Newcastle Art Gallery presents an exhibition of video artist Bill Viola

14 Sep 2015

Newcastle Art Gallery presents the John Kaldor Family Collection Artist Room #2 - Bill Viola, an Art Gallery of NSW exhibition, from 15 August to 1 November 2015.
Bill Viola is renowned as a pioneer of video art. Viola’s extensive career has spanned five decades, during which time his work has consistently explored a number of themes including sensory perception, the mediating effects of technology and fundamental aspects of the human experience.
This display from the Art Gallery of NSW, which includes the John Kaldor Family Collection, features significant video works by Viola. It is among a series of touring 'artist rooms’ drawing on the Kaldor collection, which represents a number of great international artists in depth. Each show brings together a wealth of work over a number of years by an individual artist of note.
Viola participated in a Kaldor Public Art Project in 2008, which included works at the Art Gallery of NSW as well as St Saviour’s Church in Redfern.
A pioneer in video as art, Viola is a leading figure in the generation of artists whose artistic expression depends upon electronic, sound and image technology in New Media. He has commented that, after years of working with the medium, he experiences time as a ‘palpable substance’. His video works and audio-visual installations explore fundamental aspects of the human experience. Often taking up themes from art history and religion, they have an exalted atmosphere, with images that, Viola has said, concern ‘birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness’.
In the 1970s, Viola was active in experimenting with new technologies and throughout his career has progressively pioneered the use of video in the realm of art. He was an early adaptor of the portable colour video camera and among the first artists to engage with computer editing techniques. Later, Viola utilised low-light and infrared video cameras as well as medical imaging and videodisc technologies before progressing, in his more recent work, to the use of 35mm high-speed film and high-definition video.
Viola’s early works focused on the technical properties of video as a medium before evolving in the 1980s to more directly address the body of the spectator. Since the 1990s, his work has explored the universal themes of birth and death, time, consciousness, human emotion and spiritual and ritual expression. Viola’s later works are characterised by a heightened sense of drama and meticulously contrived allegorical imagery.

Public Programs 

The Gallery will also be offering the following public programs in association with the exhibition:


Featuring internationally renowned jazz musician Alister Spence with the Alister Spence Trio.
Alister Spence: piano. Lloyd Swanton bass and Toby Hall: drums / glockenspiel

Saturday 12 September. 6.30-8.30pm
$50 per person, includes refreshments.
Bookings and payment required 


Local artists, art educators and tertiary students are invited to join their colleagues for an after-hours viewing of the exhibitions.
Monday 14 September, from 5.30pm
Free event, includes refreshments.
Bookings required.


Led by Dr Shane Pascoe
Dr Shane Pascoe examines human emotion and how we shape and influence the factors for good health in our society. Shane will talk about his new book and provide practical advice on how to manage mood, improve outlook, and beat stress and anxiety.
Saturday 3 October, 2-3pm