ACU puts emerging artists in the frame

ACU is showcasing the country’s most exciting emerging artists, with two blockbuster exhibitions opening at the Strathfield and Melbourne Galleries this winter.

ACU’s Melbourne Gallery, in the heart of Fitzroy, is hosting an exhibition by Arts Project Australia (APA) to mark its 50th anniversary. 

'Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name' celebrates the longstanding relationship between APA and ACU’s Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design program.

Professor Catherine Bell said the group exhibition was a collaboration designed to showcase APA’s next generation of artists working in two-dimensional mediums such as collage, pastel and paint.

“Our galleries at ACU offer a professional space that is rent-free and we provide technical support to hang the exhibition,” she said.

“For artists that are new to exhibiting this is an incredible opportunity to present their artworks to new audiences.

“Titled after a Rolling Stones song lyric, this show captures the thrill of presenting one’s art to new audiences.

“It invites viewers to connect with emerging talent and follow their promising careers over the next 50 years.”

The Local is an annual group exhibition at the McGlade Gallery in Strathfield which turns the spotlight on local talent.

This year’s show features printmaker and ACU academic Jacqui Driver, acclaimed local artist Nelson Nghe and dozens of ACU’s current visual arts students.


McGlade Gallery Director and exhibition curator Tracey Clement said The Local was designed to demystify the art world.

“The Local is all about making art accessible, and part of this is making a career in the arts feel achievable,” she said.

“We invite all our neighbours into the gallery to see what we do, and by showcasing student artworks at the same time as works by an emerging artist and a seasoned professional everyone can see what is possible through creativity and determination.”

ACU visual arts academic Jacqui Driver is known for her large scale, highly detailed, lithographs. She will present a new body of work at The Local, titled ‘Thicket Thinking’.

“Thickets with their entangled branches have drawn me into their complexity. There is support within the structure, a comforting way of being within a nest like environment, yet they are also restrictive, holding you back, forcing a twisting pathway to get through their domain,” she said.

“I live with the challenges of rheumatoid arthritis, dealing with chronic pain and sore joints. I have recently been part of a ‘walking without pain’ study and realised I was caught up in a form of thicket thinking, returning to familiar cycles of dealing with pain and snagged by old ways of behaving when trying to find a new way to deal with how I manage my every day.”

Acclaimed Western Sydney artist Nelson Nghe is presenting a work that tackles the impact of gambling and addiction.

“These works shine a light on my lived-experience of gambling harm and addiction as a family member, in order to highlight the need for gambling reforms,” he said.

“There are interwoven layers of the refugee and migrant journeys from my parents that I unravel within my work to understand the intergenerational impacts of our Southeast Asian diaspora.”

The Local also features works by more than 20 current ACU visual arts students, from abstract works to photography, large-scale oil paintings and mixed media sculpture.

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name

15 - 29 June

ACU Melbourne Gallery, 26 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Tue - Sat, 10am - 4pm

Opening night 14 June 6pm - 8pm

The Local 2024

20 July – 31 August

McGlade Gallery, Building 603, ACU Strathfield

Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm

Opening night 8 August 5:30-7:30PM

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