in time, but also references the ready-made object and hand-made aesthetic – a counterpoint to his highly technical video installations and digital works. “Mountford’s work in Deep Revolt is expected to resonate strongly with local audiences who appreciate a return to the hand-made, the DIY aesthetic, and in part, a yearning for a more simple life, in which play and imagination are central, and commodity subverted,” said Dr Coates.

Selected video works will trace a gradual distillation of Mountford’s ideas. His recent work 100 years (2016), an animated chronology of appropriated artworks charting the evolution of abstraction since the ‘zero point’ of Malevich’s Black Square in 1915, will provide a fitting end point to the exhibition.


The exhibition opens on Wednesday 17 April from 6.00-8.00pm with an artist talk prior from 5.00-6.00pm. RSVPs are essential via 5832 9861.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) presents Arlo Mountford: Deep Revolt, an exhibition developed by Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and toured nationally in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW, alongside key works by Arlo Mountford. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.