Australian artists in focus for Biennale of Australian Art

Lake Wendouree will be transformed in to an outdoor art gallery with 36 large-scale sculptures installed 200m apart on the shore and in the water around the lake as part of the Biennale of Australian Art next year.

Sculptures up to 3m tall will ring the lake in the largest of the more than 60 BOAA exhibitions across the city.

“It will be truly national with equal representation from each state and territory, and Ballarat artists will be showcased as the ninth state,” said BOAA artistic director Julie Collins. There will be four sculptures from each state and territory.

“To make sculptures for outdoors they have to have a certain scale to command the space. Some will be a single object, some will be installations of different components, some will be in the water and some out of the water,” she said.

Two other major projects will be installed in the Botanic Gardens to create the Lake/Garden village which will sit alongside the CBD village, BOAA Dark Night village and Art Camp village at Victoria Park as the main BOAA sites.

The CBD village will host major projects in streets and solo exhibitions in many heritage buildings including the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The Dark Night village around Armstrong Street North and south of the Town Hall will have nightly projections, lighting installations, exhibitions, Saturday night street closures for performance art, special events and music with a festival hub next to town hall.

And Victoria Park will transform in to an Art Camp with artists camping and creating art projects on site with opportunities for schools, community groups and audience participation.

UNNAMED: BOAA artistic director Julie Collins admires the sunlight falling on the unnamed sculpture of 88-year-old Victorian artist Asher Bilu, which will be displayed in the exhibition What's In the Box? Picture: Lachlan Bence

UNNAMED: BOAA artistic director Julie Collins admires the sunlight falling on the unnamed sculpture of 88-year-old Victorian artist Asher Bilu, which will be displayed in the exhibition What's In the Box? Picture: Lachlan Bence

Ms Collins said the BOAA was modelled on the European-style arts biennales that are traditionally held in smaller towns outside of capital cities.

“Ballarat is a perfect scale town for a whole town experience,” Ms Collins said.

About 150 artists will create around 1000 works to be exhibited as part of the BOAA. Painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, photography, time-based media and live art happenings will all be showcased during the biennale which will run from September 21 to November 6 next year.

The BOAA will be officially launch on September 28 with a free exhibition at Trades Hall from 6pm – 10pm featuring 75 small-scale works from the artists who will participate in BOAA 2018. 

“We invited our selected artists to submit work that not only represents their artistic practice and vision, but also fits in to a shoe box,” Ms Collins said.

“Our artists have responded in creative and innovative way, and the resulting exhibition What’s in the Box? is a beautiful preview of what is to come at BOAA 2018.”