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Some of the Things I Like
Friday 16 December 2016 - Sunday 19 March 2017

Nell's Wunderkammer. Showing until Sunday 19 March, 2017

In this site specific installation, Nell has created a Wunderkammer or ‘cabinet of curiosities’ using ceramics and other treasures from the SAM Collection, supplemented with her own artworks and objects from her personal collection gifted from friends and colleagues. In Renaissance Europe, The Wunderkammer was an encyclopedic collection of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. Traditionally these objects ranged from natural history specimens to geology, ethnography, religious or historical relics, works of art or antiquities. This array of specimens from all corners of the globe were considered to reflect Europe’s imperial force, alleged dominion over nature and supposed cultural superiority.

Nell subverts this museological tradition. The artist is known for her varied artistic vocabulary that spans media from painting and installation through to ceramics, video and performance. While her use of media is diverse, her artistic concerns or ‘Nellness’ is quite singular. Uncanny groupings are created and juxtaposed against neons and the artist’s text based wallpaper, which speaks of classification systems. She builds thematic connections and resonances between the museum’s collecting history and her own obsessions and interests. Nell has called this cabinet Some of the Things I Like. Also though, it’s an open ended proposition to the viewer to form their own connections and narratives through the objects on display.

 Numerous themes prevail around Australiana, typography, the sacred and the profane. Life, death, rebirth and spiritual consciousness are expressed through icons, artifacts, and egg-like forms. A plaster cast Jesus gazes down at a crown of thorns comprised of guitar strings and red beads that resemble the blood of Christ. Indigenous narratives are espoused through works by the Hermannsburg and Ernabella Potters with motifs that reveal a spiritual connection to Country. Totemic sculptures, ghost forms and tree spirit references proliferate, made by artists such as Jenny Orchard and Kaye Poulton. The Hindu Elephant Goddess Ganesha dialogues with a ceramic vessel that conveys a narrative around the ‘original sin’. Anthropometric faces evoke guardian spirits and the protective Eye of Horus looks on. Themes of Australiana and early settlement are also apparent through slip cast native animals such as frogs by Bendigo Pottery (c.1940) and kookaburras by Darbyshire (c.1950). Teapots in the shape of Flinders St Station (1984) collide with earthenware koala umbrella stands (1930). Honey ants and budgerigars are conveyed in vessels by the Hermannsburg potters. Ginger jars and a rice container by unknown Chinese ceramicists reveal domestic imperatives during the early Gold Rush settlements in Ballarat.

The Wunderkammer is known as the theatre of the world. As a precursor to museums, its systems and classifications were created as a way to frame and understand our universe. Through the intention of the artist the proverbial card deck is reshuffled – producing new ways to view the SAM Collection for its 80th year anniversary.

IMAGE: NELL, Some of the Things I Like, 2016, mixed media installation, dimensions variable, Shepparton Art Museum

SAM Local. VCE Art and Studio Arts Exhibition
Saturday 10 December 2016 - Saturday 14 January 2017

This exhibition celebrates the achievements of students from Year 11 and Year 12 VCE Art and Studio Arts in the Goulburn Valley region.

The exhibition features selected artworks that demonstrate a variety of approaches, with high level skills in relation to the exploration of subject matter, use of medium and experimentation.

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 10 December 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017

2016 People’s Choice Award winners Q&A

Name: Annalise Foott
School: Goulburn Valley Grammar
Subject: Year 12 VCE Studio Arts
Work: Distortion, 2016, digital type C photograph, 150 x 100cm

How did you come up with the ideas around your work?
Originally, I wanted to weave two photos together to represent, how as humans, we can experience more than one emotion at a time. However by weaving, part of the image was lost. So I did some research and came up with the idea of having the two sides/angles of the artwork. I felt this style more closely represents how I wanted to express the changing emotions and changing how we view other people uncovers different sides of them. 

What message do you hope people will get from your work?
The message I hope the audience uncovers is that you never fully understand someone until you change your perspective of them. Try and see the different sides of them and try to understand them for who they are, rather than what they portray to the public because there is always two sides to someone. 

What do you plan to do next year?
Next year I am taking a gap year, continuing to dance, photograph the world around me and just enjoy being young. The hopefully studying Musical Theatre or Fine arts, still yet to decide! 

