THE Moonah Arts Centre (MAC) has attracted almost 40,000 visitors during the past year, including an honoured guest – the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor Kate Warner.
Prof Warner called into the centre to view “The Border Crossers”, an exhibition by Western Australian artist Clyde McGill.
The exhibition was presented by Mona Foma and the Janet Holmes á Court Collection and was opened during the festival by Janet Holmes á Court, Brian Ritchie and Clyde McGill.
The MAC proved a perfect setting for the never seen before series, which attracted record audiences.
Aware of the content and calibre of McGill’s artwork, Prof Warner and her husband, Richard, visited the exhibition and participated alongside staff and members of the public in creating an opera led by Mr McGill.
The Governor then attended a guided tour of the artworks accompanied by the artist and other visitors.
The Border Crossers explored themes of displacement and sovereignty as they relate to refugee experience, and to the plight of those who are forced to flee their homes and homelands as a result of conflict – issues close to the heart of both Mr McGill and his patron, Ms Holmes á Court.
The exhibition filled all the gallery spaces and included large-scale works on linen, alongside a 16-metre libretto and a series of paintings entitled “Dolorosa: An Opera”, 2015, that chronicles the journey of a family seeking asylum.
The series was the catalyst for the opera that McGill created as the performative part of his exhibition.
He led the audience in creating a unique soundscape to accompany the paintings – an intimate experience that was deeply moving for participants.