Storygraph - an exhibition in Darwin of the Northern Territory's comic art
Exhibition opening 3rd May 6pm
Exhibition ends 1st of June
If you're lucky enough to be up in Parap, Darwin, then head down to the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art to see an exhibition with three artists: Beth Sometimes (a multimedia artist Alice Springs), Jonathon Saunders (an animator from Darwin) and myself. Here is Hamish McDonald's curatorial rationale
StoryGraph brings together three Territory artists working in the area of graphic storytelling. You can call them zines, comic books, graphic novels, and in the film world, animations, cartoons, or any number of terms, but in all instances artists are using visual means to convey a narrative as much as they are using words - whether their own, or those of other writers.
These forms are enjoying an explosion of popularity at the moment, from Japanese anime through to Hollywood adaptations of Marvel comics, and Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ series. But while these might be the titles that leap to mind in the mainstream consciousness, graphic storytelling is happening everywhere and on every level, and its moving way beyond the aesthetics of the comic book.
In 2013 Joshua Santospirito illustrated Craig San Roque’s story, ‘The Long Weekend in Alice Springs’, which drew on the author’s experience of working as a psychologist in Alice Springs. Taking us on a journey from Alice Springs to ancient Sumeria, and exploring the Jungian notion of the ‘cultural complex’, this extraordinary work delves into the lives of a cohort of Indigenous characters as they gather in Alice for a weekend of footy and family. Santospirito’s black and white illustrations can be haunting, exquisite, and confronting, but at all times they are visually engaging and propel the narrative forward with powerful force.
Darwin artist Jonathan Saunders has created his own Indigenous superhero, Zero-Point. In a post-human world, a superhero from Darwin emerges to fight government conspiracy and masked foe who proclaims himself to be the king of Australia. Supported by Screen Australia and Screen Territory, and drawing on a team of talented locals, Saunders has created four episodes of his superhero’s story as a web TV series.
Born in New Zealand/Aotearoa, but now based in Alice Springs/Mparntwe, Beth Sometimes is an artist working across many media and practices. Her zine,’The Tender Unravelling’, is a refreshingly non-linear and poignant meditation on a series of incidents and interactions in Alice Springs over a few days.