Exhibitions

The UTS Library exhibition program showcases the scholarly output of UTS students, staff and creatives working against an academic backdrop. The Library curates exhibitions across a range of disciplines, facilitating cross-disciplinary encounters, with an emphasis on research outcomes, creative production and our collection. Contact the Library for exhibition and curation enquiries.

50 Years of Vertigo

History
31st July, 2023 - 31st December, 2023
UTS Central, level 7

In celebration of Vertigo Magazine’s 50th Anniversary, UTS Library and Vertigo bring to you an archival exhibition honouring half a century of fearless student journalism. 

Step into the vibrant world of Vertigo Magazine, where rebellion meets revelation, and unapologetic voices demand change. 

This exhibition explores the themes that shape Vertigo's legacy; Holding Powers to Account, where uproars shake the campus and the truth prevails; Forefront of Change, where uncomfortable truths and groundbreaking perspectives push boundaries; History Repeating Itself, where the past's echoes still resonate today; The 4th Estate!!!!, a backstage pass to the magazine's mischievous drama and cheeky critiques.  

Brace yourself for an exhibition that embodies the spirit of Vertigo, daring you to challenge the status quo, unleash your voice, and revel in the unstoppable power of student-driven journalism. 

Orchis

Special Collections Showcase
1st May, 2023 - 23rd June, 2023

This exhibition explores the lithographs by Robert David Fitzgerald from the monograph series Australian Orchids. The fourteen superbly detailed and coloured lithographs on display celebrate the creativity, technical mastery, and scientific knowledge of Australian botanical illustration in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Fitzgerld was a surveyor, engineer, and public servant, as well as a committed naturalist whose botanical work spanned the gap between amateur and professional botany and gained scientific acclaim.

Between July 1875 and October 1882, Fitzgerald released seven volumes of the Australian Orchids. Fitzgerald took twenty-four years (1875-1894) to complete this series. Together with lithographer Arthur James Stopps these volumes were published. Under Fitzgerald’s instruction, many artists hand-coloured each intricate lithograph plate using Fitzgerald's own coloured sample sheets.  

The exhibition invites you into the world of all things orchid, including botanical illustrations of the variants and interesting facts we bet you didn’t know. To celebrate UTS Drawing Circle's 10th anniversary, current members of the club will contribute contemporary artworks in response to Fitzgerald’s research in celebration of this incredible flower.

A live-drawing event will take place alongside the exhibition on Friday, 5 May, in which members and guests of UTS Drawing Circle will come together and take inspiration from the lithographs to create their own works. Giving new life and meaning to Fitzgerald's original pieces.

Four parts of the second volume of Fitzgerald’s Australian Orchids resides in UTS Library's Special Collections, the digitised copies can be viewed in full here.

THE BIBLIOMANCY FEAST

Creative
6th February, 2023 - 24th March, 2023
UTS Central, Level 7

In celebration of the launch of our 2022 Creative in Residence Katy B Plummer, the BOOKWITCH invited you to be a guest at THE BIBLIOMANCY FEAST.  

BOOK WITCH is our friendly Library ghost who wants to be helpful to all of us. She invites us to consider that the world is wild and unknowable and that it is constantly speaking to us, offering to bring us into conversations that are intimate, playful and thick with meaning. 

BOOK WITCH uses bibliomancy as her starting point. Bibliomancy is an oracular divining tradition, whereby a seeker opens a sacred text at random, and looks for answers to life’s questions. The cards in her oracle were generated from text found in books borrowed from UTS Library.  

BOOK WITCH invited you to do the same at THE BIBLIOMANCY FEAST. Located outside the Library on Level 7 where she was dressed in her finest party attire, the BOOK WITCH helped you be more open to possibilities, generate new meanings and connections and find the answers you seek. 

THE BIBLIOMANCY FEAST was a physical engagement where you had the opportunity to make your own tarot card with the BOOK WITCH. 

If you couldn't make it on to campus here is all you need to know to do some bibliomancy at home: Bibliomancy Instructions

Acknowledgements 

BOOK WITCH was conceived and created on Gadigal land by Katy B Plummer for UTS Library 2022 Creative in Residence program. 

Left Turn on Red

Creative
21st November, 2022 - 31st January, 2023
UTS Central, level 7

Coinciding with the release of the 36th UTS Writers Anthology, Left Turn on Red, this exhibit showcases selected excerpts from the publication displayed alongside artefacts which bring to life the personal narratives behind each story.

