Hilarie Mais

ANU Drill Hall exhibition (Canberra)

This exhibition of 20 works by Hilarie Mais presents a recent decade of practice. It is an exhibition by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney) showing at the Drill Hall in Canberra till 29th July 2018.

I walked into this exhibition not quite knowing what to expect. I was aware of Hilarie Mais’ art – but my experience of her work was limited.

A lot of minimal visual arts does not do a lot for me. That does not stop me from getting along to exhibitions of such work – you never know what you might see and experience.

Occasionally there are exceptions to the usual when I am taken aback. This is one of those exhibitions. there are complex things going on within this exhibition.

I had trouble leaving this exhibition as it is so beautiful.

I suspect that if I were to see these works as single works in the context of group exhibitions or a biennial, that I would not appreciate them as much as is possible within this fabulous survey exhibition of her 20 works.

The works really need to be seen alongside each other as they talk to each other and create a a very peaceful and magical aura that engages.

The enjoyment was multi-levelled. I am not absolutely sure just why – and so I will need to revisit and think about it again – or simply not think too much and just enjoy the experience of being in these rooms with these beautiful things.

I have a request of the Drill Hall. Do away with those silly chairs in the middle of the main  room and install some benches for people to sit and spend time comfortably with this exhibition.

When this exhibition was shown in Sydney – there were several reviews – here’s a couple of them:

One by John MacDonald – click here.

Another by Gina Fairley – where she says: “A survey long overdue. Sitting between sculpture and painting, Mais’ constructions appeal to minimalists and mathematicians alike with their very personal – and organic – approach to abstraction.” click here.

The gallery web site – click here.

Her listing with Kronenberg Wright Artists Projects – click here.

Below are my photographs of the installation in Canberra.

But – while the photos provide a glimpse of the exhibition – I cannot stress enough just how different it is to be there and spend time with the whole exhibition.

Totally recommended.

And a big thanks not only to Hilarie, but also to the Drill Hall for bringing this to Canberra.

But please – a bench or two please to enhance the visitor’s experience – and get rid of those silly chairs.















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