The first exhibition in CAM’s Orbit program; a series of exhibitions by artists who live and work in Central Victoria.

Kylie Banyard’s practice is grounded in painting and intersects with photography, video and sculpture, as well as fields such as architecture and education. In her work, she explores the utopian imagination and the history of experimental models for living and learning, creating images and spaces that question whether the faded optimism associated with discarded utopias of the early counterculture and radical technological and social experiments of the past can be regenerated through aesthetic experiences to poetic and critical effect. She creates images that offer viewers the chance to glimpse future possibilities for different ways of being in the world. Banyard’s work combines archival research with fantasy, drawing on images and ideas from the past and the edges of social life, bringing them to our attention in a way that helps us contemplate self-determined and radically alternative ways of living and learning on our wounded earth.

Holding Ground (first exhibited at Nicholas Thompson Gallery in 2020) continues Banyard’s exploration of alternate models for living and learning. Her work explores and brings to a new audience the radical pedagogies of American mid-20th century art school Black Mountain College. Those pedagogies are based in practices of care for others, the development of the whole person, and care for community and environment. The paintings in this exhibition focus on a small group of archival photographs in which female artists and students are engaged in intimate exchanges and moments of co-creation, responsive to the wild mountainous land surrounding them: farming, making, reading and dancing. Banyard combines archival research with fantasy, drawing on images and ideas from the past, bringing them into the present through a painting process that conflates and overlays facets of her own domestic space and lived experience with Black Mountain College’s historical record – her paintings propose a present that is thick with remembrances of the past.

Images: Holding Ground 1, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm; Holding Ground 2, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm. Images courtesy of the artist.

Supported by: The Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Fund.