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Walk with the animals, talk with the animals and paint with the animals...twenty well-known Australian artists were set loose in Sydney's iconic Taronga Zoo to get in touch with their wild side and to celebrate the wonder of the animal world.
This is the third Artists in Residence program hosted by Taronga Zoo and the project continues to evolve in ways that surprise and delight the many visitors and staff at the zoo. In large part it is due to the wonderful generousity of the participating artists and the fascination of zoo visitors with how artists work. The many different and innovative approaches taken by the artists towards their subjects are a tribute to the diversity of Taronga itself.
Taronga Zoo is also part of a long artistic tradition as it is located on the shores of Sirius Cove, adjacent to the artists' camp made famous by Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton through their lasting images of Curlew Cove and Sydney Harbour.
For most artists the act of creating and making work is individual and becomes innate over years of practice. One of the great benefits of the Residency program is that the public and zoo staff have the opportunity to observe these strange artistic creatures roaming free, plying their trade. The artists in turn go behind the scenes and view different animals at close quarters, meet the Keepers and share their love of and experiences with the animals.
The University Gallery is delighted to be able to present another exciting exhibition for Zoo AiR 2011 in conjunction with the Taronga Foundation. Now in its eleventh year, the Taronga Foundation has been committed to preserving and conserving endangered species both through zoo-based programs and in the animals' native habitats.
The work generated through the Artist in Residence program this year will be on exhibition at the University Gallery from 20 July until 13 August. Donated works will then be exhibited at the Byron Kennedy Hall in Sydney's Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park from Friday 19 August until Sunday 21 August. The auction, by Bonhams Australia, will be held on the afternoon of Sunday 21 August with all proceeds supporting the Taronga Foundation's conservation projects.
Please join us for the exhibition launch, where our special guests will be the artists and some of the zoo's most sociable animals who will make the journey to Newcastle to interact with guests and enjoy some unique and beautiful art.