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Blue Assembly: Oceanic Thinking

Take a dive into this ocean-focused exhibition, which showcases creative ways of thinking about earth's blue spaces.
By Sarah Ward
February 18, 2022
By Sarah Ward
February 18, 2022

The deep, the drink, the high seas, the brine, the blue: whatever you call it, the ocean is endlessly fascinating. And if you've ever sat on the beach, the smell of sunscreen wafting up from your torso and the sea breeze rustling through your hair, and just stared intently at all that H20 glistening right there in front of you — as we all have, and more than once, because it's just that hypnotic — then you'll understand why UQ Art Museum has devoted its new four-month-long exhibition to the earth's watery spaces.

Oceanic Thinking is all about creative ways of thinking about the deep blue sea, and marks the inaugural part of a multi-year project called Blue Assembly. The overall aim: to explore humanity's relationship to the ocean, and examine how talk about and focus upon blue spaces — the ocean, obviously, but also coastal ecosystems that include mangroves, tidal marshlands and estuaries and seagrass meadows — has played into thinking about climate change. Getting us all to ponder how all of this vast amount of liquid plays into our future is another key part of the free exhibition.

Running from Saturday, February 19–Saturday, June 25, Oceanic Thinking features work across multiple artforms, and from an impressive list of artists — spanning Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Isha Ram Das, Elise Rasmussen, Izabela Pluta, Monira Al Qadiri, Tabita Rezaire, Stephanie Comilang and Alicia Mersy​, as well as Birrmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha, Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Salote Tawale, Benjamin Armstrong, Charles Callins, Andreas Angelidakis and SUPERFLEX.

And, as well as getting you musing on the oceans, water and research about both, Oceanic Thinking also aims to span a wealth of other topics — so while you're peering at the deep and the drink, expect to also contemplate race, decolonisation, kinship, diasporas and even science fiction.

Monira Al Qadiri, Divine Memory, 2019, still from video, 5:00 min, Courtesy of the artist.

Top image: Superflex, Dive-In, 2019. Dive–In was originally commissioned by Desert X in collaboration TBA21–Academy with music composed by Dark Morph (Jónsi and Carl Michael von Hausswolff). Courtesy of Desert X. Photo: Lance Gerber.

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