What advice would you give students about to start VCE Art / Studio Arts?
To Next year’s VCE folio students, I advise you to work hard from the very start. Don't waste time, because when it comes to crunch, it can be very very overwhelming. Work hard but enjoy it and don't be afraid to experiment because you never know what your creative minds will uncover. Best of luck to you all! 


Name: Abram Rasmussen
School: Shepparton Christian College
Subject: Year 12 VCE Studio Arts
Work: Vinduer, 2016, watercolour, ink and coloured pencil on paper, dimensions variable
Work: Facets, 2016, digital print on canvas, beanbag, sound, dimensions variable

Question 1: How did you come up with the ideas around your work?
The inspiration for this piece was my interest in music, I wanted to show how different art forms (in this case visual arts and music) could depict the same emotion but in a vastly different way. That’s how I came up with the idea for an installation piece where people can sit and enjoy the music that inspired the canvases they were looking at.
For this piece I wanted to show how emotion can be shown through even the smallest of things, so I decided to draw different eyes because they are such a small part of the human body but at the same time is one of the most expressive parts as well.

Question 2: What message do you hope people will get from your work?
This piece was derived from songs about love, during the creation process of this piece I had to think about the different aspects of love and how they looked to me and essentially what love was to me. What love towards people looked like, the love of a heavenly father, a father’s love for his child etc. So when people walk away from my piece I want them to walk away thinking about what love means to them and how it looks in their life.
For this piece I wanted to show how emotion could be shown through the smallest of things, and that includes people actions, the message I hope people will get is that everything you do no matter how small has an effect somewhere on someone.

Question 3: What do you plan to do next year?
Next year I will be studying Visual Arts in Bendigo.

Question 4: What advice would you give students about to start VCE Art / Studio Arts?
Don’t be discouraged when the idea that you have in your head at the beginning of the year changes. What I pictured my pieces looking like at the start of the year isn’t exactly how they ended up turning out, and that is totally fine, they got refined and changed a few times and it made them that much better. But don’t get down on yourself just because one idea you had didn’t work just refine, refine and refine some more to get your pieces where you want them to be.

Image: Annalise Foott with her work Distortion, 2016 and below Abram Rasmussen with his work Facests, 2016.

SAM Local. Spotlight
Saturday 10 December 2016 - Saturday 14 January 2017

Each year SAM goes local across December and January, spotlighting the practice of local artists with three exhibitions.

SAM Local Spotlight profiles the work of one artist with a solo exhibition. This initiative encourages, stimulate and promote local and regional cultural activities as part of SAM’s annual program, enabling artists to experience working in a professional museum context. Exhibitions are programmed up to six months in advance.

Shepparton Art Museum is pleased to announce the artist showcased in this December’s local spotlight exhibition is Echuca-based, Tarli Bird.

Artist Statement:

I’m excited about exhibiting at SAM with a project that combines my passions in life: sport and art. As an elite distance runner I’m always fascinated when people regard sport and art as being polar opposites. I find athletes and artists contain very similar attributes that I’m looking forward to highlighting in my exhibition.

I hope to break down the barrier between the sports field and art gallery through my exhibition and drawing into the gallery new viewers. My exhibition will have the heart rates of local runners after a running race transferred onto individual music metronomes which will communicate their internal body externally to be watched. The metronomes will continue to perform for the duration of the exhibition providing a visual and audio representation of how the bodies experienced the race. The viewers can determine for themselves which individual has pushed their body to the furthest limit.

Tarli is an artist and art teacher who works at Echuca College.


Instagram: @tarlibird

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 10 December 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017

Image: Tarli Bird, courtesy the artist.

SAM Local: Best of Friends
Saturday 10 December 2016 - Sunday 15 January 2017

Best of Friends showcases the strength, diversity and commitment of local artists in the Goulburn Valley region.

Each year the talents of the Friends of SAM Inc. are celebrated with a special group exhibition. Bringing together Friends who explore a range of thematic approaches, the exhibition features a variety of mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles and photography.

To be part of the show, download an application form here. You will need to become a Friend of SAM if you aren't already.

