Romancing the Skull

1 Nov 2017

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Ballarat is home to the oldest regional art gallery in Australia. During the first Archibald Prize hosting that the gallery undertook years ago, my family were sitting with Julie, the curator, and she began telling us about the exhibition she was working on for 2017. Two years later with her passion remains as undimmed as pink neon, she invited us to the gallery for a dark dinner and secret viewing of the exhibition.


Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

The exhibition, ‘Romancing the Skull’, is an exploration of the human relationship with death and mortality. The content combines the work of local artists with international names and historic pieces. I was anxious that my lack of knowledge regarding the artists or the topic would hamper my ability to fully immerse myself in the story, but I was surprised to find that I was quite wrong. Death means something so very personal to everyone. So does mortality. So that personal perspective makes the pieces look unique to each new viewer.

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

We were lucky enough to have the dinner prior to our viewing of the exhibition so we could talk about the themes. As we dined on delicious food from the Gallery’s cafe (which was excellent) we all talked. Each person at the table had been touched in some way by that mortality. We discussed the way in which we treat and celebrate the dead. My sister gave a beautiful example of her doing the make-up for family members after their death. We also discussed the feelings around cemeteries. For us, those places are places of monumental love. At a couple of points each year, our family usually visits the graves of our loved ones, cleans them and decorates them, notes the passing of time and the love that has not diminished. These are just some of the complex feelings and themes captures in the exhibition.

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

So I could tell you what the exhibition was to me. It was dark, it was joyous, and it was challenging. It sparked very relevant, very powerful conversations. It was, above all, romantic. It was a passionate love affair with my own fate, with artistic excellence, with reality, with life, with humanity. It was a connection to everyone I’ve ever lost. But that’s just what it was to me. To you, what would it be?

Take a look behind the scenes with me at our dark a deathly dinner party.

Check out the exhibition yourself here or read my sister's guide to the exhibition here. It runs from now until January 28, 2018.


Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat


Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

Liana of @findingfemme at the Romancing the Skull exhibition in Ballarat

- L
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