– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug


Pipilotti Rist: Sip my ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb



04 Dec - 25 Feb

– Learning Events


Art Safari

24 Nov, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Artbar November 2017

24 Nov, 7.00pm, MCA



10 Dec, 6.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

We sat down with laughter connoisseur Shari Coventry from Sydney Laughter to discover the truth about laughter and why we need it ahead of this month’s Laughter Sessions. more

Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. 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

Mike Parr
  • Inclined Perspective Wedge (Riverbed)