Slide Panel


  • Media

  • REVIEW – Nicolas Rothwell, The Australian
  • 08 · 07 · 2013

    “Exceptional journey into realms of otherness.”
    Click here for more.

  • Media Release – RENEGADES: Outsider Art
  • 21 · 04 · 2013

    RENEGADES: Outsider Art
    Exhibition destined to challenge and excite
    24 May – 27 July 2013

    KickArts Contemporary Arts in the tropical northern city of Cairns will present Renegades, an exuberant exhibition of Outsider Art*, between 24 May and 27 July 2013.

    According to KickArts Director, Ingrid Hoffmann, Outsider Art is an emerging genre in Australia that describes art forms derived from improbable or marginal places and arising from raw impulse and honest urges of the heart.

    “Featuring a kaleidoscope of images and artists’ stories, the work in Renegades comes from makers with intellectual disabilities, others in community care centres, psychiatric settings, outer geographical reaches and simply, the free spirits. It is exciting and challenging. We show how ‘unlikely’ makers, mostly lacking academic instruction, can be remarkably creative without connections to commercial or public art galleries, marketing, critics or art schools,” she said.

    The Franco-Australian curator of Renegades Camille Masson-Talansier says the while many of the featured artists are ‘unknown’ there are some who have gained considerable renown for their works that are exhibited, bought and collected nationally.

    “It is also important to add that collectors and admirers of this genre have discovered the same studios from which the majority of works in this exhibition have been sourced. These include Arts Project Australia in Melbourne, Insideout Studio at Macquarie Hospital in Sydney, Bindi Art in Alice Springs, Ngaruwanajirri Artists on Bathurst Island, Concord Mental Health Unit in Sydney and the geographical outsiders of Erub Erwer Meta in the eastern waters of the remote Torres Strait.”

    In forming the exhibition, Ms Masson-Talansier said the generosity of artists, studios, collectors and outsider art specialists stirred her deeply. “All the works selected emit raw and real energy, or freedom of spirit. In particular I would like to recognise artist Bernard Vartuli** – for providing the inspiration that nurtured and helped realise my vision for Renegades. His philosophy remains at the heart of our quest; ‘Knowledge and understanding have no limit to their depth, making their pursuit an eternal adventure’.”

    Official Opening and Forum

    Members of Cairns and Far North Queensland’s community are welcome to attend the opening of Renegades: Outsider Art on Friday 24 May at 6pm. A forum focusing on the genre of Outsider Art will take place the following day kicking off with a specially devised dance performance by the D’Artz troupe of ARC Disability Services at 10am. Both events are free and are held at the Centre of Contemporary Arts, 96 Abbott Street, Cairns.

    About Outsider Art*

    The term ‘Outsider Art’ was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for ‘Art Brut’ (raw art or rough art), a label created by French artist Jean Debuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture. Drawing from this, KickArts Contemporary Arts have styled the descriptor ‘Outsider Art’ as a dynamic label.

    About Bernard Vartuli**

    Bernard Vartuli is a Sydney based abstract artist whose talent for visual art arose from adversity. Vartuli was an ambitious aircraft mechanic when an auto-immune disease and subsequent breakdown in mid-2010 meant he needed hospitalisation. With paints and brushes to hand in the hospital’s activity room, Bernard discovered the healing, restorative qualities of visual art that helped him deal with his depression, mood swings and risk of self-harm. Since then Vartuli has found a market for his work, acrylic on canvas, which has turned a natural affinity into a way of life.

    About KickArts

    KickArts Contemporary Arts is the leading contemporary visual arts organisation in regional Queensland and one of the most innovative in the state. Based in Cairns, with a demographic reach encompassing Far North Queensland and extending into the remote and regional communities of Cape York and Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait), KickArts is dedicated to facilitating and promoting contemporary arts and enriching the cultural lives of northern Australians and the 1.5 million annual visitors to Cairns. KickArts’ activities have become a recognized standard and a link for the local and transitory tourist communities to experience the vital and unique contemporary visual culture of northern Australia.


    Ingrid Hoffmann | Director | 07 4050 9494|