Australian Celebrities. Yeomans Artist and Inventor

Australian Celebrities. Yeomans Artist and Inventor
Yareah Magazine

Australian Celebrities. A new exhibition by Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein will encompass the life and work of Australian inventor, farmer, engineer and educator PA Yeomans (1904–1984).


Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein, The Yeomans Project, field trip to Taranaki Farm, 2011. Photograph: Stuart Harrison. Image courtesy of the artists.

Australian celebrities. Throughout his career, Yeomans was motivated to find a balance between respecting the environment and developing a productive and sustainable approach to farming. His advocacy went hand in hand with his greatest innovation – an all-encompassing guide for farm design, new cultivation techniques, water conservation and irrigation, and bush management.

Although never calling himself an artist, Yeoman explored ideas like ‘environment’, ‘education’ and ‘participation’, which have since become significant discourses in contemporary art. From the 1950s, he developed and applied these ideas in the context of his various farming projects, and this legacy is revisited in this exhibition, The Yeomans Project, to open in November.

To reflect Yeomans’ own contribution and his influence on artists working today, the exhibition brings together a selection of early publication and writings, photographs and illustrations, documentary films and education videos alongside contributions by invited artists including Milkwood Permaculture, Taranaki Farm, Artist As Family, (f)route and Diego Bonetto.

Ian Milliss (born 1950, Sydney) began exhibiting in 1967 as the youngest member of Central Street Gallery group. As one of Australia’s first conceptual artists in the late 60s and early 70s, he soon developed a practice based on cultural activism outside the conventional art world. He has worked on urban issues with the Green Ban and resident action movement, worker and artists rights with the trade union movement, sustainable farming, heritage and conservation and climate change.

Lucas Ihlein is an artist who often works collaboratively with groups such as Big Fag Press, SquatSpace, Teaching and Learning Cinema and NUCA. His work takes the form of performances, cinema events, lithographic prints, writing, public lectures and blogs. In recent years Lucas has been working on a series of ‘blogging as art’ projects. In 2009 he completed a practice-based PhD thesis entitled Framing everyday experience: blogging as art.

AGNSW Contemporary Projects are supported by Andrew Cameron.

On view: 28 Nov 2013 – 27 Jan 2014.

Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney.

Admission Free.

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