Ideas Platform

How to measure the body against the earth

30 Oct – 13 Dec 2020

Above: How to measure the body against the earth, 2020 Parramatta Artists' Studio exhibition, installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace, Sydney. Photo: Document
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

How to measure the body against the earth is the sixth annual Parramatta Artists' Studios (PAS) presentation at Artspace. Featuring artists Cindy Yuen-Zhe Chen, Liam Benson and Sofiyah Ruqayah, this year’s exhibition explores relationships between the body and the natural world.

The works reflect a deeply embedded connection to the histories and topographies of urban and natural landscapes, both real and imagined. The title How to measure the body against the earth is a reference to writer Rebecca Solnit’s landmark text Wanderlust, which connects walking to its cultural and political history. The act of walking is present in the works of both Yuen-Zhe Chen and Benson who map the varied physical and psychological experiences of their local environments – particularly potent in the wake of recent ecological and community impacts from bushfires and social distancing. Ruqayah’s site-specific installation of gang fishing hooks plays on Artspace’s location opposite the Woolloomooloo foreshore. The utility of the hooks creates tension between intimacy and puncture, fragility and menace, sustenance and mortality.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing partnership between Artspace and PAS that sees the two institutions working collaboratively to further support artists in Western Sydney through a program of professional development that includes curatorial dialogue, studio artist exchange, mentorship and advocacy.

Each year the PAS exhibition in the Ideas Platform is launched alongside the annual NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship, reflecting the creative synergies of practitioners working across New South Wales.