Sublime Sea: Rapture and Reality
An MPRG exhibition, curated by Dr Vivien Gaston
14 December 2019 – 23 February 2020
Sublime Sea: Rapture and Reality is a spectacular immersive exhibition about the power of the sea in human imagination. Through superb examples of paintings, sculpture, photography, film and the decorative arts, the exhibition evokes the overwhelming experience of nature, from intrepid journeys and mysterious grottos to the infinite space of the ocean.
The exhibition creates a new ‘cabinet of curiosities’, combining art and the natural sciences to chart the evolution of a ‘sublime’ perception of nature and the sea’s benevolence as a primal source of life. Contemporary works reflect new realities and insights into human interaction with the sea, the tragic voyages of refugees, threat of plastic pollution and alienation from natural forces.
The exhibition includes loans from major galleries and museums around Australia, including Rupert Bunny’s Sea Idyll, Greg Semu’s The Raft, National Gallery of Victoria, Oswald Brierly’s Yacht Wanderer rounding Cape Horn, Australian National Maritime Museum, and numerous dazzling examples of sea life from Museum Victoria.
Image: Tamara Dean Endangered 1 2018 (detail) Edition 8/8 archival pigment print on cotton rag paper Collection of the artist, courtesy of Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney