Ipswich artist gets carried away with space between us

A mid-career survey of Ipswich artist Lincoln Austin is on display at the Ipswich Art Gallery in The Space Between Us.

The exhibition is a collection of two decades of artworks of varied scale, from delicate miniature assemblages to expansive installations, which invites the community to share in his creative journey.

“I moved to Ipswich 15 years ago and I love it,” Austin said.

“It’s a friendly, unpretentious community with something raw about it.

“I like its relaxed attitude and the diversity of people and this place has slowly got under my skin.”

Austin has spent much of his time in Ipswich working from his studio on art pieces driven by his feeling for materials, his interest in perception and optical effects, and his desire to activate space.

Lincoln Austin at his home studio in Ipswich

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding thanked Mr Austin for his contribution to Ipswich’s flourishing creative community.

“The creative sector brings so much to Ipswich, between the economic benefits of our 2 million annual visitors, and the colour and vibrancy that helps to make our city one of Queensland’s most liveable,” Mayor Harding said.

“Lincoln’s sculpture, Standing, has brought Tulmur Place to life, with a modern adaptation of our city’s floral emblem.

“The Space Between Us is a wonderful reflection of Lincoln’s work, with a touch of homage to our city’s rich heritage.”

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Councillor Andrew Fechner said the Lincoln Austin exhibition further underscored the dynamism of Ipswich’s diverse community of creators.

“There was a real sense of excitement on opening night with several attendees enthusiastically proclaiming the  exhibition to be among the finest ever presented at the Ipswich Art Gallery,” Cr Fechner said.

“Having a survey of Lincoln’s work at the gallery is a major coup for our city.”

Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art Australian Art Curator Samantha Littley said it was an honour to curate the exhibition as the process had provided a chance to reflect on, and chart, the evolution of Austin’s practice.

“Lincoln’s work is inherently beautiful, impeccably made and fundamentally thought provoking,” Ms Littley said.

“Beyond an immediate response to the visual stimuli present in the artworks, there’s a desire to figure out how they achieve their mesmerising effects.

“Audiences can expect to be intrigued and enthralled.”

The exhibition draws together more than 60 sculptures and works on paper from public institutions and private collections.

The centre piece of the exhibition Don’t get carried away with yourself Lincoln is a large scale sculptural and performance work.

“I made this piece for this exhibition with the thought in mind that I wanted it to have a life outside the gallery,” Austin said.

“When I was making it my mother was very ill, it was a traumatic time.

“All I really needed to make it was a table to sew on and I had artist Kirralee Robinson helping me whose mother was also ill at the time.

“I would visit my mother each week and work at her house and the piece came from the idea of mothering and how the child requires that little bit of tethering for support in order to fly.

“Originally, I thought it would be a kite but, in the end, it didn’t fly. All it did was roll around completely out of control.

“Of course that turned out to be much better than my original concept as it suited my parents parenting style which was to stand back, let things happen and project a sense of ‘it will all make sense in the end’.”

The Space Between Us will be on display until 8 August 2021 from 10am until 5pm.

Admission is free and visitors are required to provide contact tracing information using the digital QR code check-in on arrival as part of the Gallery’s CovidSafe plan.

Lincoln Austin will be in residence two days a week at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

An illustrated catalogue will accompany the show, available from The Gallery Shop.

SPARK Ipswich is a festival to celebrate Ipswich’s diverse people, places, arts and culture and will run from 8 until 18 July.

An after-hours tour of The Space Between Us with Lincoln Austin is part of the SPARK Ipswich program.

This is a rare opportunity to ask questions of one of Australia’s most renown sculpture artists and to explore two decades of his work in this mid-career survey.

Artist 2 Artist with Lincoln Austin is a free ticketed event on Friday 9 July at 6pm.

Tickets will be available from 25 May.

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