Throughout the exhibition we delve into tenderly hard truths of life’s brutality, a daughter’s generational gains and losses and the protective armour of a woman as she heads into the battle that is daily life.

Objects provided by the writers embody a literal fragment of each story, representing the intrinsic and central ideas being explored as the writers collectively expose universal human experiences.

UTS Writers' Anthology is an annual publication that showcases the best writing from emerging and established writers across UTS. The featured writers included: Lin Blythe, Verity Borthwick, Ant Carter, Pippi Cullinan, Melissa Gravitis, Hannah Ianniello, Kate Newton, Sophie Katherine Serafim and Emily Tran.

Down the rabbit hole

Creative
14th September, 2022 - 11th November, 2022
UTS Central

UTS Library and Vertigo Magazine joined forces once again.

Aligned with the theme of the volume ‘Anomaly’, the exhibition embraced the alternative and escape from conformity through exploration of reimagined realities and individual expression. 

Down the rabbit hole presented a selection of student work that explored the nonsensical situations where one might find themselves, in the pursuit of answers, solutions or knowledge. 

Each piece revealed moments of the fascinating, the surreal and absurd existentialism to be discovered when one descends deeper and deeper into a vortex of the artist’s creation. 

The little girl  

Just could not sleep  

Because her thoughts  

Were way to deep 

Her mind had gone  

Out for a stroll 

And fallen  

Down the rabbit hole. 

- Lewis Caroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

On the Fringes

Special Collections Showcase
2nd May, 2022 - 30th September, 2022
UTS Central

On the Fringes was a display of selected works from Therese Sweeney’s multimedia project of the same name, which documented the social and cultural history of local southwest Sydney communities in the 90’s and early 00’s. 

Sweeney’s collection provides intimate glimpses into day-to-day life on the outskirts of Sydney. Despite the diversely rich cultures and traditions depicted within her collection, Sweeney draws attention to the universally shared theme of belonging present in each household and community in her images. 

On the Fringes is Sweeney’s contribution and celebration of her local Green Valley community. 

“My motivation was to challenge and redress the long history of negative press and social research depicting my community of origin as bleak and desperate. I aimed to produce images that were born out of collaboration, research, respect and relationship with residents." - Therese Sweeney, photographer. 

The exhibition displayed a series of snapshots from Sweeney’s collection, transported into life-like scenes with which the audience could engage. As we moved through the exhibition space, we were granted a rare insight into the domestic life of each individual depicted in the images and grasped how they connected with the world around them.   

The space asked us to notice the places, people, and relationships that seem familiar or challenge us, to compare the past and the present, and to reflect on what connection and community looks like today.  

The exhibition also hosted work from South-west Sydney artist Tom Yousif. Building upon the concepts of connection and community explored in Sweeney’s images, Yousif partook in live art installation, creating a piece that aims to draw parallels between the modern-day suburban streetscapes of his home suburb Green Valley, to the processional way of the ancient city of Babylon. 

Collaboratively, the exhibition drew attention to the impact major world events, technological advances and drastic changes in societal behaviour have in altering our experiences of the world from decade to decade whilst some universal truths continue to stay the same: we all yearn to belong.  

Sweeney's historical snapshots of the vast community and Yousif’s artistic expression of his personal experience challenged you to reflect on what personal connection and community looks like today. 

Josef Albers' Interaction of Color

Special Collections Showcase
14th March, 2022 - 8th April, 2022
UTS Central

This exhibition presented a selection of silkscreen colour plates from the Josef Albers 1963 book Interaction of color held in the UTS Library special collections. 

In this publication, Albers explores the complexities of colour theory through 42 double-page screen prints, alongside firsthand commentary. The book is considered to be one of the most fundamental analytical texts in contemporary art education. Despite creating controversy amongst academics and artists at the time, Albers’ text is used as a handbook for artists, teachers and students to this day. 

Although much of the research for the Interaction of color was entirely his own, Albers collected and documented many of his students’ works over the course of his career. Notably the Free Studies series showcases Albers’ encouragement of his students to pursue self-expression and independent experimentation, free from the confinements of the classroom. 

The exhibition showcased the results of Albers’ studies and how each colour plate or study demonstrates the principles of colour interaction and relativity through an experimental approach. As you moved through the space each study paved the way for the experiments that follow and showcase Albers’ adventurous, spiritual and intellectual exploration of colour. 

Learn more about Josef Albers and the Interaction of color in the Library catalogue.

UTS Writers' Anthology: Bloom and 40!