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 10 December 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017

Image: Maeve Hutchinson, Waiting, 2015, porcelain, © the artist 

Drawing Wall #25: Elizabeth Gower
Saturday 26 November 2016 - Sunday 12 February 2017

Elizabeth Gower is a mid career artist based in Melbourne. Since the 1970s, her practice has centered around the production of intricate collages from found materials. Drawing on the everyday, she creates formal works of beauty.

Each element in this constellation of circular forms has been created from the detritus of consumer culture. Gleaned from advertising catalogues, commercial products and junk mail, Gower has collected tea-bag labels, price tags, and other fragments that you might find in your letterbox or in the Supermarket aisle. This ephemeral material has been configured into a rhythmic and geometric composition that extends across the wall.

This piece is a reworking of 365 Rotations, that Gower conceived for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now, 2013-14 and AC Institute, New York, 2014. For SAM’s Drawing Wall #25, Gower has intergrated advertising collateral from Shepparton based businesses such as SPC Ardmona and Campbell’s Soups, connecting her work to the regional food production industry.

Gower has held over 30 individual exhibitions in Australia and overseas, including shows at Cite Internationale des Arts Gallery, Paris, 2007; Arthouse, London, 1997; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1991. She has participated in many major group exhibitions, including: Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2002, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2002; Australian Perspecta, held at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, in 1997 and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, in 1985 and 1981; European Dialogue, 3rd Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1979. Her most recent group exhibitions include: Black elastic, two umbrellas, a mint leaf and wheels, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2011; and Cubism and Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2009. Gower’s work is held in many notable public collections both in Australia and internationally. She is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.

The Drawing Wall is an ongoing series of commissioned, temporary, site specific wall based drawings or installations that enliven the foyer space of the Eastbank Centre, directly outside SAM. Drawing Wall projects often revolve around conversations and collaborations, and provide members of the public an opportunity to interact with the artists during installation.

Each year four artists are commissioned to produce new work across the 4 x 12m space.

Image: Elizabeth Gower, courtesy and © the artist.

Showcase #12: Andrei Davidoff
Saturday 5 November 2016 - Sunday 29 January 2017

Andrei Davidoff is a Melbourne-based ceramicist known for his commercial domestic ware and installation based practice. In this new body of work, Davidoff experiments with scale, technique and context.

The artist has cherry picked forms and iconography from the histories and theories of studio pottery in order to query the nature of assigned value within the discipline. Forms are borrowed from sources such as Korean storage jars and Japanese tea vessels. Surface decoration is gleaned from an array of references, from slip motifs depicting ears of corn from North Carolina, through to instructional drawings from a seminal text by the founder of the English/Japanese pottery tradition - Bernard Leach. A sketch for an anagama Japanese-style kiln on one vase is juxtaposed next to Tarot card illustrations on another: an allusion to both the use value of the ceramic vessel within human history, as well as the symbolism of the suit of cups within the tarot deck.

In addition to these historic references, Davidoff draws on the everyday. Commercially produced ceramics decals featuring icons and signs litter the surfaces in an arbitrary fashion: biohazard signs and atomic icons, skull and cross bones and cassette players–symbols of our urban world.

These elements are conflated with complex tactile surfaces, bubbled and crazed, achieved through experimental production processes and multiple firings (six –seven times). Dripping rivulets of traditional stoneware and commercial earthenware glazes, are combined with smelted beer bottles and finished with gold lustre.

Displayed on a precarious stack of makeshift shelving and borrowed milk crates in place of the museum plinth, Davidoff destabilises traditional exhibition solutions and the inherent value that the plinth and museum context assigns to the ceramic object. Through drawing on the diverse cross-cultural histories of the form and its representation, his work investigates the tension between the objects’ high art cultural value and its social value as a utilitarian object.

Showcase 2016 presents four discrete exhibitions of new work by contemporary ceramicists in the glass display cabinet of SAM’s entry.

Curated in partnership with Bree Claffey of Melbourne based gallery and retailer Mr Kitly, Showcase provides a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work as all pieces are available for purchase.

Image: Andrei Davidoff, courtesy Mt Kitly.

Saturday 8 October 2016 - Sunday 27 November 2016

The artist known simply as Nell has a signature style that is instantly recognisable: a fusion of religious iconography with a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. Complex and paradoxical, Nell took her Buddhist vows in an ancient Chinese ceremony while concurrently worshipping at the altar of Australia’s true rock god legends – AC/DC.

