Tracey Moffatt

Tracey Moffatt: Spirit Landscapes

October 24, 2013 — December 21, 2013


ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 1, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 2, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 3, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 4, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 5, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land No. 6, 2013

digital print

49 x 72 in. (125 x 184 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 1. "Tossed Flower Petals," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 2. "Crossed the Creek," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 3. "Bullied Here," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 4. "To Guitar Lessons," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 5. "Stole a Mars Bar," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Suburban Landscape No. 6. "Tea at the Reverends," 2013

digital print hand colored in water crayon

32 x 39 in. (81 x 99 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 1, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 2, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 3, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 4, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 5, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Picturesque Cherbourg No. 6, 2013

digital print collage on handmade paper

22 x 31 in. (57 x 78 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 1, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 2, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 3, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 4, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 5, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Pioneer Dreaming No. 6, 2013

digital print on handmade paper, hand colored in ochre

10 ½ x 24 in. (26.5 x 61 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 1, "Nunnery in Red, By the Orange Tree in Blue, Desert in Yellow," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 2, "Over the Bridge in Green, River in Red, Youth in Green," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 3, "By the Orange Tree in Green, River in Yellow, Over the Bridge in Blue," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 4, "Nunnery in Yellow, Youth in Blue, Desert in Red," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 5, "Youth in Yellow, By the Orange Tree in Red, Desert in Green," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 6, "River in Green, Nunnery in Blue, Over the Bridge in Red," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 7, "Nunnery in Green, Desert in Blue, By the Orange Tree in Yellow," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

Night Spirits No. 8, "Over the Bridge in Yellow, Youth in Red, River in Blue," 2013

digital print mounted behind acrylic

10 x 59 in. (25 x 150 cm), edition of 8

In & Out, 2013

still images moving in a digital photo frame

15 x 15 x 4 in. (38 x 38 x 13 cm), edition of 8

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Spirit Landscapes" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, October 24 - December 21, 2013

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Spirit Landscapes" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, October 24 - December 21, 2013

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Spirit Landscapes" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, October 24 - December 21, 2013

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Spirit Landscapes" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, October 24 - December 21, 2013

 

 

ENLARGE

Installation View of "Spirit Landscapes" at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, October 24 - December 21, 2013

 

 

Works

INSTALLATION VIEWS

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Spirit Landscapes is a major new body of work from Tracey Moffatt, comprising six distinct components: five different photographic series and a moving image piece. It represents the artist’s return to highly personal themes relating to family, home, and the land, specifically within the context of her Australian Aboriginal heritage. A key concept is the notion of a “return to country,” a seeking out of one’s ancestral lands and an attempt to reconnect with history and tradition. After many years living abroad, Moffatt began a three year exploration of places in her native Australia that were scenes of important events in her own life and that of her family. The resulting body of work, her first since the Plantation series of 2009, reflects on the way her personal story is intertwined with the often tragic history of race relations in Australia. Yet, as Moffat points out, it can also be “opened up” and read as a universal meditation on the significance of land and place.

With the series of monumental glossy prints, As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land, we see views of the sky, clouds, and trees captured as the artist lay down upon her Aboriginal family’s traditional land, the cloudy sky morphing into an overarching female nude, like the Egyptian goddess Nut, that can be read as the artist’s bodily connection to the land and her ecstatic feelings at the time. This exploration of the physical presence of “home” is continued in the Suburban Landscape series, which depicts locales in suburban Brisbane that the artist roamed as a youth, overlaid with texts that relate certain key memories she associates with these spaces, the psychically charged slogans contrasting sharply with an almost childlike innocence suggested by the stenciled crayon lettering. The series of small triptychs, Night Spirits in Red, Yellow, Blue and Green, seems to combine the powerful spiritual presence seen in the vivid sky of As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land with the banal suburban bleakness of the Suburban Landscape series. According to Moffatt, these triptychs depict actual “spirit energies” captured in haunted places that she visited at night, shooting her camera blindly into the dark sky, guided only by intuition and a touching faith that even the most quotidian settings are infused with spiritual presences. The theme of a haunted locale is taken up again in Picturesque Cherbourg, a series of colored, tourist brochure-like views of the Aboriginal government mission to which some members of the artist’s family were relocated in the 1920s, and where many of her relatives still reside. The seemingly idyllic images have been torn apart and reassembled in handmade collage, suggestive of the lingering psychological scars from a very dark period in history in which “natives” were removed from their lands, sometimes separated from their children, and resettled in artificial communities often riddled with social dysfunction. The theme of artificiality and sanitization of the past, embodied in Picturesque Cherbourg’s picture postcard aesthetic, is heightened in Pioneer Dreaming, a group of small diptychs of images taken from stills of 1950s Hollywood Westerns; here, we see dreamy heroines gazing lovingly at “their country,” with a sense of ownership denied the original Native American inhabitants. Yet despite the often dark histories they elide, these Hollywood films have often been a powerful source of inspiration, including for Moffatt herself, their narratives taking the form of modern myths that tap into depths of emotion and experience that were once the exclusive domain of traditional culture. The film stills of Pioneer Dreaming in a sense come to life with In & Out, a five-minute, low-tech moving image piece, its gritty, distopic images in stark contrast to the glamour of Hollywood. Images of brothel doors opening and closing, scenes that are not uncommon in the current Australian mining boom, are interspersed with shots of a large, ominous mining hole. This connection between mining and prostitution points also to the exploitation of the land and its inhabitants by outsiders, along with the violence this entails, a theme that resonates with all the other series in the exhibition.

