after Fairweather with Christopher Bassi and Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan

20 Jul 2022

The exhibition presents a tribute to Ian Fairweather, one of the most prominent artists to have worked in Australia during the twentieth century. During his idiosyncratic existence, Fairweather lived a nomadic lifestyle often engaging in intercontinental travels including his treacherous raft voyage in 1952 from Darwin to Indonesia.

after Fairweather delves into Fairweather’s legacy, as well as broader themes of journeys and cross-cultural connections, through the eyes of contemporary Australian, First Nations, and diaspora artists. Curated by Hamish Sawyer, Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan and Christopher Bassi were invited to be a part of the group exhibition.

Mirroring Fairweather’s biography is the Aquilizans’ Island: Project Another Country referencing the artist’s visit to the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines in 1934. The Aquilizans have fashioned a floating village out of cardboard, salvaged wood, and other recovered materials. Constructed in-situ, the installation evokes the vernacular architecture described by Fairweather in his correspondence.

Similarly, Christopher Bassi, a descendant of the Meriam and Yupungathi peoples of the Torres Strait and Cape York, has engaged with the story and techniques of western art history, applying these approaches to the subject matter which articulates the complexity of the artist’s transcultural identity. Through Bassi’s research, he observed similarities between the vernacular style of dwelling that Fairweather constructed on Bribie Island and traditional Torres Strait architecture, made using leaves from the palm tree.

after Fairweather is presented at Caboolture Regional Art Gallery until 3 September 2022.

Image: Installation view of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Island: Project Another Country, courtesy of Moreton Bay Regional Council | photos by Louis Lim.