Life, death and rebirth; sex, Zen and rock ‘n’ roll, play out as key themes across the artist’s oeuvre in this survey exhibition. Her work often explores the tension between diametrically opposed polarities such as light and dark, silence and noise.

Nell’s multi-disciplinary practice includes painting, installation, performance and video. Through these means she explores a unique cosmology of symbols such as the egg, the drip, the lightning bolt, the fly and the smiley face - enduring motifs in a quest for universal meaning. It’s only two hours to Shepparton if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll!

In the site-specific installation Some of the Things I like (2016), Nell curated a cabinet of curiosities using ceramics and other treasures from the SAM Collection, alongside her own works and objects from her personal collection.

Sydney based Nell was born in 1975 in Maitland, NSW, Australia. Recent major works and collaborations include: The Wake, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016). It’s a Long Way to the Top (If you Wanna Rock `n’ Roll), Chanting to Amps, Let There Be Robe, Museum of Old and New Art, (MONA) Tasmania, commissioned performances and installations for the festival MONA FOMA (2012). Theatre of the World, MONA (2012). The Oracle - Spring/Summer (2011/12), collaboration with Romance Was Born for Australian Fashion Week. Nell is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Sydney, and STATION Gallery, Melbourne.

Rebecca Coates & Anna Briers

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 8 October to Sunday 27 November 2016

 For further reading, please see these media interviews with NE/LL herself:

Image: Nell, Some of the Things I like, 2016, installation view, Shepparton Art Museum © the artist, photo: Amina Barolli

80/80: Eighty Years of SAM, The Collection
Monday 29 August 2016 - Sunday 18 February 2018

This exhibition has been developed around a number of themes, including place, identity and ceramics.

Works featured include colonial images from Shepparton’s own past, to contemporary artists’ responses to country and place. Explorations of identity similarly range from academy portraiture traditions John Longstaff and others, to more contemporary examinations of a culturally diverse country that is part of a globalized world. The exhibition also features key works from SAM’s marvellous ceramics collection.

80/80 enables us to showcase some of the significant works and delightful treasures in SAM’s now sizable collection, and reveal some of the trends that have emerged over its 80 year history.

The 80 Years of SAM, The Collection publication can be purchased from the SAM Shop for $29.95 (Friends of SAM $25). Thankyou to the Gordon Darling Foundation for supporting this project. 

Exhibition runs 2 February, 2017 - 18 February, 2018. 

#SAMCollection #SAM80Years @SAM_Shepparton

Drawing Wall #24: Darren Wardle
Saturday 27 August 2016 - Sunday 13 November 2016

Darren Wardle is the 24th artist to feature on the SAM Drawing Wall.

Darren Wardle is known for his hyper-real paintings of abandoned buildings and urban structures that appear to be drawn from a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi dystopia. Painted in a synthetic day-glo palette, they hint at the failures of modernism and its associated belief in a rational and orderly world.

Darren Wardle’s Billboard Panorama is an instantly recognisable image for any suburban dweller in the Western world. This archetypal scene depicts disused advertising billboards silhouetted against a highly saturated sky. While uninhabited, there is evidence of life in the form of graffiti scrawl that defaces the structures: an attempt at visibility or to reclaim territory within the constant barrage of advertising. A surveillance camera records and monitors from overhead.

Wardle’s image could portray a specific place, or nowhere in particular. An urban view that we might experience in transit while on a road trip: somewhere between our present location and our destination. As a representation of the way in which commodity culture informs architecture and space, the image recalls the homogeneity and sameness of cities globally. The work has an alluring cinematic quality that evokes the post-war gasoline stations and roadside architecture that seminal West-coast American Pop artist Edward Ruscha captured in the ’60s.

Darren Wardle holds a Masters by Research from the Victorian College of the Arts, 2014. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and his works are held in various Australian collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, and RMIT University Collection, amongst others. He has held over 20 solo shows and exhibited widely in the USA, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Wardle is represented by Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne and Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York City.

Darren will be installing his work from Monday 22 to Friday 26 August. This is a great opportunity for the community to come by and see him at work and ask questions about his art and processes.

The Drawing Wall is an ongoing series of commissioned, temporary, site specific wall based drawings or installations that enliven the foyer space of the Eastbank Centre, directly outside SAM. Drawing Wall projects often revolve around conversations and collaborations, and provide members of the public an opportunity to interact with the artists during installation.

