Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Craig Judd (exhibition curator), Anne Ferran: The Ground, The Air, exhibition held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 13 Dec 2008 - 22 Feb 2009. Download catalogue here. See also: Stills Gallery - Anne Ferran.



Research background

‘The ground, the air’ was the first exhibition in Tasmania by significant Australian artist Anne Ferran. This focussed survey exhibition of photography video and installation explored an often overlooked area in the settler histories of Australia. Ferran locates the gaps and silences in recorded history, in particular those around women who, for whatever reason have been institutionalised by the authorities of the day. Works in the exhibition examined the traces of such charged locations as prisons, asylums and aged care facilities.

Research contribution

Anne Ferran explores how the past haunts the present. A long time interest for the artist is the lives of female convicts and their children. Archaeological artefacts from New South Wales and Tasmania were placed throughout the exhibition as a counterpoint to the contemporary commentary/critique of the artworks. Private funding was sourced by the Curator, Craig Judd to help to create a major new work In the ground on the air. This is a cycle of large-scale images etched on aluminium, like giant daguerreotypes where the artist uses specific Tasmanian sites and archives to ask audiences to consider the notion of landscape as witness and the effects of acts of forgetting.

Research significance

The exhibition was accompanied by a prize-winning catalogue designed by Lynda Warner and essay by Geoffrey Batchen, Professor of the History of Photography and Contemporary Art, City University of New York. Elements of the exhibition toured to Wollongong City Gallery, where it was opened by Julie Ewington, Curator of Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery.