Manly Australia
Manly & Northern Beaches, Sydney Australia - Thursday, 2 December - 8:02am
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History Repeats provides fascinating insights

By Northern Beaches Council
Archived 19 Jan 2021 - Posted: 20 Nov 2020
Artists L-R Fiona Chandler, Jo Neville & Julie Paterson, on site at Q Station, Oct 2020
When three artists began working on an exhibition of sketches exploring life under lockdown at Sydney's quarantine station in decades gone by, little did they know, they would have real life experience to draw on as well.

Working with paper, textiles and paint, artists Jo Neville, Julie Paterson and Fiona Chandler have each created forty panels representing the original forty-day quarantine period of detention or isolation imposed on those arriving in Sydney on ships suspected of carrying infectious diseases in their exhibition, History Repeats, which begins at MAG&M on 4 December.

Mayor Michael Regan said the concept of the exhibition which initially seemed anchored in the past, quarantine, suddenly had become very current. 

"All three artists began to rethink their approach to the exhibition and their artworks, looking at the contrasts and similarities between quarantine then and now, and have come up with some fascinating artworks."  

Senior Curator Katherine Roberts said the cross-media arts project was inspired by the desire to bring together artists who also practice as designers. 

"We look forward to seeing how the 120 panels come together on MAG&M's walls, floor and suspended in the air and how the audience engages with the installation."

"The artists have brought to their works their own personal and socio-historical narratives in parallel with each other at this unprecedented time in Australian history. 

"This timely exhibition is presented in partnership with Q Station, Manly, to whom we are most grateful for the site access they provided to the artists and for the enthusiasm with which they embraced what is our third partnership project in the past five years," Katherine Roberts said.

The artists in a collaborative statement said: "Making forty artworks each was a lot to make and we all found it hard to get a foothold, especially early on in the NSW lockdown. But all three of us are designers as well as artists, and we are good at spotting the patterns and opportunities, and cracking on to meet a brief."

"Gradually, we noticed four themes emerging in our work (Space, Surveillance, Signs and Still Life), ideas that linked the historical and contemporary experiences of quarantine. It's in these themes that we saw how history repeats."

History Repeats commences 4 December and ends 14 February 2021. 


 Artists in Conversation 

Sunday 7 February, 3pm and 4pm 

Join the artists for an insightful look at the exhibition and a discussion around the impact on their creative practice the experience at the Q Station, and having lived through home quarantine, has had on them. 

Location: Manly Art Gallery & Museum 

Bookings essential magam


EverySevenDays2021 workshop 

Saturday 6 February 2021, 10am - 1pm 

EverysevenDays2021 is the new season year-long community art project originally created by Julie Paterson in July 2020 as a response to Covid. It is an impermanent weekly art practice for everyone, designed to enhance our mental health, reduce stress, boost creativity and cognitive function, and strengthen our sense of connection with nature and community. You don't have to be an artist to participate - the project is very easy and inclusive and everyone can join in. All ages are welcome. There will be some walking about in nature so wear sturdy shoes and a sun hat and bring a camera or smart phone. This will be week one so come and join Julie in kick starting your new creatively mindful year. 

To find out more head to everysevendays or #everysevendays2020 

Location: Q Station, Manly 

Cost: $30 

Bookings essential magam


Site Sketching 

Monday 11 January, 10am - 1pm  

Join Fiona Chandler on a plein air sketching tour of the Q Station to discover the site through an artist's eyes.  

Location: Q Station, Manly 

Cost: $30, BYO materials 

Bookings essential 


Native Paper Flowers Workshop 

Sunday 14 February, 10am -1pm 

Join Jo Neville on site at Q Station and discover all about engineering a native paper botanical from plant to workroom.  

Location: Q Station, Manly 

Cost: $60 materials supplied  

Bookings essential magam


Quarantine Wander Tours 

Take a 45 minute guided tour to visit the key buildings in the wharf and hospital precincts at Q Station.

For further information on this and other tours, go to qstation or call 02 9466 1551. 

This article archived 19 Jan 2021

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