Each year four artists are commissioned to produce new work across the 4 x 12m space.


Darren Wardle, Community Spirits 2015

oil and acrylic on canvas, 122cm x 168cm

Image courtesy the artist and Fehily Contemporary

Indigenous Ceramic Art Award
Saturday 6 August 2016 - Sunday 25 September 2016

The Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA)  was established under the patronage of acclaimed artist Dr Gloria Thanakupi Fletcher, this Award celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art. As an acquisitive award it contributes to the Art Museum's significant holdings of Australian and International ceramic art.


The 2016 shortlisted artists are:

  • Janet Fieldhouse, Torres Strait (QLD)
  • Deanne Gilson, Wadawurrung/ Wathaurung (VIC)
  • Sean Miller, Kamilaroi (NSW)
  • Raymond Young, Gunnai / Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara (VIC)
  • Alison Murray, Girramay (QLD)

    Gallery Kaiela Artists (VIC)
  • Jack Anselmi, Yorta Yorta
  • Cynthia Hardie, Yorta Yorta

    Ernbella Women Potters, Pukatja Community – Pitjantjatjara Language (SA)
  • Alison Milyika Carroll
  • Elizabeth Dunn
  • Rupert Jack
  • Lynette Lewis
  • Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel
  • Janelle Muwitja Nakamarra Thompson
  • Fiona Wells
  • Tjimpuna Williams

The ICAA is developed in partnership with the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, Margaret Lawrence Bequest and Mr Allan Myers AO QC and is generously supported by Fairer Futures Fund / Australian Communities Foundation.  

2016 ICAA Cultural Program

In addition to the 2016 ICAA exhibition, a community engagement component has again been developed. All bookings can be made online or by calling SAM. 

Adult Programs

Education: Life on the River Clay building workshop
Drawing on the concept of a midden, and local knowledge about life on the Goulburn River pre-settlement, these teachers will learn a number of hand-building techniques and how to make a pressed mould using found objects and clay.
Date: Saturday 3 September
Time: 10.00 to 11.30am Mooroopna and 12.15pm to 4pm SAM
Audience: All teachers
Venue: Mooroopna river bank and SAM
Cost:  $60 (incl. lunch)
Tutors: Jack Anselmi and Aunty Cynthia Hardie
Bookings: Click here to book

Kids and Family Programs

Middens and Memories
Children will gain insight into the local traditions of the Yorta Yorta people through this clay workshop.
Date: Wednesday 21 September
Audience: 10.30am to 12.30pm for 5 - 9 years - Bookings: Click here                  
                 1.30 to 3.30pm for 10 - 14 years - Bookngs: Click here
Venue: SAM workshop room
Cost: $20 (Friends $18)
Artists: Jack Anselmi and Auntie Cynthia Hardie

Family Walking Tour
Join SAM and Gallery Kaiela staff for a guided tour of exhibitions at both venues and discuss the artwork over morning tea.
Date: Thursday 22 September
Time: 10 to 12noon
Audience: Families
Venue: SAM and Gallery Kaiela
Cost:  Free
Bookings: Click here

Painting Stories: Aboriginal Signs and Symbols
Through this painting workshop children will learn the different meanings of signs and symbol in Aboriginal paintings.
Date: Friday 23 September
Time: 10.30am to 12.30pm
Audience: 9 to 13 years
Venue: SAM workshop room
Cost: $15 (Friends $13)
Tutor:  Tammy-Lee Atkinson
Bookings: Click here

Important Dates:

Exhibition opens to the public

Saturday 6 August

Exhibition official opening and award announcement

Saturday 20 August, 4 to 6pm

Cultural program

Commencing 6 August to 25 September

Exhibition dates

Sunday 6 August to Sunday 25 September

Image: Exhibition view, 2016 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award (ICAA) at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), 6 August to 25 September 2016.
Photographer: Christian Capurro

Showcase #11: Bridget Bodenham
Saturday 30 July 2016 - Sunday 30 October 2016

Showcase 2016 presents four discrete exhibitions of new work by contemporary ceramicists in the glass display cabinet of SAM’s entry.

