Opening: ‘Movement and Emotion’ and ‘Jodie Noble Solo’ exhibitions at Arts Project Australia, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 20th October – 26th November 2011

Curator of Movement and Emotion: Paul Hodges

Artists: Steven Ajzenberg, Patrick Francis, Brigid Hanrahan, Paul Hodges, Chris Mason, Cameron Noble, Jodie Noble, Lisa Reid, Anthony Romagnano and Cathy Staughton



Catherine Staughton. 'Juggle Ball Hand Jump Roller' 2011


Catherine Staughton (Australian, b. 1968)
Juggle Ball Hand Jump Roller
Gouache and felt pen on paper
38 x 56cm



Opening night speech by Dr Marcus Bunyan

Thank you for your welcome to Arts Project Australia on this auspicious occasion, the first ever exhibition to be curated by an Arts Project artist, Paul Hodges. Together with the Jodie Noble solo exhibition in the front gallery I am sure you will agree that the gallery is full of vibrant work. There are some things that may be said about both bodies of work.

I asked Paul what had been the inspiration behind Movement and Emotion. He said that he often goes to the National Gallery of Victoria and looks at the pictures and imagines the artist painting. He wonders how they were feeling and he visualises the pictures coming to life, especially pictures of dancers in which he has a personal interest. He came back to Arts Project and started thinking about the work in the collection and after much thought made the selection you see here tonight. He used his imagination, his feelings and his understanding of the world to curate the exhibition.

Let’s consider the title Movement and Emotion.

Emotion can be defined as an agitation, a strong feeling, a departure from the normal calm state of an organism. The logos of emotion begins in the experience of ‘being moved’ in some manner. Any emotion holds within its structure some potential for movement, whether it be physical or mental. You can be physically still yet be mentally moved, causing you to have emotion. Some emotions occur over a period of seconds (for example, surprise), whereas others can last years (for example, love). In the word ’emotion’ is the very act of movement, namely motion. Hence e/motion is the root of this wonderful feeling that I get from these artworks. Emotion is movement. Emotion is feeling. Emotion is passion.1

And it is this very act that sustains the work in both exhibitions. The work is personal. It speaks from the heart. It is intimate, transcendent and enigmatic. It moves me like little contemporary art ever does. When I first saw the artwork in the space at the back of the gallery, when they were revealed to me I gasped at their simple, eloquent beauty. Whimsical and playful these works possess an element of the carnivalesque,2 a riot of colour and form that exist on the border of art and life. Mingling depictions of high culture and personal narrative the works have no pretence but a visceral immediacy: a direct connection from the artists imagination of the world, through the eyes to the hand and the paper to depict what is in the world. As Susan Sontag observes, “A work of art is a thing in the world, not just a text or commentary on the world…”3

Some of you may be familiar with the American photographer Walker Evans – his famous US Depression era pictures are a thing in the world, as well as text/commentary on the world. He refers to this working method as ‘transcendent documentary’4: a watchful intelligence that recognises a moment of seeing, a movement of emotion – and then describes it. Yes, a quest for ‘the thing itself’ but more than that, the imagination to describe the substance of our existence, the nature of reality. Objects, people and places are transformed from things seen to things that we known. Intimately. Inherently.

In their unique vision it is the artists relation to self, the nature of what they see and feel around them that creates e/motion. They transcend form while ordering it at the same time. It is both the immediate world, simply described, perceived as it stands with the whole of consciousness coupled with the imagination as always there, between our eyes and the world, for it is the imagination that defines our humanity, declares our consciousness. They imagine, they perceive the simple radiance of what is.

That is what these artists do.


What is.

In Movement and Emotion, and in the portraits of Jodie Noble we see what is and imagine what should be. The photographer Elliott Erwitt in his book Personal Exposures (1988) said, “The work I care about is terribly simple … I observe, I try to entertain, but above all I want pictures that are emotion.”5

Those pictures are here, e/motioning, all around us. I enjoy these pictures tremendously. Congratulations to all the artists for the experience that you have given us.

