Connecting the World through Sculpture is MUMA

'Still Life with Stem Cells', Patricia Piccinini, 2002 (crop). Monash University Collection , Melbourne.

The Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) is celebrating it's 60th anniversary milestone by hosting the major exhibition, Connecting the World through Sculpture, showing 7th of July to the 18th of September 2021.

Part of a year-long program of celebrations including pop-up exhibitions across Monash’s campuses and a social media program that spotlights the Collection’s diverse holdings, Connecting the World through Sculpture focuses on six decades of sculptural works and is curated by MUMA’s director Charlotte Day.

‘While close to 50 per cent of the 2,500 artworks in the Collection are out on display on campus at any one time (which side-by-side we estimate would be three kilometres of work!) - and many of our works are on loan to other museums and galleries when not at Monash - our sculptural works (with the exception of outdoor public artworks) are often trickier to exhibit in public. They don’t get to be seen as frequently’, says Day.

This exhibition presents audiences with an opportunity to witness a remarkable range of sculpture. Representing the twists and turns that characterise changing sculptural practice, it encompasses abstract, minimal and figurative work; hard metal and soft sculptures; cut-outs, carved and cast works; ready-mades; and works with conceptual, pop and everyday sensibilities. Young audiences will be able to participate in several artist-led workshops in one of MUMA’s galleries transformed into a studio for the education program MAKING SPACE.

Highlights of the exhibition include Aleks Danko’s The Danko 1971 Concept of Sculpture. SCULPTURE as being the elusive object HA !, 1971; Inge King’s Threshold, 1983–84; Susan Norrie’s Shudder (dialogue), 1995; Nicholas Mangan’s Colony, 2005; Malu Gurruwiwi’s Banumbirr—Morning Star Pole series, 2007-08; Nabilah Nordin’s Trotting, 2020; and Megan Cope’s Currents III, 2020, most recently seen in the TarraWarra Biennial 2021.

A select few included in the exhibition (left to right): Darren Sylvester, Aleks Danko,, Louise Weaver, and Patricia Piccinini.

Day has conceived of the exhibition as an ‘archaeological dig’ through the Collection, and imagines the gallery space as a series of spatial strata or layers to be revealed through the course of the exhibition period. It comprises three different iterations, commencing with From the Ground Up, moving into The Sculptural Body, and ending with In the Air.

‘One of the most important qualities of the Monash University Collection has been its support of emerging artists and practices as they develop, the result being that we have many very significant artworks by now well-known artists that were able to be supported early on in their careers, including the likes of Patricia Piccinini with her seminal work Still Life with Stem Cells (2002), says Day.

The exhibition traces one journey among many possible through the Collection, but the intention is also to reflect on the practice of collecting itself and to reveal the strategies that have shaped the Monash University Collection over time. ‘We are keen to consider, too, how collecting may be approached in the future’, says Day.

The three parts of Connecting the World through Sculpture:

From the Ground Up Wednesday 7 July – Saturday 24 July

Featured artists: James Angus, Peter Cripps, Aleks Danko, Emily Floyd, Malu Gurruwiwi, Matt Hinkley, Inge King, Geoff Kleem, Nicholas Mangan, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Jan Nelson, Louise Paramor, Stuart Ringholt, Ron Robertson-Swann, Marcus Shanahan, Simone Slee, Kathy Temin, Tony Trembath and Louise Weaver

The Sculptural Body

Saturday 31 July – Saturday 21 August

Featured artists: Hany Armanious, Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley, James Deutscher, Joel Elenberg, Neil Emmerson, Lou Hubbard, Brendan Huntley, Kate James, Linda Marrinon, Anniebell Marrngamarrnga, Victor Meertens, Sanné Mestrom, Nabilah Nordin, Susan Norrie, Fiona Orr, Mike Parr, Patricia Piccinini, David Rosetzky, Mark Smith, Renee So, Darren Sylvester, Francis Upritchard and Ronnie van Hout

In the Air

Saturday 28 August – Saturday 18 September

Featured artists: Lauren Berkowitz, Kate Beynon, Megan Cope, Mikala Dwyer, Mira Gojak, Susan Hawkins, James Lynch, Anne-Marie May, John Meade, Callum Morton, Robert Owen, Joshua Petherick and Koji Ryui.

Public Programs:

Each part of Connecting the World Through Sculpture will conclude with an informal exhibition walk-through with a number of participating artists from 3.30-5.00pm, Saturdays 24 July, 21 August and 18 September.

MUMA is temporarily closed and will reopen once lockdown restrictions are lifted.


Dates: 7 July - 18 September 2021

Location: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Ground Floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield Campus - 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East

Time: Tue - Fri; 10am–5pm, Sat: 12 - 5pm, Closed Sun

Cost: Entry is free

MUMA Website