The South Project
The South Project was a series of forums, exhibitions and residencies for Southern Hemisphere artists who focus on visual culture.
Art markets and fairs, and people who determine the history and direction of art, are dominated by the Northern Hemisphere. The South Project was set up to bring Southern Hemisphere artists together, through four annual forums and accompanying exhibitions. The project focused on visual culture - including photography, video, printmaking, collective art, design and craft – and paid particular attention to the culture and ideas of indigenous peoples. The South Project provided a platform for artists to look at common elements that influence their art but not that of Northern Hemisphere artists, such as Southern Hemisphere flora, fauna and constellations, and weather events.
At the first forum (Melbourne, 2004), artists from 16 countries came together to explore how cultural activity in the Southern Hemisphere has been affected by shared histories of struggle and displacement, and share information about current programmes and ideas for working together. The forum was complemented by the Cross Pollination exhibition of Australian and New Zealand jewellery inspired by botany.
The theme of the second forum (Wellington, 2005) was “Between Earth and Sky”, and the content included art inspired by indigenous, environmental, and social themes.
The third forum (Santiago, 2006) included two exhibitions: TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South curated by Dr Zara Stanhope and Danae Mossman, and Make the Common Precious curated by Kevin Murray.
The final forum (Johannesburg, 2007) featured the Festival of the South and craft workshops.
The forums were complemented by a residency programme designed to facilitate exchange between artists. Institutions in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, and South Africa hosted artists over the course of the project. The South Project also involved eight schools in Australia, Chile, Mauritius, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The South Project continued to hold gatherings in Melbourne and Yogyakarta until 2013. It acted as the catalyst for several other creative initiatives involving artists from the Southern Hemisphere. These include Southern Perspectives, a network of writers involved in dialogue about the south; Joyaviva, a project that explores jewellery as art across the south; and Sangam, an initiative promoting creating partnerships between artisans and designers.
Published 02 November 2023
2004 to 2013
Achao Primary School, Chile