Curated in partnership with Bree Claffey of Melbourne based gallery and retailer Mr Kitly, Showcase provides a unique opportunity for collectors and craft lovers to acquire work as all pieces are available for purchase.

Image: Bridget Bodenham, courtesy Mr Kitly © the artist.

Chen Qiulin. One Hundred Names
Saturday 4 June 2016 - Sunday 24 July 2016

One Hundred Names offers a rare survey of over a decade of work by one of China’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Chen Qiulin. Using a combination of photography, video installation, performance and other media, Chen investigates the contradictions that arise when a country tries both to maintain tradition, and to develop rapidly. Her work examines how migration, displacement, and urban development disrupt traditional Chinese ancestry, culture and way of life. While the unusually rapid development of China highlights these issues, they are not unique to China, and reflect stories shared by many others in the developing world.

One Hundred Names, the title of the exhibition, continues the artist’s 10 years of ongoing interest in tofu as an artistic medium and its symbolism within Chinese culture.

In this new iteration, One Hundred Names commemorates the history of early Chinese migration to Australia through a series of one hundred videos of the artist inscribing family names of early migrants into blocks of tofu, which are then documented throughout their process of disintegration and decay.

Chen was born in Hubei Province and currently works in Chengdu, an important metropolitan hub in southwest China. She was raised in the Wanzhou District, which was partially submerged by the construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.

Chen has presented solo exhibitions at art museums including the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, USA (2012); and participated in numerous group exhibitions including the 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2008); the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria (2008-2009); and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT 6) (2009).

Chen Qiulin. One Hundred Names is a collaborative exhibition with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.

Dr Rebecca Coates, Anna Briers and Toby Chapman.

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 4 June to Sunday 24 July 2016

Official Opening and Tofu Carving Performance:
Saturday 4 June, 4 to 6pm - SOLD OUT EVENT

Image: Chen Qiulin, The Hundred Surnames in Tofu (Chen) (still), 2004 - 2014, video installation, ed.5, courtesy the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space Chengdu © the artist.

Chen Qiulin, The Hundred Surnames in Tofu (Wong) (still), 2004 - 2014, video installation, ed.5 courtesy the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space Chengdu © the artist.



We sat down with Chen Qiulin during her visit to SAM in June 2014 to find out a little bit more about her arts process and the background to why some of her works use tofu as a media:

Saturday 27 February 2016 - Sunday 22 May 2016

Cornucopia (meaning Horn of Plenty) profiles works by established and early career artists who utilise food and flora as an artistic medium or point of departure. A multidisciplinary and trans-historical show, the exhibition teases out strands of investigation around the production, consumption and distribution of food, as well as its metaphoric potential, socio-cultural uses and representation within art history.

Food, and its ethics, are very much topics of our time. What we consume, how it’s produced, and how it arrives at our table are realities of our every-day lives. Cornucopia touches on many of these themes: from food miles and sustainability to famine, genetic modification and the consequences of globalised production. The exhibition also explores cultural and religious food traditions and the significance of certain ingredients such as olive oil and salt. Located in regional Victoria, SAM also celebrates those marvellous Australian institutions such as the Country Woman’s Association and their pursuit of the perfect asparagus roll and cup of tea.

The artists featured in Cornucopia include:
Lauren Berkowitz (AU),
Julie Crouan (AU), 
A Centre for Everything (AU),
Gabrielle de Vietri (AU), 
Julia deVille (NZ/AU),
Mishka Henner (UK),
The Hotham Street Ladies (AU),
Georgie Mattingley (AU),
Patricia Piccinini (AU),
Kenny Pittock (AU),
Sam Taylor-Johnson (UK),
Kawita Vatanajyankur (THA),
Claire Anna Watson (AU) and
Andy Warhol (USA).

Curator: Anna Briers

Exhibition Dates:
Saturday 27 February to Sunday 22 May 2016

 Official Opening:
Saturday 27 February 2016


Image: Kawita Vatanajyankur, The Squeezers [still], 2015 single channel HD video, 2min 35sec, courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney © the artist 

Best of Friends 2015: The Annual Friends of SAM Exhibition
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

Every year the Friends of SAM hold a special group exhibition of artwork, across all media, created by individual members. The exhibition showcases the wealth of talent and commitment by artists of the region, and from year to year shows the growth in their practice and training as artists and crafts people. It is an opportunity for artists to share ideas, network and celebrate a life of art. All members of the Friends of SAM, including children, are invited to submit work into this popular exhibition.

