Postgraduate student Alice Stokes co-curates Crave exhibition

24 September 2012

As part of The Sydney Morning Herald's Crave International Food Festival, postgraduate student Alice Stokes has co-curated a mouthwatering exhibition that blends food, art and entertainment.

As a component of her Master of Art Curatorship degree, Alice Stokes undertook an internship at the trendy NG Gallery in Chippendale. As part of her role, Alice co-curated the GastroPorn exhibition, which opens to the public on September 25. Described as "a visual orgy of feasting and overindulgence", GastroPorn is an unashamed celebration of food. The exhibition features the work of twenty local artists, including Oliver Watts, who completed a PhD in Art History and Theory at the University of Sydney.

"The exhibition is a medley of painting, photography, sculpture and interactive work," explains Alice. "Each artist adds their own spice to the pot."

Oliver Watts
Pigeon Pie, a mixed media work by University of Sydney alumnus Oliver Watts, and Iced Vovo by Billie Justice Thomson.

NG Gallery is a regular participant in the annual Crave International Food Festival, which is sponsored by The Sydney Morning Herald and usually held in October. The GastroPorn concept was already brewing at NG before Alice began her internship, however she has embraced the curatorial process. Going above and beyond the requirements of her degree, GastroPorn has become a labour of love.

"My internship actually finished in June," Alice explains. "But I couldn't abandon the integrity and creativity of the artists."

Alice says that watching the artworks evolve has been "addictive". She is also thrilled that Anthony Bond OAM, a director at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, will be present to cut the ribbon on opening night.

"I'm eager to see a discourse between Mr. Bond and the emerging artists. Executive Directors have the influence to encourage and amplify artistic confidence."

In the five years since it opened, NG Gallery has become an integral part of the vibrant inner west art scene. Along with other Chippendale galleries including White Rabbit and MOP, NG is located a stone's throw from campus and is frequented by University of Sydney students.

NG promotes both established and up-and-coming artists and, as Alice states, The GastroPorn exhibition has "a finger in both pies."

"From the emerging to the more established artists, the works really converse in a colourful dialogue," Alice says. "There is a real sense of a vivid freshness in the meeting of all these artists."

NG is a hybrid business model, as the gallery space is combined with the Mission Restaurant Bar. Such a blending of art and food not only provides a perfect motive for GastroPorn, it also provides a perfect setting for two special 'Feast for the Senses' evenings that complement the exhibition.

Accompanied by a three-course meal and fine wines, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, Alex Herbert and radio personality Simon Marnie will talk 'The Orgasm of Gluttony' on Thursday 27th September. Food writer John Newton, leading chef Tony Bilson and comedian Mikey Robbins will share their thoughts on the 'Aesthetics of Food, Art & Pornography' on Tuesday October 9. Alice promises both events will be "a sensory experience to remember."

Nearing the end of her Master of Art Curatorship degree, Alice believes "the discussions and conversations, from the tutorials to the corridors, are invaluable."

"Critical discourse amongst students and professors is the most satisfactory component [of the degree]," she states.

Combining this with the practical skills acquired during the internship at NG Gallery, it seems that Alice really can have her cake and eat it too.

Event Details

Opening Night:Tuesday 25th September, 6pm-8pm, free

Dates:25th September - 13th October

Feast for the Senses: "The Orgasm of Gluttony"

Date: Thursday 27th September

Featuring: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM (scientist, author and, radio and TV personality) withAlex Herbert (Bird Cow Fish) andSimon Marnie (ABC radio personality)

Cost: $85

Bookings: 9318 0815

Feast for the Senses:"Aesthetics of Food, Art and Pornography"

Date: Tuesday 9th October

Featuring: John Newton (food writer and author) withTony Bilson (leading Australian chef) and Mikey Robbins (comedian, author, radio and TV personality)

Cost: $85

Bookings:9318 0815

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Contact: Kate Mayor

Phone: 02 9351 2208

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