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Tweed Regional Gallery | For What It's Worth

Image: Ryan Presley in his studio. Photo by Carl Warner.
A new exhibition by Brisbane-based artist Ryan Presley opens Friday 3 August at the Tweed Regional Gallery. The solo exhibition titled For What It’s Worth (Not For Sale) was developed after Presley spent one month working in the Gallery’s Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio.
Presley is interested in customs and beliefs associated with religion, economics, and conquest that are evident in many facets of our everyday lives. During his residency, he wanted to learn more about the rise of the sugar cane industry that is a prominent part of the landscape and beautiful landscape vistas around Wollumbin.
“Over the past few years I have sought to highlight the deeply embedded links between religion, economics, and power that have existed for centuries in colonial, and later post-colonial, societies of the ‘West’,” Presley said.
“A significant part of this is how religion and economic control have served colonialism and empire building over time. I then focus on how these connections have manifested in Australian society, highlighting how they have negatively affected the lives of Aboriginal Australians.”
Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said: ‘I am delighted that Ryan responded so positively to our invitation for him to participate in the artist in residency program. He is a contemporary artist of high calibre whose practice has gained an impressive reputation and is included in stellar collections. Ryan’s enthusiastic response is indicative of the esteem artists hold for the Gallery and our programs, and of the continued interested in this fascinating region we live in.”
Presley said: “As I was not familiar with the Northern Rivers region, I was keen to learn more about the colonial histories there, to better understand the dispossession scenarios that took place in the area. I look to make works that explore the imposition of incompatible political value systems of colonial enterprise. The new images reflect my time in Tweed and the events and industries I learnt about over the residency. My reinterpretations symbolically reference elements of distinct Tweed histories that continue to have a legacy in the Northern Rivers region.”
For What It’s Worth (Not For Sale) will be on exhibition from 3 August to 25 November in the Friends Gallery at the Tweed Regional Gallery and is an outcome of the Nancy Fairfax Artist in Residence Studio program, generously funded by Tim Fairfax AC.
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