South of No North, a free exhibition of paintings, ceramics, video and photography, is on until May 5 at The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
The exhibition presents work by three artists who share the same interest in the stories and poetry of everyday life, drawing their subjects from the world around them. It is part of an MCA series that places the work of an Australian artist alongside that of international peers.
Noel McKenna, an Australian painter, is exhibited alongside photos by Laurence Aberhart of New Zealand, who works predominantly in black and white photography, and William Eggleston of the USA, who works exclusively in colour. Their subject matter ranges from architecture, environment and signs to people and interiors, images captured on travels across America’s deep south, New Zealand’s North Island and Australia. They tap into the wonder of childhood.
Eggleston’s Memphis (1970) is an iconic early image featuring a tricycle from the viewpoint of a child, looming gigantically to dwarf all around it.
McKenna taps into childlike wonder through his series of paintings of “big things” such as the Big Pineapple, Big Orange or Big Penguin.
Aberhart’s Kamala, Lyttelton, (September 1981), a portrait of his daughter lying on a roof next to a ladder leading to the sky, reflects on childhood and the swift passing of life.
South of no North is presented in the Level 1 South Gallery of the MCA.
– Report by Natalija Antic and Aleysha Tombleson