Look In... Look Out! VCE Art & Studio Arts
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

VCE Art and Studio Arts students are invited to submit applications for Look In... Look Out! Selected artworks will be exhibited in SAM's ground floor gallery in a six-week exhibition. Application forms will be available at from Term 3.

Image: Laura Douglas, Year 11 Studio Art, Notre Dame College

Chambre De Reflexion (one of four works) 2014

inkjet print on photographic paper, 32.9 x 48.3 cm

Serana Hunt: Dookie Behind Doors
Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 17 January 2016

SAM goes local in December. Across this month each year, we'll be spotlighting the practice of a local artist with a solo exhibition - launching with photographer Serana Hunt.

Knocking on every door in her hometown of Dookie just outside Shepparton, Hunt captured a compelling series of incidental portraits - conveying the everyday lives and idiosyncrasies of the residents at home and work. Dookie Behind Doors correlates the memories of people who have made a significant impact on the town's history and identity - some now past, others vibrantly present. The project functions as a snapshot of a small country town and the documentation of an era.

Dookie Behind Doors was produced over a few months as part of Regional Arts Victoria's Small Towns Transformation event - Dookie Earthed, held in October 2014 where the photographs were projected onto silos in the town. This exhibition represents a selection of key works from that series.

To apply for a solo exhibition in SAM local 2016, please visit

Image: Serana Hunt, Joy and John 2014
C-type photograph, 53cm x 42cm
image courtesy and © the artist

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations
Saturday 21 November 2015 - Sunday 14 February 2016

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations is a community cultural development partnership between SAM and Gallery Kaiela that provides an opportunity for artists from a diverse range of backgrounds to come together and collaborate in the making of art. The project involves a number of local Indigenous artists partnering with established Melbourne-based contemporary artists, collaborating side-by-side, or in response to each other's practice. The participants include: Jack Anselmi, Eric Brown, Aunty Cynthia Hardy, Eva Ponting and Lyn Thorpe with Naomi Ota, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Vipoo Srivilasa and Joseph L Griffiths. Through the sharing of ideas, narratives and techniques, the artists will engage in an exploration of cultural difference and similarity, conflict and connection, forging relationships in a dialogic exchange that departs from the art-making process. The outcome of these conversations and artistic investigations will be an exhibition at SAM from December 2015.

Unfolding over several months the project will be a journey - possibly demarcated by uncertainty and negotiation around ways of seeing - as the artists chart the treacherous waters of cross-cultural identity politics, intersected by the post-colonial wake. This said, the project has been aptly named, as a ‘collision' in a scientific sense is a creative act; an encounter between particles resulting in the exchange or transformation of energy. Collisions is about embracing the value found in risk and uncertainty, as experimentation is the vanguard of the new.

Funders of this project include Sir Andrew & Lady Fairley Foundation, Mr Allan Myers AO QC and the Besen Family Foundation.

Collisions: Cross-Cultural Collaborations is showing at SAM from Saturday 21 November 2015 to Sunday 14 February 2016.
Exhibition opening: Friday 27 November 6pm to 8pm

Image: Eric Brown and Vipoo Srivilasa, Untitled, 2015, porcelain and acrylic paint, dimensions variable, courtesy and © the artists


Showcase 2015
Saturday 7 February 2015 - Monday 1 February 2016

SAM's Showcase presents four solo exhibitions of new works by ceramic masters in the glass display of SAM's entry. Curated for a second year by longtime gallerist Anna Maas, Showcase 2015 is focused on the work of four extremely accomplished ceramic artists who are each represented within the SAM collection. It provides a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire their own master work as all pieces are available for purchase.

Showcase #5: Greg Daly

Saturday 7 February - Sunday 26 April 2015

Showcase #6: Owen Rye

Saturday 2 May - Sunday 2 August 2015

Showcase #7: Vipoo Srivilsa

Saturday 8 August - Sunday 1 November 2015

Showcase #8: Janet De Boos

Saturday 7 November - Sunday 1 February 2016


Image: Greg Daly, Clear Skies - Tall Bowl 2014

lustre glazed ceramic, 22 x 20 cm

image courtesy and © the artist