News & Stories

Bicentennial art protest looks back to the future


A landmark art series that protested Australia’s bicentennial celebrations will be shown for the first time in its entirety since 1988 alongside new works at the University of Tasmania.

Right Here Right Now – Australia 1988 featured 32 screen-print posters by a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous printmakers and art organisations from across Australia in response to the bicentenary.

Out of the Everywhen at The Hedberg Talks
Out of the Everywhen - Future Nostalgia will be part of The Hedberg Talks on Sunday, March 11.

It toured nationally to 10 galleries, including the University of Tasmania, which purchased the collection at the time.

The series forms the basis of the Plimsoll Gallery’s new Out of the Everywhen exhibition opening on March 9, as part of Ten Days on the Island, and will be shown alongside works by contemporary artists examining the years since 1988.

“This exhibition asks how we have managed to change the course of our trajectory or not,” curator Jane Barlow said.

“It asks what we have got right, what are we still learning and what directions we might take over the same time period.”

Themes of land rights, environmental destruction and deaths in custody questioned the official message of celebration around the bicentenary, while also acknowledging the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

With loans from nationally and internationally renowned artists and private collections, the exhibition will include recent artworks by Tony Albert, Michael Cook, Karla Dickens, Kait James, Jenna Lee, and Jazz Money. It will also include works by University of Tasmania alumnus Jordan Cowen, who completed a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Honours) in 2021.

Curated by Jane Barlow, Caine Chennatt, and Rachael Rose, the exhibition was developed by the University of Tasmania’s Cultural Collections team.

Out of the Everywhen opens on Thursday, March 9 and runs until May 6. A companion panel discussion will take place as part of The Hedberg Talks on Saturday, March 11 at 3.00pm.