Dead Ringer Artist Biographies
Brook Andrew (b.1970) is a Melbourne based artist who works with neon, installation, photomedia, mixed-media, performance and video. Andrew challenges cultural and historical perception, using text and image to comment on local and global issues regarding race, consumerism and history. In 2012, Andrew completed a major commission for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Japan, for the new Australia House. He created Jumping Castle War Memorial for the 2010 Biennale of Sydney that was inspired by his research in museums and theme parks: particularly the collection of the Musee Des Confluence, Lyon and his exhibition THEME PARK at AAMU, The Netherlands in 2008–09. Andrew has also received a number of commissions for the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, and a large-scale inflatable work, The Cell, commissioned by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, which toured Australia and New Zealand through 2010-11 and was presented at PICA.
Brook Andrew, Possessed V, 2015. Gelatin silver fibre gloss print, 127 x 148 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.
Cann (b. 1945) is part of the first generation of Warmun artists at Turkey Creek in Kirriwirri, Western Australia whose language is Gija. He has travelled extensively through the Kimberley working on many different cattle stations. Cann is a traditional medicine man for the Gija people; and worked alongside Rover Thomas and Queenie McKenzie in the early stages of the Warmun art movement. Cann has a distinctive visual language within the Warmun vernacular. Cann demonstrates his extraordinarily skilful use of colour as well as his command of charcoal, which appears to have been blown by wind across the canvas like air across water. As it does in all of Cann’s works, his material finesse conjures images of a sentient land, one that is primeval yet still in the process of creation.In his purposeful documentations of country, he seems to strip back the surface of the land to reveal its (almost corporeal) structure.
Churchill Cann, Snake Dreaming Country, 2014. Ochre on canvas. 150 x 150cm. Courtesy of Murdoch University Art Collection.
Megan Cope (b. 1982, Brisbane) is a Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Works by Cope have been presented in Australia and abroad, including PARAsite Gallery in Hong Kong, and City Gallery, Wellington in New Zealand, and the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, USA; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and Next Wave Festival in Melbourne. Most recently, Cope was the recipient of the 2015 Art Gallery of Western Australia Indigenous Art Award. Cope’s work is represented in the public collections of the Mater Hospital; Moreton Bay Regional Council; Gold Coast University Hospital Art Collection and the Museum of Brisbane. Cope is a member of the Brisbane based Aboriginal Art Collective proppaNOW.
Rachael Dease’s artistic practice encompasses the realms of pop culture and art music. She is known primarily for creating a new type of music theatre that derives much of its narrative structure from music and photography/film. With a unique and powerful voice, and a gift for writing for string ensembles, Dease often weaves both these qualities throughout her work. Graduating with honours from the West Australian Academy of Performin Arts in composition, Dease has been frontwoman and songwriter for the band Schvendes, receiving sixteen West Australian Music Industry Award nominations, as the composer and chanteuse in Matt Lutton’s Antigone, and Weeping Spoons/Perth Theatre Company’s Helpmann Award nominated production It’s Dark Outside. Proof of her diversity came in 2010, when Dease won the WAM Song of the Year in both the Pop and Experimental category. She is currently writing a number of new works for national and international art music ensembles.
Rachael Dease, Black Mass, 2015. Courtesy of and copyright the artist.
Keg de Souza
Keg de Souza (b. 1978) is an Australian inter-disciplinary artist working with media such as inflatable architecture, mapping and dialogical projects to explore the politics of space. She uses pedagogical processes to foster new relationships and create site and situation-specific projects with communities, emphasising participation and reciprocity. Keg is a member of various collaborative groups, such as SquatSpace Artist Collective, NUCA: The Network of Un-Collectable Artists, and The Rizzeria printmaking collective.
Recent exhibitions include; the 5th Auckland Triennial, 15th Jakarta Biennale and Vertical Villages at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (all 2013). She is currently an Australia Council for the Arts Creative Australia Fellow.
Keg de Souza, If There’s Something Strange in Your Neighbourhood… Bu dekom (video still), 2014.
