The Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists exhibition opens tomorrow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Celebrating its 30thedition, Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of emerging artists living and working in Australia, aged 35 years and under. The exhibition continues to be a significant platform for early-career Australian artists and curators to present exciting new work.

The artists selected for Primavera 2021 come from around Australia and range in age from 29 to 35. They include Elisa Jane Carmichael (QLD), Dean Cross (NSW), Hannah Gartside (VIC), Sam Gold (SA), and Justine Youssef (NSW).

This year’s Primavera exhibition is curated by Melbourne-based Aboriginal curator, Hannah Presley. Her curatorial process is guided by artists, learning about the techniques, history and community that inform their making.

Presley is an Aboriginal curator and a director at Agency. Recent curatorial projects include Observance at Buxton Contemporary (with Sam Comte) and Big Weather at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in 2021, and A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in 2018. Recent roles include Curator, Indigenous Art at NGV, inaugural Yalingwa Curator at ACCA, and First Nations Assistant Curator of Tracey Moffatt, My Horizon, 57th Venice Biennale.

For Primavera 2021, Presley brings together an exhibition that considers the multi-faceted concept of resourcefulness and embraces each artist’s unique approach to making. The artists engage with techniques shared across generations and materials that hold stories of the past, inviting new interpretations of the world around us. They present work of various media including textiles installation, ceramics, weaving, painting, photographic processes, and video.

On the exhibition, guest curator Hannah Presley, said: “The artists participating in Primavera 2021 have created works that draw on personal narratives whilst also considering the history and implicit memory that resonates within their selected materials. As this year’s curator, I was interested in exploring the choices each artist makes as their work evolves, what is brought forward and what is left behind.”

MCA Director, Curatorial and Digital, Lara Strongman said: “For Primavera 2021, Hannah Presley has curated an exceptional group of talented young artists. Primavera continues to be a highlight on the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s annual exhibition calendar as it is a springboard for many artists’ careers, introducing the work of younger artists to a wider national audience.”

Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists is a free exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Level 1 South Gallery from Friday 26 November 2021 – Sunday 12 June 2022.


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