Nathan Gray | Tjukurla


work in progress

stage 1: tba


About the artist

Gray's recent, meticulously written lecture performances explore historical, technological and social circumstances imagining them as scores for possible futures, alternate histories and radically divergent presents. Often employing sound and video, in which his background lies, these evocative works invite audiences to imagine futures beyond contemporary crises.

His 2014 multi-channel video installation Species of Spaces was shown in the 19th Biennale of Sydney and was the winner of both the Substation Contemporary Art Prize and Substation People’s Choice Awards. It is now part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

His 2012 Tarrawarra Biennale sculptural/performance work entitled Treatise pages 77 and 131 was reshown and performed in 2017 at The Score at Ian Potter Museum of Art and my work Score for Dancewas shown at Open Archive in 2011 and ACCA in 2014.

His film works have been shown at Close Up Cinema in London, Christchurch City Art Gallery, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Auckland and City Gallery in Wellington during 2016 and presented by Liquid Architecture (Australia), The Audio Foundation (Auckland) and North Projects (Christchurch).

He has had numerous solo shows including Work with Me Here, 2015 at RMIT DesignHub, Things That Fit Together, 2014 at Utopian Slumps, Theorist Training Camp, 2012, at Westspace and ACTS, 2012, at Utopian Slumps.

In 2015 he curated the exhibition The Object as Score, based on his masters thesis of the same name. He attended residencies in Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Indonesia, regional Australia, and more recently several residencies in Germany.

His recent performance lectures have toured to Taiwan, Greece, Austria, Germany, France, Norway, Poland and Australia in 2017-18 and writings have appeared in Un Magazine, the book Assuming Boycott published by the New School / Vera List and Writing & Concepts published by Art + Australia 2018.

About the community

At first glance, Tjukurla can seem like a small sleepy community, hidden away from the world. However a slight scratch under the surface reveals a certain mysticism, a very healthy sense of humour and a tension between modern influences and traditional culture.  A community of approximately 40 people, Tjukurla is one of the most remote indigenous communities in Australia, located in the Ngaanyatjarra lands of Western Australia. The challenges and lack of services available can be concerning, however this also seems to contribute to a powerful sense of resilience among community members. First contact with white culture is in living memory for many people.  

Tjukurla is an important juncture of many ancient songlines, connecting peoples from each direction. Situated on the edge of a large salt lake, the landscape consists of sand hills (tali), claypans and large stands of trees. This is definitely 'Big sky country', with incredible colours dawn and dusk. Tjukurla has a shop, community office, school and an Art Centre – which definitely serves as the social hub.  

Partner organisation: Tjarlirli Arts