Ace Bourke: A Collector's Journey
11 Aug 2012 - 23 Sep 2012
Included Aboriginal art, Indian tribal art, traditional and contemporary Pacific works, photographs and more from curator Ace Bourke’s collection.
Many of of us collect and accumulate a variety of material throughout our lives like family photographs, hobbies from childhood, books, art and craft objects, travel souvenirs, and items that reflect our interests and passions.
Ace Bourke is an art curator who has specialised in Aboriginal art for many years, and more recently has staged several seminal museum exhibitions combining contemporary and colonial art, such as Lines in the Sand: Botany Bay stories from 1770 at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre.
During his career Ace has collected many artworks from a wide variety of different artists and from his travels, although he had never considered himself a ‘collector’. A Collector’s Journey was an eclectic mixture of marvellous artworks from Australia and abroad: Aboriginal art, Indian tribal art, traditional and contemporary Pacific artworks and objects, photographs, textiles, and from friends such as Martin Sharp, Tracey Moffatt and Michael Riley.
Also included in the exhibition were photographs and memorabilia of Christian the lion who Ace and a friend bought in London in the late 1960s, and returned to Africa. Their reunion with the lion one year later has become an internet phenomenon over the last few years and has attracted millions of hits on Youtube.
Ace Bourke: A Collector's Journey makes us think about what we ourselves ‘collect’. Like Ace, while most of what is on our walls and in our lives we have chosen, perhaps ‘had to have’ or ‘couldn’t resist’, much is collected almost accidentally. This includes gifts we (mostly) like, possessions we inherit, and souvenirs from life’s journey, they all add up to a visual representation of many of the markers and stories in our lives.
Image: Michael Riley, Kristina, 1986, gelatin silver photograph. Reproduced courtesy of the Michael Riley Foundation.