12 February 2019

Artists respond to Sukumaran’s final hours

| Tuggeranong Arts Centre
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Another Day in Paradise - The Days, 72 Hours

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s The Days sits in front of Myuran Sukumaran’s collection of portraits as part of Another Day in Paradise. Photo: Martin Ollman.

In the early hours of April 29th 2015, artist Myuran Sukumaran was executed by firing squad on Nusa Kambangan Island in Indonesia. To mark the third anniversary of Sukumaran’s death and the conclusion of the Another Day in Paradise exhibition, Tuggeranong Arts Centre (TAC) has invited artists to participate in a creative vigil called The Final Hours.

On Sunday 29th April, the Centre’s galleries, workshop, theatre and rehearsal spaces will be open to artists working in any form to respond to Sukumaran’s story and his final series of paintings.

Jim Moginie - photo by Chris Frape

Guitarist, songwriter and founding member of Midnight Oil, Jim Moginie will use music to chronicle the five stages of grief. Photo: Chris Frape.

The event will feature musical responses from Midnight Oil guitarist Jim Moginie and local musician Patrick Haesler, artistic responses from local and interstate visual artists including Jenny Blake, Rachel Develin and Tom Buckland, a writing workshop, a song writing collaboration between local writer Nigel Featherstone and musician Pete Lyon and much more. The day will culminate in the Canberra premiere screening of hybrid documentary-feature film GUILTY, preceded by a filmmakers talk with director Matthew Sleeth and producer Maggie Miles.

The Final Hours marks the end of the two month long run of Another Day in Paradise, which features paintings by Myuran Sukumaran alongside commissioned works by contemporary artists Megan Cope, Khaled Sabsabi, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Matthew Sleeth and Jagath Dheerasekara. The exhibition was curated by Sukumaran’s mentor and Archibald prize winner Ben Quilty and Michael Dagonstino and was first presented at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of Sydney Festival in 2017.

The curators reflect, ‘During the 72 hours [prior] to his execution, Myuran painted prolifically, producing some of his most powerful work… In this series, produced under the most difficult circumstances, we see potent and emotional images of the man Myuran had become – determined, focused, talented and brave; looking unflinchingly toward the next painting, and the legacy that would survive his execution: his art.’

GUILTY still - Peter Milne

A scene from GUILTY, a hybrid documentary directed by Matthew Sleeth and produced by Maggie Miles. Photo: Peter Milne.

TAC CEO Rauny Worm says the exhibition has certainly been embraced by the Canberra community. ‘It is gratifying to be approached by visitors – many of whom have made the trip out to Tuggeranong specifically to see the exhibition – and hear that while they arrived with apprehension and uncertainty, they’ve left Another Day in Paradise with a deeper insight and feelings of sadness and compassion. Art is a powerful medium for personal transformation and for changing perceptions.’

The Final Hours: Tuggeranong Arts Centre will be open from 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday 29th April with artists working and performing in response to the exhibition throughout the day. A full program of events is available online.

GUILTY screening: 6 pm for 6:30 pm, Sunday 29 April. Reserve your free seat online.

Has art ever influenced your perception or understanding of a difficult issue? Let us know in the comments below. Or join us on Sunday 29th April to see the power of art in action.

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