– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec


Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul


Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

– Learning Events

Special Event

ARTBAR June 2017

30 Jun, 7.00pm, MCA


NAIDOC Week 2017

05 Jul, 5.30pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre


Master Class For Teachers

09 Jul, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

5 Years of ARTBAR

Roaming carrots, Hummer limos, tea ceremonies and bikes in the galleries. Five years proof that anything can happen at #MCAARTBAR more

MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

From the archives: Unconventional Materials

From the Archives is our blog series unearthing gems from the MCA’s archives, written by resident archivist Stephanie Ferrara more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Spirit + Place: Art in Australia 1861-1996

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


22 Nov 1996 to 31 Mar 1997


Marina Abramovic, Micky Allan, Declan Apuatimi, Robyn Backen, Ralph Balson, Clarice Beckett, Joseph Beuys, Dorrit Black, Charles Blackman, Brian Blanchflower, Peter Booth, Marion Borgelt, Arthur Boyd, Mark Boyle, Harold Cazneaux, Christo, Robert Ambrose Cole, Grace Cossington Smith, Olive Cotton, Peter Cripps, Grace Crowley, Christopher Dean, Roy de Maistre, Enreald Djulbiyanna, Micky Dorrng, David Downs Jarinyanu, Ian Fairweather, Fiona Foley, Rosalie Gascoigne, Hector Gilliland, Walter Burley Griffin, Marion Mahony Griffin, Joan Grounds, Melinda Harper, Weaver Hawkins, Joy Hester, Frank Hinder, Margel Hinder, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Georgiana Houghton, Tim Johnson, Narelle Jubelin, Roger Kemp, Anselm Keifer, Leah King-Smith, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Manila Kutwit, Wolfgang Laib, Nikolaus Lang, Janet Laurence, Lindy Lee, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Richard Long, Queenie McKenzie Gara-garag, Godfrey Miller, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Albert Namatjira, Michael Nelson Tjakamarra, Bobby Nganjmirra, John Nixon, Sidney Nolan, Susan Norrie, Charlie Numbulmore, Bronwyn Oliver, Robert Owen, Mike Parr, Rusty Peters, Axel Poignant, John Power, Margaret Preston, Lloyd Rees, Oliffe Richmond, Michael Riley, William Robinson, Stelarc, Linda Syddick Napaltjarri, Howard Taylor, Rover Thomas, Imants Tillers, Maxie Tjampitjinpa, Uta Uta Tjangala, Turkey Tolson Tjuperrula, Tony Tuckson, Ken Unsworth, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn, Christian Waller, Judy Watson, Fred Williams, John Wolseley, John Young

Guest Curators:

Nick Waterlow OAM & Ross Mellick

about the exhibition

Spirit & Place was a major exhibition of Australian and international artists who shared a connection with Australia as a place of profound and ancient spiritual wealth, and of vast, sometimes daunting landscape. Including both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal works, the exhibition explored the spiritual connections to land that is so evident in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artistic practice, as well as the European immigrant experience of the landscape and the spiritual.

In Western society, art in the 19th century moved away from figurative and symbolic representations of the spiritual or objective world towards an abstract expression. Art expressed and explored the same spiritual ideas through pure forms and condensed elements, using colour and line to provoke an emotional response in the viewer that was previously attained by figurative subject matter or a visual narrative.

This exhibition aimed to bring together these Western ideas of the visual expression of the spiritual with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Works were selected with four broad categories in mind: Celebrating the Land; Human Presence and Absence; Seeking the Inexpressible; and Anthroposophy and Theosophy. Each work was not defined by a single category, but was chosen because of its relationships with these themes and to the other works in the exhibition, creating a fluid dialogue. The exhibition sought to reflect the ancient traditions of spiritual art in its evolution into a contemporary society.

Gija artists from East Kimberley performed the Gurirr Gurirr dance on 23 November 1996.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Hilarie Mais
  • The Waiting: sequel
Mike Parr
  • Inclined Perspective Wedge (Riverbed)