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Cornucopia to open

Shepparton Art Museum first major exhibition for 2016 Cornucopia will open this coming Saturday 27 February with the official opening to take place from 6pm.

SAM will be hosting an exhibition media preview on Friday 26 February 10.30am to 11.30am. Media will have an opportunity to talk to Melbourne based artist collective The Hotham Street Ladies who will be creating their installation which is primarily made from royal icing and fondant. Senior Curator Anna Briers and SAM Director Dr Rebecca Coates will be present and available for comment.

Cornucopia (meaning Horn of Plenty), showcases works by established and early career artists that utilise food and/or flora as an artistic medium or point of departure.

Cornucopia showcases works by Australian and international artists and collectives who utilise food and flora as an artistic medium or point of departure. The exhibition explores the production, consumption and distribution of food, as well as its socio-cultural uses and religious significance. Cornucopia complicates the art historic lineage of the still life by interrogating and raising questions around the ethics of food today. Located within the Greater Shepparton region, known as the ‘food bowl of Australia’, the show also celebrates the culinary traditions of regional Victoria.

SAM welcomes the Shepparton icon, the Campbell’s Soup can into the museum, with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup II – Cheddar Cheese (1969). The exhibition also includes Flooded Macdonals (2009) by SUPERFLEX and a specially designed vending machine, 31 dinner options while waiting for the last train home (2015) by Kenny Pittock.

As part of the exhibition program SAM will also be running a series of diverse food related programs with the community. The first program which is a recipe swap hosted by The Hotham Street Ladies, Flavours of Shepparton, taking place before the opening this Saturday 27 February 2 to 4pm at SAM. Other programs include Some Questions, A Few Stories and an Albanian Dinner, with collaborative duo A Centre for Everything and the program Apples and Pears offers a fresh look at traditional still life drawing. More information including bookings details can be found at the SAM website.

 The artists featured in Cornucopia:
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), SUPERFLEX (DK), Sam Taylor-Johnson (UK), Kawita Vatanajyankur (THA), Claire Anna Watson (AU) and Andy Warhol (USA).

 Exhibition Dates: Saturday 27 February 2016 to Sunday 22 May 2016.
Media Preview: Friday 26 February 2016, 10.30 to 11.30am
Official Opening: Saturday 27 February 2016, 6 to 8pm at SAM

80/80. Eighty Years of SAM. The Collection

80/80. Eighty Years of SAM. The Collection opens this Saturday 6 February.

In 2016, SAM reaches a milestone, celebrating 80 years since the early beginnings of the Collection in 1936. To mark this significant point, the permanent collection has been rehung in the Museum’s downstairs galleries. This enables us to showcase some of the significant works and delightful treasures in SAM’s now sizeable collection, and reveal some of the trends that have emerged over its 80 year history.

This exhibition has been developed around a number of themes, including place and country, identity and representation. These include colonial images from Shepparton’s own past, such as Eugene von Guerard’s The Goulburn River, Near Shepparton (1862), or senior Yorta Yorta artist Don Briggs’ Sacred Battle Site (1990), a pictorial representation of a battle between two local tribes over tribal boundaries. Richard Lewer explores geographic borders, in I Wish I Was As Lucky As You (2013), a painting on a repurposed classroom map of Australia. Explorations of identity similarly range from traditional academy portraiture by John Longstaff, Rupert Bunny and other notable 19th century artists, to more contemporary explorations of gender and identity such as the uncanny photography of Pat Brassington, Fiona Foley’s Self-depiction Native Blood (1994), or Tony Albert’s portraits of Aboriginal youth, We Can Be Heroes (2012).

 Also included are key works from SAM’s significant ceramics collection, which dates from the 1890s to the present day. Works featured include decorated platters and domestic wares by Merric Boyd and others in the Murrumbeena Circle and one of John Perceval’s slightly demonic looking angels. The exhibition also includes vessels by winners of the Indigenous Ceramic Art Awards such as Palm Valley Muster, (2008), by Rona Rubuntja of the Hermannsburg Potters. Winning works from the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran and Stephen Benwell rethink ceramics as a contemporary art form, enabling it to engage in broader cultural and artistic dialogues.

Image: Bendigo Pottery, Triangular Lidded Cheese Dish, c. 1895, Shepparton Art Museum Collection