Born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1960, Moffatt is one of today’s leading international visual artists working in photography, film and video. Many of her photographs and short films have achieved iconic status both in her home country of Australia and around the world. Her photographs play with many different printing processes and have a filmic, narrative quality. Moffatt approaches all her photographic and video work as a film director, and she is known as a powerful visual storyteller. She first gained significant critical acclaim when her short film, Night Cries, was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature film, beDevil, was also selected for Cannes in 1993. She was selected for the international section of the 1997 Venice Biennale and was also featured in the biennials of Sydney (1993, 1996, 2008), Singapore (2011), São Paulo (1998) and Gwangju (1995). A major exhibition at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1997-98 solidified her international reputation. In 2003, a large retrospective exhibition of Moffatt’s work was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In 2007, her photographic series, Scarred For Life, was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum and her video, LOVE, at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented a comprehensive retrospective of Moffatt’s film and video work, featuring screenings of all her major works and a ten-day series of artist talks at the museum.

EXHIBITION REVIEWS

The New York Times, Tracey Moffatt ‘Spirit Landscapes’

December, 2013


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Artforum, Tracey Moffatt

November, 2013


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Daily Serving, Tracey Moffatt: Spirit Landscapes at Tyler Rollins Fine Art

November, 2013


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GENERAL PRESS

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Tracey Moffatt

May, 2016


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ArtsHub, Tracey Moffatt: Laudanum and other works

May, 2016


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Artnews, Tracey Moffatt will represent Australia at the 2017 Venice Biennale

December, 2015


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The Sydney Morning Herald, Body Parts

October, 2015


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The West Australian, Calling out around the world

February, 2015


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The Saturday Paper, Free Spirit

December, 2014


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Australia, Exhibition Catalogue

October, 2013


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Blouin Artinfo, Tracey Moffatt and Juliana Engberg Receive Australia Council Arts Award

March, 2013


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MoMA Film Retrospective

May, 2012


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Brooklyn Museum, Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Contemporary Collection

July, 2011


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Artpace, Tracey Moffatt: Handmade

May, 2011


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The Weekend Australian, Let me tell you a story

March, 2011


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Bronx Museum: Montages

October, 2010


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An Interview with Tracey Moffatt,

2010


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British Journal of Photography, Plantation

July, 2010


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The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Tracey Moffatt

December, 2009


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Photofile, Tracey Moffatt

2008


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The Moving Images of Tracey Moffatt

2007


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The Sydney Morning Herald, Happy snaps that flatter and splatter

July, 2007


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The New York Times Style Magazine, The Goal Standard

March, 2007


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Global Feminisms, Arahmaiani

March, 2007


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New York Magazine, Show and Tell: Tracey Moffatt

January, 2007


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Tracey Moffatt: Between Dreams and Reality

2006


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Eyemazing Magazine, Under the Sign of Scorpio

2006


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Tradition Today: Indigenous Art in Australia

2006


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The Independent, Australian Escapades

February, 2006


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Art Collector, Tracey Moffatt: New Work in New York

2005


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Art & Australia, Reading Tracey Moffatt

2005


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The Sydney Morning Herald, A girl’s own adventure

2005


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Courier Mail, Behind the Gloss

March, 2005


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Vogue Living, Tracey Moffatt

November, 2004


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Tracey Moffatt, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney Catalogue

2004


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Foto, Tracey Moffatt

2004


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The Sydney Morning Herald, Strip Down

August, 2004


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Australian Financial Review, Something More About Moffatt

February, 2004


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Vibe, A Conversation With Tracey Moffatt

February, 2004


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Cream Magazine, Tracey in My Room

January, 2004


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Time, Hearts in the Picture

December, 2003


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The Australian, A singular perspective

December, 2003


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The Sydney Morning Herald, Zooming in on an artful tease

December, 2003


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V Magazine, Shanghai Surprise

May, 2003


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The Washington Post, Moffatt: This Dogma Can Bite

October, 2001


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Invocations, Tracey Moffatt

2001


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Women Artists, Tracey Moffatt

2001


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Los Angeles Times, Switching Roles in Identity Power Plays

April, 2001


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Sunday Herald, Little Miss Moffatt

April, 2001


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Vogue Hommes International, Tracey Moffatt

2000


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World of Dreamings, State Hermitage Museum

2000


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Artnews, Eclectic Eye

February, 2000


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Independent Filmmakers, Tracey Moffatt Hunters & Collectors

September, 1999


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The New York Times, Gazing in a Mirror

September, 1999


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Tracey Moffatt, IMA/Asialink

1999


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Creating One’s Own Reality

1999


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The Village Voice, Laudanum

May, 1999


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The Australian, Disturbing narrative of passion and power

April, 1999


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Free-Falling Catalogue

1998


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Tracey Moffatt: Innocence and Violence

1998


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Dia Art Foundation, Tracey Moffatt: Free-falling

September, 1997


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