11 May - 04 Aug

This Place Where They Dwell

Diana Baker Smith

This Place Where They Dwell is a major new commission by contemporary artist, Diana Baker Smith. Through performance, installation and film, Baker Smith considers the idea of the home and the archive interchangeably, as repositories for the traces of our lived experiences.

This Place Where They Dwell was performed and filmed in the former home of Gerald and Margo Lewers – a home that has since become a regional gallery through the Lewers Bequest in 1980. Baker Smith examines the home as if it were an artwork or cultural object in an archive, considering its former use and current function as a public gallery.  With a sensory approach to colour and light, a wholistic view of Margo Lewers’ life is created, reflecting on her movements, motivations, and existence in a home where she lived for almost three decades.

Engaging dancer Lizzie Thomson and composer Jane Sheldon as collaborators, This Place Where They Dwell is a contemplative portrait of Lewers and her home in a time before it was transformed into a public place that it is today.

This Place Where They Dwell is on exhibition in Lewers House from 11 May – 4 August 2024

Artist: Diana Baker Smith
Choreographer and Performer: Lizzie Thomson
Cinematographer: Nisa East
Composer: Jane Sheldon
Costume Designer: Leah Giblin
Video Editor: Kate Blackmore
Sound Mix: Bob Scott
Colourist: Justin Tran
Edit Assistant: Eloise Martin-Jones
Production Assistant: Amy Prcevich

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Diana Baker Smith is an artist who works at the intersection of performance and moving image. Her artistic practice examines the politics of art history through methods of archival research, collaboration, embodiment, and fiction. She lives on Gadigal land in Sydney and is a Lecturer in the School of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales.

Baker Smith’s recent solo exhibitions include Falling Towards Another (A Score for the Void) at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2024), She Speaks in Sculpture at UTS Art Gallery (2022), The Lost Hour at Contemporary Art Tasmania (2022), and Tasks yet to be composed for the occasion at Artspace (2021). She is a founding member of the art collective Barbara Cleveland, whose works are held in collections including Artbank, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, Monash University Museum of Art and Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art. Baker Smith’s solo and collaborative works have been presented as part of major group exhibitions including Circles of Dialogue, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo (2023); Know My Name: Australian Women Artists at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2021); Australia: Antipodean Stories at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2020); the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds (2018); and the 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed (2016).

This project has been commissioned by Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest, and has been assisted by UNSW Art & Design and the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

11 May – 4 August 2024

In Conversation: Diana Baker Smith

This Place Where They Dwell Play

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