11/10/2019 - 11:20

Taylor goes solo at PICA

11/10/2019 - 11:20

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Emerging visual artist Curtis Taylor will hold his first solo exhibition at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts later this month, titled ‘Untitled (Uura)’.

Curtis Taylor says he is excited to share a range of new works at the upcoming ‘Untitled (Uura)’ exhibition at PICA from October 19. Photo: Peter Chang

Emerging visual artist Curtis Taylor will hold his first solo exhibition at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts later this month, titled ‘Untitled (Uura)’.

Mr Taylor said he was excited to share his first series of sculptures, installations and paintings, which were created over a period of two years and are a creative contrast to his primary medium of filmmaking.

During the past decade, Mr Taylor has written and directed short films reflecting his knowledge and experience of Martu culture, having grown up between Bidyadanga in the Kimberley and Parnngurr in the East Pilbara.

Mr Taylor studied screen and media communications at Murdoch University in Perth with the goal of becoming a filmmaker, using the medium to tell his stories in ways that were different to those of his elders.

“Painting was done a lot by my older generation,” Mr Taylor told Business News.

“I didn’t really dabble in painting because I wanted to make films and tell the same stories through them.”

Early in his career, Mr Taylor participated in community artwork with organisations such as FORM, with which he has been involved since 2009.

“When you’re doing a lot of artwork when you’re isolated you become monotonous at times,” he said.

“When I work with other groups and other people, I get inspired by them.”

Mr Taylor, also a Martu Wangka translator, said his work had been recognised in WA and the eastern states, with some pieces commissioned and sold to private collectors.

“Most of my artwork is visual, and it’s pretty hard to sell visual artwork,” he said.

“I made work for the sake of making work, but then I got invited to show it at different venues and exhibitions.”

Mr Taylor’s first exhibition was at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra in 2011 – a project titled ‘Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route’.

The following year, his works appeared in ‘We Don’t Need a Map: a Martu Experience of the Western Desert’, which was held at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 2012 to 2016.

Mr Taylor has recently exhibited at the Fremantle Arts Centre in a project called ‘In Cahoots: Artists Collaborate across Country’, which travelled to Newman last weekend.

Three years after featuring in the ‘Dead Ringer’ group exhibition at PICA in 2016, Mr Taylor has now locked in his first solo exhibition at the institute, which he said would include a range of different works.

“There’s still going to be a strong film element to it but there will be other mediums that I’m really excited to show,” Mr Taylor said.

“When you’re recognised as a visual artist, people expect you to make those kinds of works.

“I wanted [to] try something new and make sure I could work with other mediums.”

In a statement, PICA said the exhibition would include a series of sculptures called Nyunjila, which are carved wooden tongues inscribed with words, stories and songs composed by Mr Taylor’s paternal grandfather.

Mr Taylor told PICA the idea of the sculptures came from wanting to know who his biological grandfather was.

“Most of these songs – practised for entertainment, for coming around and sitting near the fire, telling story – were composed by him and other people in his family,” he said.

‘Untitled (Uura)’ will start on October 19 and run through to December 22.

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