Floor Talk: Meet the Artist and Curator

Join us for an afternoon talk with artists Joan Ross and Liam Benson along with Artspace deputy director Michelle Newton in the Just Not Australian exhibition space.

Joan Ross

Sydney artist Joan Ross grapples with Australia’s colonial legacy through her practice. In her work, which spans drawing, painting, installation, photography, sculpture, video animation, digital printing, building projection and virtual reality, European settlers and emblems of colonial society stake their claim across the Australian landscape. Ross’s emblematic use of high-vis yellow across these colonial narratives has become a broadly recognisable visual anchor for her work, recalling unnatural incursions in the landscape and as a metaphor for colonisation and its legacy.

Ross won the Sir John Sulman Prize 2017 and the Mordant Family VR Commission in 2018. In 2020, Ross produced a major site-specific work to adorn the hoarding of the new Sydney Modern Project while under construction. In 2021, her illuminated artwork Collector’s paradise was projected on the façade of the National Gallery of Australia; it critiqued the colonial view and asked people to think about museums as places that keep, acquire and classify objects.

Ross is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW and the City of Sydney. She is also represented in multiple regional galleries and museums.

Liam Benson

Liam Benson is a multidisciplinary artist living and working on Darug Country, Western Sydney. Incorporating performance, photography, video and textiles, Benson’s work discusses masculinity, homophobia, gender, race and colonial history by subverting and cross-referencing historical, political and social consciousness. His practice is informed by socially engaged collaboration with diverse communities through cultural exchange.

Benson graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has been exhibiting and performing nationally and internationally since 2003. His works are held in significant public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, the Western Sydney University Art Collection and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. Benson is represented by Artereal Gallery in Sydney.

Join us to hear Ross and Benson speak about their practice and see their respective artworks on display now as part of the Just Not Australian exhibition at the Museum of Sydney.

Just Not Australian contains strong language, images and themes that some visitors may find challenging. The content is intended to reflect the everyday, lived experiences of Australians represented in the exhibition.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that some works contain images of deceased persons.

Hoda Afshar
Past exhibition

Just Not Australian

19 Australian artists across generations deal with the origins and implications of contemporary Australian nationhood