Creative
2nd December, 2021 - 18th February, 2022
UTS Central

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the UTS Writers’ Anthology, this exhibition showcased the publication of two special edition books Bloom and 40! Forty years of the UTS Writers’ Anthology

For the past four decades, the Writers’ Anthology has been renowned for the publication and national distribution of reviewed journals, highlighting the works of new innovative Australian writers from the UTS Creative Writing program.  

This years’ editions Bloom and 40! are no exceptions and once again provide readers with the chance to explore the creative minds of the emerging Australian writers within our community.  

A little about the two editions of the anthology:  

  • Bloom dares to traverse fiction by collating 37 unique contributions to the Writer’s Anthology that celebrate life in the wake of tumult. This edition celebrates creative voices and continues to thrive despite the downpour of yesteryear. Honoring both mundanity and the extraordinary Bloom allows readers to reflect on their own life and grow with the anthology.  
  • 40! Forty years of the UTS Writers’ Anthology celebrates the last forty years of the UTS Writers’ Anthology, displaying short fiction, poetry, personal essay, and non-fiction from the past thirty-five issues. All writing is produced by students of the UTS Creative Writing Program and features a foreword from Miles Franklin Award winner Melissa Luchashenko and a fascinating history by Dr Delia Falconer who has been teaching the program for sixteen years. 

40th Anniversary of the UTS Writers' Anthology celebratory video featuring writers from the UTS Writers Program.

    A 40th Anniversary Celebration was hosted alongside the exhibition, celebrating 40 years of the UTS Writers’ Anthology and the launch of the 2021 edition, Bloom. 

    Attending were the students who have contributed to this annual literary event, and guests including the esteemed academics and alumni who have contributed to past editions of the anthology. 

    Select authors from the latest edition Bloom were awarded annual prizes and read extracts from their work. 

    40th Anniversary Celebration event recording, including a panel hosted by UTS alumnus and author Sam Twyford-Moore with UTS Honorary Associate – Associate Professor Debra Adelaide, and past contributors Patti MillerZahid Gamieldien and sydney khoo, whose work is collected in the anniversary edition.

    The Urban Field Naturalists' Guide to Lesser-Known Pollinators

    Design
    15th March, 2021 - 9th July, 2021
    UTS Central

    ‘The Urban Field Naturalists’ Guide to Lesser-Known Pollinators’ is an exhibition of visualisations, assemblages of design objects and digital augmentation which explore ways to tell stories about the natural world. The exhibition plays with the trope of ‘cabinets of curiosities’ to reimagine the naturalist tradition in the 21st century. 

    This exhibition is an outcome of the Urban Field Naturalist Project (UFN), a collaboration with researchers from the environmental humanities and life sciences. The UFN Project has two main aims. First, to encourage people to engage with the biodiversity around them through community storytelling. Second, to reimagine the naturalist tradition for the 21st Century. Related to this second aim, two of the design research questions posed through the exhibition are:

    1. How might we begin to reimagine the cabinet of curiosities without removing specimens from their place of origin? Is it possible to retain the wunder, minus the kammer?
    2. How might we visualise and materialise ecological information beyond scientific charts and diagrams, into objects and spaces that can be encountered, experienced, inhabited?

    A program of talks and workshops with designers, philosophers, scientists, and writers will run alongside the exhibition. More details coming soon!

    Design and curation: Andrew Burrell and Zoë Sadokierski, Spec Studio, UTS School of Design 

    Participating artists: Adam France, Cecilia Heffer, Donna Sgro, EggPicnic (Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso), Fionn McCabe, GraciaLouise, Katie Dean, Lucy Adelaide, Ross Gibson, Thom van Dooren, Timo Rissanen and Vanessa Berry.

     

    EggPicnic in conversation with Dr John Martin from zoe sadokierski 

    Donna Sgro and Cecilia Heffer: On drawing inspiration from nature for their textile design practices from zoe sadokierski 

    Selfie Rooms: Escape Reality with UTS Library

    Creative
    9th November, 2020 - 3rd March, 2021
    UTS Central

    To end the unprecedented year that was 2020, UTS Library created a moment of reprieve and distraction for our community with Selfie Rooms. Six immersive spaces, inspired by items in the Library's Special Collections, were designed and built creating a place to escape reality and take the perfect photo. 

    The following items in Special Collections date from late 1800s to early 1900s and span themes on botany, design, art and education. Although diverse in content, they are demonstrative of fine colour illustration and book plate printing from the era.