Dr Marcus Bunyan



  1. See Robbins, Brent Dean. Emotion, Movement & Psychological Space: A Sketching Out of the Emotions in terms of Temporality, Spatiality, Embodiment, Being-with, and Language. Duquesne University, 1999 [Online] Cited 08/10/2011
  2. Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World (trans. Helene Iswolsky). Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968, p. 7
  3. Sontag, Susan. “On Style,” in Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Delta Book, 1966, pp. 21-22
  4. Anon. “”A Revolutionary Project” Brings Cuba to the Getty Museum,” on Cuban Art News [Online] 05/10/2011 Cited 08/10/2011. No longer available online
  5. Erwitt, Elliott. Personal Exposures. W. W. Norton & Company, 1988 quoted on Anon. “Photographer Elliott Erwitt’s Archive to be Housed at Harry Ransom Center,” on Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas website [Online] 22/09/2011. Cited 08/10/2011. No longer available online



Cameron Noble. 'Not titled (Blue Lady)' 2011


Cameron Noble
Not titled (Blue Lady)
Dry pastel on paper
57 x 37.5cm


Jodie Noble. 'Not titled (red dog)' 2006


Jodie Noble
Not titled (red dog)
Pastel on paper
76 x 57cm


Paul Hodges. 'Not titled (Pink Dancer)' 2010


Paul Hodges (Australian, b. 1974)
Not titled (Pink Dancer)
Ink on paper
50 x 35cm


Steven Ajzenberg. 'Harlequin' 2010


Steven Ajzenberg (Australian, b. 1964)
Gouache on paper
55.5 x 38cm


Jodie Noble. 'Geisha Girl' 2011


Jodie Noble
Geisha Girl
Dry pastel on paper
35 x 25cm


Jodie Noble. 'Not titled (girl wearing pink dress)' 2010


Jodie Noble
Not titled (girl wearing pink dress)
Prisma colour pencil on paper
50 x 35cm



Movement and Emotion

This exhibition will explore movement in paintings and the emotions of people in everyday life. These works are vibrant, expressive and each work is unique; they jump out at you. Key themes investigated include carnival, dance and portraits. This is the first exhibition Paul Hodges has curated.

“This is a wonderful show presenting movement and emotion in art by ten artists that I have collected from Arts Project Australia’s studio.”
Paul Hodges, 2011

“When I walk past Jodie Noble’s paintings I can almost feel what she is feeling … Jodie is telling us what she is feeling through her paintings.”
Paul Hodges 2010


Jodie Noble Solo

Jodie Noble’s current work is figurative and often incorporates an autobiographical narrative. While occasionally painting from life, her work also references popular culture. In particular, Noble is inspired by contemporary famous figures, from Frida Kahlo and Francisco Goya to Queen Elizabeth II. Noble’s work is descriptive, expressive and infused with a sense of physicality.

In this exhibition, Noble has selected a series of portraits on paper that are autobiographical and of people she knows in her life. This is Jodie’s second solo exhibition.


Brigid Hanrahan. 'Not titled (Ballet Dancers)' 2009


Brigid Hanrahan
Not titled (Ballet Dancers)
Colour pencil and fineliner on paper
20 x 30cm


Anthony Romagnano. 'Madonna' 2010


Anthony Romagnano (Australian, b. 1985)
Prisma colour pencil on paper
50 x 35cm


Jodie Noble. 'Not titled' 2010


Jodie Noble
Not titled
Ink and fine-liner on paper
38 x 28.5cm


Lisa Reid. 'Great Aunt Edna' 2003


Lisa Reid (Australian, b. 1975)
Great Aunt Edna
Gouache on paper
55 x 37.5cm


Lisa Reid. 'Not titled (Adam Baddeley)' 2001


Lisa Reid (Australian, b. 1975)
Not titled (Adam Baddeley)
Pastel and pencil on paper
50 x 33cm


Cameron Noble. 'Not titled' 2011


Cameron Noble
Not titled
Dry pastel on paper
38.5 x 32.5cm


Patrick Francis. 'Not titled' 2011


Patrick Francis (Australian, b. 1991)
Not titled
Acrylic on paper
70 x 50cm



Arts Project Australia
24 High Street
Northcote Victoria 3070
Phone: + 61 3 9482 4484

Gallery location:
Level 1 Perry Street Building,
Collingwood Yards
Enter via 35 Johnson Street
or 30 Perry Street, Collingwood

Opening hours:
Wed – Fri 11am – 5pm
Sat & Sun 12 – 4pm

Arts Project Australia website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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