press release

Fiona Hall is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. She is renowned for her versatility and innovative approach to her practice which has, over three decades, produced astonishing works in media from photography, to painting, sculpture and installation.

THE ART OF FIONA HALL is a fascinating exhibition showcasing this artist’s extraordinary talent and revealing her passionate curiosity about the world, through works created from 1988 to the present day. The exhibition has been organised by the Queensland Art Gallery and opens at the Art Gallery of South Australia in July. It is the first major survey of Hall’s work to be shown in her home city of Adelaide.

Fiona Hall delights in transforming familiar materials, such as sardine tins, soft drink cans, soap, glass beads, Tupperware, banknotes or video cassettes into exquisitely crafted works of art. While many of her works appear whimsical and witty, they also carry complex and poignant references to natural history, colonisation, consumerism and globalisation.

Two major new works, Understorey 1999-04 and Tender 2003-05 are being displayed publicly for the first time in this exhibition. In Understorey the artist comments on the environmental and political effects of colonisation, changing glass beads (the currency of colonisation) into exotic three-dimensional plant and animal specimens; Tender features fragile birds nests made from shredded US dollar bills.

Other works on show include baby clothes knitted from Coca-Cola cans, half-opened sardine tins sprouting tropical plants and human body parts and Tupperware containers transformed into strange creatures in a museum display case.

Curator of the exhibition, Julie Ewington, Head of Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery says “Fiona Hall is an artist possessed by an insatiable curiosity ... [she] constantly scavenges the world around her for ideas and images, searching for understanding, striving to make meaning”.

Born in Sydney in 1953, Fiona Hall has lived and worked in Adelaide since 1983. Since 1999 she has taken inspiration from annual residencies at Sri Lankan garden estate, Lunuganga. When in Adelaide, Hall works closely with experts at the SA Museum, Adelaide Botanic Garden and University of Adelaide to research her projects and to augment her understanding of the human body and the natural world.


The Art of Fiona Hall
Kurator: Julie Ewington