Artwork by artist Henri Van Noordenburg currently on display at the Rockhampton Art Gallery will be covered up today at the request of the artist.
Henri’s work, Composition IX, is part of the Queensland Centre of Photography Collection that was generously gifted to the Rockhampton Art Gallery in 2019, and currently on exhibition under the title of Exposed.
The Collection consists of 108 photo-media artworks produced in Queensland from 2004-2014 and includes a photograph by Henri Van Noordenburg that he describes as a ‘protagonist subjected to human-made disasters’.
Rockhampton Art Gallery Director Bianca Acimovic said the artist undertakes a socially engaged practice, which is often associated with activism.
“By requesting to have his artwork covered, Henri is aiming to make his voice heard as an artist and citizen of Australia, as a protest to what he describes as ‘inaction from government on climate change’,” Mrs Acimovic said.
“Through his art practice, this is a topic that he has researched deeply for over two decades.
“This is the nature of contemporary artworks and the progressive development of an artist’s practice. For Henri, the particular political issue of relevance to his art practice is climate change and we respect his request to cover his artwork.
“This isn’t about the Art Gallery taking on the issue, but it is instead about how we as a gallery work with artists to facilitate the conversations they want to have with community through their art.
“When the Rockhampton Art Gallery works with living artists, our curatorial staff always discuss the exhibition of the works with the artists and their representatives to ensure that artworks are presented and framed in a manner which reflects the artists meaning of work, and we take in to account that this may alter over time.”
Rockhampton Art Gallery is one of three galleries currently showing the artist’s work. Other galleries are Gallery Kunstkomplex in Wuppertal, Germany and Gallery Kunstkomplex Mennuni, Basel, Switzerland who have also accepted his request.
It is not yet known when the artist will request for his work to be uncovered, however, the remainder of the Exposed exhibition will be on display until 19 April 2020.