Mikala Dwyer (b. 1959) is an artist who pushes the limits of installation, sculpture and performance, establishing herself as one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists. She has had solo shows at major institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. She has also participated in the Sydney and Adelaide Biennales. She was included in Face up: Contemporary Art from Australia at Hamburger Bahnhof in 2003, and Verso Süd at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in 2000, curated by Franz West. She has had several residencies, including at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne and Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. She has received numerous scholarships, grants and awards, and her work is held in public collections throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Mikala Dwyer, Goldene Bend’er (video still), 2013. Video: 13 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.
Dr Tim Gregory (b. 1981) is a theorist and artist. His research focus is on the spatio-political potentiality of pornography. Gregory’s practice revolves around the movement of the invisible to the visible and the homogenizing effect that the “consensus” has on our daily experience. Tim has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Latrobe Regional Gallery, SH Ervin Gallery, First Draft, Chalk Horse and undertaken projects with the Sydney Biennale and the Art Gallery of NSW and a residency at PICA. He has been the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Grant, and has published in Space & Culture Journal, as well as in various national arts publications. He is a director of Hot House Research Space at Curtin University and co-editor of ON Journal.
Brent Harris’ (b. 1956) paintings and works on paper are brooding, dripping swamplands delineated in the most meticulous way. Stark planes, often black and white, belie the swooping organic gestures and expressionist shapes. ‘Many of his forms vibrate, rise and fall, and cause the viewers eye much exercise in following them’, noted James Mollison in Art and Australia recently. Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Harris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne in 1984. Brent Harris has exhibited extensively in Australia since 1985. Recently his work was seen in Orifice, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Field Work: Australian Contemporary Art 1968-2002 at the National Gallery of Victoria. His solo show – The Face – at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2004 was described by Peter Hill as, ‘of-its-time yet strangely out-of-time.’ He currently lives and works in Melbourne.
Brent Harris, Study for Grotesquerie (the graces) II, 2001. Coloured pencil on paper, 33.8 x 16.5cm. Courtesy of Murdoch University Art Collection. Photo: Eva Fernandez.
Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) is a New York-based artist whose works frequently combine painting, photography, and conceptual practices, and often address issues of racial and sexual identity. He has had solo shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (1993), Brooklyn Museum of Art (1996), Saint Louis Art Museum (2000), the Studio Museum in Harlem (2001), Dia Center for the Arts in New York (2003), and The Power Plant in Toronto (2005), among other venues. Group shows in which he has participated include the Whitney Biennial (1991 and 1993), Biennale of Sydney (1996), Venice Biennale (1997), Kwangju Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2002 and 2003), Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self at the International Centre of Photography in New York (2003), and Learn to Read at the Tate Modern, London (2007). He lives and works in New York.
Glenn Ligon, Death of Tom, 2008. Installation view, Thomas Dane Gallery, London
Leo Maguire (b1981) is an award-winning British filmmaker, who’s artistic practice includes photography, sculpture and film. He studied at The University of Wales Newport, and Stroud School of Art. In his directorial debut film Gypsy Blood, he gained unprecedented access to the world of bare-knuckle fighters in Britain’s traveller community. The film won Best Newcomer at the Grierson Awards and was BAFTA nominated.
Leo Maguire, Rosa Alba (silence) from the series Rosa, 2011 (detail). Archival pigment print on washi paper. Image courtesy and © the artist.
Steve McQueen (b.1969) CBE is a leading British artist and award winning film director known best for his films, Hunger, Shame, and Twelve years a Slave. He trained at the Chelsea School of Art, London; Goldsmith College, London; and at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. He was the recipient of an ICA Futures Award in (1996), a DAAD Artist in Residence Grant in Berlin (1999), the Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London (1999), the Sydney Film Prize, Sydney Film Festival (2008), and the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011. He has participated in Documenta X (1997), XI (2002) and XII (2007) and in the Venice Biennale (2013, 2009 and 2003). He has had a number of international solo exhibitions, including at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2010), the Art Institute in Chicago (2009), the Fondazione Prada, Milan (2005), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (2003) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1998). A retrospective of his work was recently exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2012) and the Schaulager, Basel (2013).
Steve McQueen, Exodus, 1992-97 (video still). Video installation, duration: 1.05min. Courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London.
Angelica Mesiti was born in Sydney, Australia in 1976, and currently lives and works in Paris and Sydney. Her video works use cinematic conventions and performance languages as a means of responding to the particularities of a given location, its history, environment and communities. Mesiti has exhibited internationally in biennales and institutions including: 19th Biennale of Sydney curated by Juliana Engberg ; 13th Istanbul Biennial Turkey curated by Fulya Erdemci ; 2nd Aichi Triennale Nagoya Japan curated by Taro Igarashi ; 5th Auckland Triennial New Zealand curated by Hou Hanru ; 11th Sharjah Biennale United Arab Emirates curated by Yuko Hasegawa ; 1st Kochin-Mizuris Biennial Kochi India. The Barbican, London ; Carriageworks, Sydney ; The Jewish Museum, New York ; Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/ Lyon, France ; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane ; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne ; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney ; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography ; Centre Pompidou, Paris ; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin ; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid ; Tate Modern, London ;Loop Gallery, Seoul and Para/Site Artspace,Hong Kong. Angelica Mesiti has also exhibited solo projects at: Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada ; Williams College Museum of Art Massachusetts, USA ; Lilith Performance Centre Malmo, Sweden ; Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre Canada ; Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney. She has received numerous awards, grants and commissions.
Angelica Mesiti, In the Ear of the Tyrant, 2013–14 (video still), multi-channel HD video installation, surround sound. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney. Produced by Felix Media, Sydney. Photography: Bonnie Elliott.
Internationally acclaimed, Lena Nyadbi (b. 1934) spent many early years watching the well-known first generation Turkey Creek artists. In particular, Paddy Jaminji taught her the techniques of grinding ochre and charcoal, and of rubbing the charcoal into the canvas with her hands. She then began full-time painting at the Warmun Centre when it opened in 1998. In 2006, Nyadbi was one of eight artists featured at the Musee du Quai Branly project in Paris and the relationship continued in 2013 when Nyadbi’s Dayiwul Lirlmim was recreated in large-scale on the rooftop.
Lena Nyadbi, Jimbirla (detail), 2014. Ochre on canvas, 120 x 180 cm. Courtesy of Murdoch University Art Collection. Photo: Eva Fernandez.
Ron Nyisztor (b.1960) is a mid-career Western Australian artist working with a wide range of materials and subjects; he has been exhibiting regularly since 1989. His consistent practice involves discarded building materials being used as part of the actual work and also as support grounds for paintings. He has held regular solo exhibitions (Artplace Claremont WA; Gaswerk Gallery Schwabach, Germany; Gallery Plos, Vienna; Gorepani Art, Albany; Crawford Gallery Sydney, NSW; Gallery East, North Fremantle, as well as being part of many exhibitions, including the Mandorla Arts Award (1991, 1992 1996, 2000, 2007); Green Show with Suzumi Noda in Japan (2006); The Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Annual Exhibition and Bunbury Biennale (2002, 2007). Ron Nyisztor’s paintings are held in the collections of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Royal Perth Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, the Federal court of Australia, Australian Capital Equity, the Industrial Relations Commission of WA, the City of Fremantle, the Perth office of National Native Tribunal, and also in private collections within Australia and abroad.
Ron Nyisztor, Fears, 2015. Archival print on wood, 240 x 180 cm.
Dr Fiona Pardington was born in Auckland in 1961. She is of Maori (Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Ngāti Kahungunu) and Scottish (Clan Cameron of Erracht) descent. Fiona’s early work is characterised by explorations in photographic technique. In the late 1980s she was amongst a group of women artists who challenged photography’s social documentary aesthetic, prevalent in the previous decade. She created photographic constructions that incorporated photography with other materials in elaborately encrusted frames. She went on to focus on the still-life format, recording Museum taonga (Māori ancestral treasures) and other historic objects such as hei tiki (greenstone pendants) and the now extinct huia bird. In these works, she brings to a contemporary audience an awareness of traditional and forgotten objects. Her work has been included in several important group exhibitions and biennales including: lux et tenebris Momentum Worldwide, Berlin 2014; The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, Ukraine Biennale Arsenale 2012; Ahua: A beautiful hesitation, 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010, Museum of Contemporary Art; Imposing Narratives: Beyond the Documentary in Recent New Zealand Photography, 1989, Constructed Intimacies, 1989 and NowSeeHear 1990. Prospect 2001: New Art New Zealand, all at the City Art Gallery, Wellington, Slow Release: Recent Photography from New Zealand, Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne, Australia and the Adam Gallery, Wellington, 2002; Te Puawai O Ngai Tahu, Christchurch Art Gallery and Pressing Flesh, Skin, Touch Intimacy, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki in 2003 and Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, Pataka’s International Arts Festival, Porirua, 2006. She holds a Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Auckland. Fiona has worked as a lecturer, tutor, assessor and moderator on many photography, design and fine arts programmes at New Zealand universities and polytechnics.
Lisa Reihana (b. 1964) is a Maori multi media artist based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Reihana reinterprets Maori mythology through the lens of contemporary culture. In providing modern accessibility to Maori history and lore, she bestows respect and prestige upon this fertile indigenous culture and confirms its universal inclusiveness. The striking figures that occupy Lisa Reihana’s photographs and video installations are equally informed by her inspiration from fantasy, advertising and computer games, rendering them almost instantly familiar to the viewer. An alternate narrative of gender is threaded throughout her work, navigating conceptions of the masculine, the feminine and the androgynous.
Lisa Reihana, Tai Whetuki – House of Death (video still), 2014. Digital film, 13:54 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, copyright Reihanimations Ltd.
Stuart Ringholt (b.1971) has established a reputation as one of Australia’s most fearless contemporary artists. His artistic career began when he started to believe he was Jesus following a hash-induced psychotic break which led to him being committed to a psychiatric ward. His works seeks to question peoples’ fears of personal embarrassment and societal norms enabling ‘education through feeling’, such as his performance in 2012 where he gave tours of the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art and MONA to a naked audience. His 2014 exhibition ‘Kraft’ at the Monash University Museum of Art was equally confronting, consisting of selected videos, collages, sculptures and of course the highly publicized ‘Club Purple’. A restricted section of the gallery providing art goers the opportunity to dance in a 1980’s themed nightclub without the restrictions of clothing.
Stuart Ringholt, Untitled (Brown), 2013. Acrylic lacquer on mirror. 129 x 91cm. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery. Photo: Carl Warner. Images courtesy the artist and the IMA.
Kynan Tan (b. 1988) is an artist working with digital processes to investigate networks, data transference and relational structures between multiple senses. These works take the form of multi-screen audio-visual performances, installations, 3D-printed sculptures, improvised sound, and kinetic artworks involving electronic circuits, speakers and lights. Kynan has been the recipient of a DCA Young People and the Arts Fellowship (2013), Australia Council Artstart grant (2013), and participated in the JUMP Mentorship Program (2012), studying with audio-visual artist Robin Fox. Kynan has performed in Japan, Germany and throughout Australia, including events such as Test Tone (Tokyo), Channels Video Art Festival (Melbourne) and the NOW now Festival of Art (Sydney), and his works have also been exhibited at MOCA (Taipei, Taiwan), NH7 Festival (Pune, India), First Draft (Sydney) and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. Kynan is currently based in Sydney.
Kynan Tan, Polymorphism (Data Centre Simulation), 2015. Projected computer-generated simulation, two channel sound. Courtesy of and copyright the artist.
Curtis Taylor (b. 1990) is a filmmaker, screen artist and a young Martu leader. Growing up in the remote Martu desert communities and in the city, Curtis has gained both tradional Martu knowledge and a Western education. After finishing school in 2008, Curtis worked as Community Coordinator and Youth Development Officer at Martu Media (a division of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa), where he also spent 18 months working on Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route as a filmmaker and youth ambassador. Curtis was the recipient of the 2011 Western Australian Youth Art Award and Wesfarmers Youth Scholarship and his screen work has been shown in international film festivals, including the 2012 Nepal International Indigenous Film Archive Festival.
Curtis Taylor, Ngarnda-Pain, 2015 (video still). Duration: 5min. Courtesy of and copyright the artist.