YASS artist Kim Nelson tells us of an unusual exhibition in which he is participating, to be held at the National Trust of Australia’s S.H. Ervin Gallery from tomorrow.“Windows to the Sacred: an exploration of the Esoteric,” picks up on the current international interest in esoteric art. It will include major Australian artists such as James Gleeson whose works will be re-examined in the context of their esoteric influences. This unique exhibition will also include key works by the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley, the self-styled “witch of Kings Cross”, Rosaleen Norton, Alex Proyas, Georgiana Houghton, Nelson, Barry William Hale, Canberra’s Danie Mellor, as well as filmmaker Kenneth Anger, musician Jeff Martin, NOKO performance group, Collective777.
Curated by Robert Buratti, an Australian expert in the area of esoteric art, the exhibition brings together work previously shown at the Pompidou Centre in Paris with Australia works.
“Esoteric art is essentially focused on man’s search for hidden knowledge of himself and his place in the universe. It’s a fascinating genre that attracts worldwide interest from collectors and institutions”, Buratti says. “In 2008 the Pompidou Centre, Paris, staged the exhibition ‘Traces of the Sacred’, which examined artists engaged with the exploration of the sacred in art.”
His exhibition argues that throughout history artists have represented spiritual themes which in the past this meant overtly religious works that in the 20th century, when organised religion lost its influence over artists, led to the discovery of new ways to “explore the basic human urge toward transcendence”.
“Windows to the sacred: an exploration of the esoteric,” at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Observatory Hill, The Rocks, Sydney, Tues to Sun, 11am – 5pm, August 30 to September 29. The exhibition later travels to Orange, the Mornington Peninsula and Devonport regional galleries finishing with a show in Queensland in late 2014.