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Newell Harry – Esperanto


Publisher: Formist

156 Pages

Newell Harry is an Australian-born artist of South African and Mauritian descent. Over the past decade Harry’s projects have drawn from an intimate web of recurring travels and connections across Oceania and the wider Asia-Pacific, to South Africa’s Western Cape Province where his extended family continue to reside. From Pidgin and Creole languages to modes of exchange in the ‘gift economies’ of the South Pacific, Harry’s work often references the cultural agitation brought about by colonial migration and the associated complexity of identity, nomadism, dislocation and myths.

This publication documents Harry’s largest solo project to date, Esperanto, a major exhibition at Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA). The project and the publication present newly conceived works alongside existing artworks, objects and artefacts in a network that also includes specially sourced texts, and resource and archival materials. The book also features illuminating texts by Michael Moran, Djon Mundine, Jasmin Stephens and an extended interview between James Gatt and Newell Harry.

Esperanto references a constructed language developed in the late 1800s, which was intended as a means of universal communication, aiding understanding and harmony beyond borders. The term translates as ‘one who hopes’, as Harry hopes to invite individuals to join him in destabilising master narratives and championing the perspectives and knowledge of groups who have not had a voice in traditional Western knowledge systems. In Esperanto, Harry has constructed a space where many voices from across place and recent time can be heard. Knowledge is received not as a set of immutable facts, but as a shifting work, approaching radical poetry.

This publication features the new photographic commission (Untitled) The Point as well as significant works from public and private collections and the artist’s personal archive.

18.5 x 24cm, paperback, Formist (Sydney) x Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA).


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The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.