WATER presence & absence

10 December 2022 – 29 January 2023

The exhibition and satellite programs for WATER presence & absence explore the urgent need for awareness around our most precious resource – water. Without water all forms of life perish. Globally our water sources are threatened by mining, pollution, industry and over population. In Australia we fight similar battles with government’s prioritising economic growth over the health and longevity of our water systems while drought ravages the country. Artists around Australia are engaging with the crisis humans have placed on the planet. Many are exploring the importance of healthy water systems to our survival as a species.

Water defines our societies through its presence and absence. Humans rely on water for livelihoods. Cities are built on or near waterways to ensure movement, trade, and access to food. In addition, water also holds esoteric meaning for many – being central to many myths, rituals, and religions.

In collaboration with Penrith & Hawkesbury Regional Galleries, and drawing on the shared connection to local waterways, we have created a “Water Trail” of exhibitions, public programs, talks, and events focusing on planetary and water health.

Featuring Jo Clancy & Wagana Dancers, David Haines & Joyce Hinterding, Aunty Sharyn Halls with Craig Bender & Vera Hong, Sue Healey, Gabriella Hirst, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Rachel O’Reilly, Venessa Possum, Rochelle Summerfield with Tracy Pateman & Will Rodgers, Leanne Tobin and Judy Watson.

 A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley

A collaborative project between Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Penrith Regional Gallery.

A Blue Mountains City Council Planetary Health Initiative

This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW

CAPTION: Leanne Tobin The Running of the Eels (video still) 2022. Image courtesy the artist.