Lismore Regional Gallery presents exhibition by Karla Dickens. Drawn from recent work created for the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, A Dickensian Sideshow takes as its starting point the Lismore-born and world-famous First Nations tightrope walker Con Colleano, known as ‘The Wizard of the Wire’. Colleano performed to great acclaim on the European and American vaudeville circuits with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, becoming one of the most highly paid circus performers of his time.
Working in her trademark method of collecting found objects, Dickens has amassed what she classifies as “the memories, whispers and materials” from which these works have been constructed. The result is the creation of a multifaceted memorial for bygone sideshow, circus and boxing-tent performers of Indigenous descent to unearth underlying narratives of tender and melancholy co-existence among performers and harrowing interactions with audiences.
This exhibition will be touring to Orange Regional Gallery in mid-2021.
Exhibition opens: 21 November 2020
Exhibition closes: 21 February 2021