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Changing conceptions with Conscious Projections

Published 05 May 2022

ArtSpace at Realm’s latest exhibition, Conscious Projections, is an exploration of internal spiritual, cultural and gender identities through video works, projection and sound.

Showing till Sunday 22 May at ArtSpace in Realm, the ethos for Conscious Projections is to showcase how through conscious, personal choices of self-expression, the artists open up a dialogue for the audience to consider their own diverse experiences and expression of ‘the Self’.

In their own lives, the artists have navigated intersections of queerness, gender, race and neurodiversity. These experiences now inform a conscious approach, developed in each of their practices, to represent the world as they encounter it. Through divergences from social norms, the artists offer alternative views and actively reframe the possible.

Visit the exhibition

We spoke to guest curator, Narinda Cook, artists Jonathan Homsey, Roberta Joy Rich and Alison Bennett on the curatorial process, their inspiration and what they hope viewers see in their works.

Guest curator — Narinda Cook

What was the inspiration behind this exhibition?

I put queer, diverse and feminist art practices to the forefront of my curatorial practice, and this seemed more than appropriate for the exhibition in Maroondah. I grew up in the Eastern suburbs and spent a lot of time in Maroondah; my family all live in the surrounding areas.

I grew up being very aware of my own differences, experiencing misogyny, biphobia and was witness to the racism and homophobia my friends and family experienced. So, for me it was really important to bring diverse voices in this context.

What work was involved in putting the exhibition together?

Initiated during lockdown last August/September, the curatorial team began discussions around video and projection-based artworks for COVID-friendly, hands-off exhibitions, which could be easily translated to an online digital exhibition.

After approaching the artists, the show grew from each artist's ability to contribute, their own needs and giving space to each to add their voice and contributions.

The curatorial team and I then spent time researching and listening to Diimpa’s compositions.

We were really drawn to their soundscapes and there were immediate links between Alison’s contemplative digital video works and Diimpa’s ambient sounds, both artists turning to nature as inspiration for the included works.

What makes this exhibition unique?

Each artist is presenting a new work in some way that have never been exhibited before.

  • Jonathan created a new video work and performance
  • Roberta has presented a series of photos not exhibited before
  • We have scaled up a still image of Alison’s digital works to a large, seven-metre long vinyl wrap on ArtWall, which is so immense and stunning
  • Diimpa has presented a sound piece which has never been exhibited before

What is something interesting about each of the artists’ work?

  • Alison Bennett’s exploration of new media using photography focusing on nature creates otherworldly imagery.
  • Jonathan’s stunning moving image works piece is at once bright and joyful yet plays on the unease post lockdowns.
  • Roberta Joy Rich’s uses satire to explore and reframe themes of colonisation within the context of a museum.
  • Diimpa’s use of analogue instruments to create ambient sounds sets a reflective tone for the exhibition.

What can the viewer expect from the exhibition? 

Viewers can expect a contemplative and reflective series of work of new media artists with an immersive soundscape enveloping the viewer.

What should the viewer ask themselves when viewing the different artworks?

How has your own experiences affected how you move through the world, project yourself outwardly and project your vision for future self?

Jonathan Homsey

Jonathan Homsey.png

Jonathan Homsey - Dodgeping

 Jonathan Homsey’s video work, Dodgeping, explores the emotional turbulence felt by many during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be?


What do you want viewers to understand about your work?

I want viewers to understand that their perception creates their reality. In the work Dodgeping, the viewer can see the stern external monologue on the right and the fearful internal monologue in the centre.

What questions do you hope the viewer asks themselves in response to your work?

The viewer may ask themselves how they relate to these two performances in the film and wonder how they articulate their own internal monologues throughout the pandemic and if they have been transparent with their feelings.

Alison Bennett

Alison Bennett.jpg

Alison Bennett - vegetal/digital

 Alison Bennett’s work, vegetal/digital, are slowly rotating 3D rendered point-cloud models of floral forms.

If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be?


What do you want viewers to understand about your work?

I want viewers to perceive plants as cosmic.

What questions do you hope the viewer asks themselves in response to your work?

I want viewers to perceive plants as allied living beings.

Robert Joy

Roberta Joy Rich.png

Roberta Joy Rich - Specimen 1278086

Roberta Joy Rich’s work, Specimen 1278086, uses constructions of ‘race’ and gender identity, embedded with satire and humour, to explore the notion of ‘authenticity’.

If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be?

A Reprise / Reprisal.

How do you feel your gender identity / neurodiversity influences your artwork?

My experiences as a Brown and Black diaspora woman, family story and colonial histories inform a lot of my work that explore an experience of 'being' in contemporary society.

My identity and personality is woven into my work, at times in a very serious manner, but also a combination of satire, respite and reclamation.

What do you want viewers to understand about your work?

It's dark humour.

What questions do you hope the viewer asks themselves in response to your work?

 Why have Brown and Black women historically faced scrutiny in colonial societies?

Conscious Projections is open daily, 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday at ArtSpace at Realm, Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, till Sunday, 22 May.

Visit the event page for more information.


Celebrating IDAHOBIT Day

Every 17 May, Council celebrates IDAHOBIT Day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biophobia, Interphobia and Transphobia), which recognises LGBTQIA+ people around the world and acknowledges the work that still needs to be done to ensure true inclusion and acceptance within the community.

As a public celebration of IDAHOBIT Day, on Monday 16 May from 6pm to 7.30pm we are encouraging the community to join artists Jonathan Homsey and Roberta Joy Rich at ArtSpace at Realm in conversation about their works in the exhibition, and their wider artistic practices through frameworks of Black Feminism and Queer People of Colour. The artists will be introduced by exhibition Curator Narinda Cook, followed by a live performance of ‘Dodgeping’ by Jonathan, a conversation between the artists and an audience Q&A.

More about the event.

Conscious Projections: Artist talk with Alison Bennett

3pm, Saturday 21 May | ArtSpace at Realm

Please join us for an artist talk with Alison Bennett as they unpack the processes and thinking behind their practice and recent series of work vegetal/digital as part of our current exhibition Conscious Projections at ArtSpace in Realm. Exhibition Curator Narinda Cook will provide an introduction and the talk will be followed up by a Q&A with the audience.

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