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Photo: Lean Timms
Photo: Lean Timms
Past event Free event

Desiderium: spatial drawing by Hannah Quinlivan

DESIGN Canberra 2020 signature installation

The DESIGN Canberra 2020 signature installation is Hannah Quinlivan’s Desiderium.

Quinlivan’s thoughtful and complex site-specific spatial drawing installation has multiple layers. From a large-scale, suspended 3D work made of acrylic, steel, LED lights and wire, to drawing directly onto the surrounding glass, and working with acclaimed classical vocalists for a special ticketed performance. 

Desiderium is an ephemeral spatial drawing and vocal performance that educes what Ben Anderson terms ‘the affective atmosphere’ of life after periods of crisis. It responds to the red summer with which the year 2020 began, the subsequent health and economic crisis, and the fissures they have riven in our collective mood. This year has brought the realisation that the slow unravelling of our ecology has gained irreversible momentum. At the same time, the viral outbreak has compelled us to face with sober senses the fragility of our once taken for granted ways of living. After a year of grief and fear, this artwork asks its audience to take time to pause. To listen and hold close our ardent longing for the futures we once possessed but that dissolved into smoke, and to find the fortitude to care for each other through the uncertain future.

The installation will be installed at the City Walk entry to Monaro Mall, drawing the viewers’ attention to the iconic building’s elegant arched canopies, slim pillars and the Frank Hinder glass mosaic (1963).

About Hannah Quinlivan

“Hannah Quinlivan is a young artist who has found her own distinctive voice, one which unites the intimate and the personal with the public and universal. Her art is distinctive, intense and very memorable”. – Sasha Grishin, 2018.

Hannah Quinlivan abstract drawing practice has a number of strands, with site-specific spatial drawing becoming increasingly important to her work. In April 2019, the first line of the Canberra Light Rail was opened, featuring Quinlivan’s drawings embedded in the glazing at each of the thirteen stations. In the previous two years, she installed ephemeral site-specific spatial drawings at Jan Kossen Contemporary, New York (2018), Hong Kong Art Central (2017), Colorado State University (2017) and Canberra Museum and Art Gallery (2017). In 2016 and 2017 she mobilised spatial drawing and performance works at the National Portrait Gallery. Also in 2016 she won an ANU Scholarship to install an ephemeral, site-specific work Spatialisation at Pembroke College, Cambridge University.

In 2017, she was awarded the Canberra Critics Circle Award. She has been a finalist in many juried exhibitions, including the 2017 Churchie Art Prize, and the 2018 and 2014 Alice Prize. In 2015 she was awarded the Art at the Heart Residency by the Shire of East Pilbara. In 2017, she was artist in residence at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Urbanistiks in Berlin where she also undertook a mentorship with Monika Grzymala. Quinlivan is represented in number of collections including the National Gallery of Australia, The Australian High Commission (Singapore), ACT Legislative Assembly Art Collection, Deakin University Art Collection, among many others. She graduated dux from ANU School of Art (Honours) in 2013.