Wonderful World, 2007, installation detail,  Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia.

Wonderful World

12 October – 07 December 2007

The exhibition Wonderful World brings us twelve renowned and accomplished Australian artists - some working collaboratively - each with the skill and mature creative power to conjure original places of the imagination. Should we choose to see, these are magical domains.

The artists featured in the Wonderful World exhibition are: Narelle Autio, Simon Carroll/Martin Friedel, Jon Cattapan, Daniel Crooks, James Darling/Lesley Forwood, Robert MacPherson, Ningura Napurrula, Susan Norrie, Philip Wolfhagen and Anne Zahalka.

Some of the work is entirely new, produced expressly for this exhibitionother artists have been invited to contribute existing works of special renown that have not previously been seen in South Australia. Whatever their differences, together they constitute a rich exploration of different ways that artists experience the world. 

This particular 'world' is especially diverse: it is both a tangible, physical place of nature and cities, and also one of ecological politic, persisting human conflict and cultural change. It is a world of origins and dreaming. There is the spry life of the intellect, the golden thread of poetry and humour. The exhibition also strongly celebrates the world's natural wonder while acknowledging the environmental realities, the human inner life and, inevitably, the inescapable dark side.

A catalogue accompanying the Wonderful World exhibition is available, featuring essays by exhibition curator Erica Green and special guest writer David Hansen. There are also small essays on each artist and their work in the exhibition from: author and academic Peter Bishop on Narelle Autio; artist, writer and UTS academic Ross Gibson on Simon Carroll/Martin Friedel; author and Ian Potter Museum of Art Director Chris McAuliffe on Jon Cattapan; artist and new media producer Julianne Pierce on Daniel Crooks; SA Thinker in Residence and scientist Peter Cullen on James Darling/Lesley Forwood; art curator and writer Ewen McDonald on Robert MacPherson; Art Gallery of NSW curator and writer Hetti Perkins on Ningura Napurrula; author Peter Timms on Philip Wolfhagen; and writer and QUT academic David Ellison on Anne Zahalka. 

Wonderful World is full of the mysterious alchemy that makes art such a special part of our lives. All in all, it is a perfect way for us to celebrate such an auspicious and historically significant event as the opening of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art.

The Wonderful World exhibition and the Fiona Hall public art commission Different Forms of Intelligence were opened by the Hon John Hill, MP, Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts on 11 October. Minister Hill's speech (PDF file, 35kb) (opens in a new window)

Media release (PDF file, 344kb) (opens in a new window)