– Highlights


Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb


Jon Campbell: MCA Collection

04 Dec - 25 Feb


Word: MCA Collection

04 Dec - 18 Feb

– Learning Events


Contemporary Kids School Holiday Program

25 Jan, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Art + Film

31 Jan, 6.00pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre


Spoken Word Series

03 Feb, 1.00am, Throughout the 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.

Press Releases – New major addition to the MCA Collection

Posted on Dec. 21, 2015
Mikala Dwyer, Square Cloud Compound (detail), 2010

Image: Mikala Dwyer, Square Cloud Compound (detail), 2010, Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the MCA Foundation, 2015, installation view Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin, 2010, image courtesy and © the artist

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is proud to announce an exciting new addition to the MCA Collection with the acquisition of Sydney artist Mikala Dwyer’s installation Square Cloud Compound (2010).

Square Cloud Compound is a mysterious enclosure made from brightly coloured fabric cubes sewn into a huge canopy. This extraordinary structure is held up by painted posts adorned with lights, bird boxes, ornaments, plants, mirrors, charms and trinkets; and held down by tersely stretched stockings attached to the ceiling and floor. The posts, painted in constructivist-style black, white and red, stand like mythic sentinels.

Square Cloud Compound is presented alongside a gift from the artist to the MCA: a new multi-coloured wall painting, Spell for a Corner, that references a bird, moth, bat or phoenix rising.

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “We are thrilled to enrich the MCA Collection with Square Cloud Compound. This addition will deepen the engagement of those already familiar with Dwyer’s work while introducing it to new audiences visiting the MCA during the summer months.”

“Contemporary artists like Dwyer continually challenge us to think and see the world differently. Her works asks us to question ourselves and our outlook on life and society.”

Dwyer has a long association with the MCA since exhibiting in the inaugural Primavera exhibition in 1992, including a major solo show in 2000 and guest-curating Primavera 2014: Young Australian Artists.

Square Cloud Compound is characteristic of Dwyer’s experimental and experiential architectures, which play on the permeable and changeable nature of objects and our relationship with them.

MCA Senior Curator Natasha Bullock, said: “The historical associations and darker undertones of Dwyer’s enclosure are offset by its exuberant and playful materiality. The installation is made from fabric squares that float like the clouds – a square cloud compound.”

Since 1989 the MCA Collection has acquired more than 4,000 works by Australian artists.

Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection
21 December 2015 – 21 February 2016
Level 1, FREE entry #MikalaDwyer


Mikala Dwyer constructs idiosyncratic, personal spaces within the conventional architecture of the gallery using materials that have a strong association with the body. Her installations and sculptures are experimental and experiential architectures that play with the permeable and changeable nature of objects, materials and our relationship with them.

Dwyer’s work was selected for the Museum of Contemporary Art’s inaugural Primavera exhibition in 1992. Her recent solo exhibitions include: the garden of half-life, University of Sydney Art Gallery, Sydney (2014); Goldene Bend’er, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2013); Drawing Down the Moon, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); Panto Collapsar, Arts Project, Dublin (2012); Square Cloud Compound, Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin(2010); Moon Garden, Aratoi Museum, Masterton, New Zealand (2008); Black Sun Blue Moon, Hamish Morrison Galerie, Berlin (2007); The Addition and Subtractions and The Hanging Garden, Kunstraum, Potsdam (2007); I Maybe We, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2005) and Mikala Dwyer, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2000).

Group exhibitions include: The Hall of Half-Life, Stierischer Herbst Festival, Graz, Austria (2015); Magnetism, Hazelwood, Sligo, Ireland (2015); You Imagine What You Desire, 19th Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island, Sydney (2014); De Rerum Natura, Studio La Città, Verona (2014); The End of the 20th Century. The Best is Yet to Come, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2013); Future Primitive, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2013); and a major site-specific installation on Cockatoo Island for The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010). Among her other group exhibitions are Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009); The Ecologies Project, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2008); Lost and Found: An Archaeology of the Present, TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Victoria (2008); Mystic Truths, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2007); Den Haag Sculptuur: De Overkant/Down Under, The Hague (2007); High Tide, CAC Vilnius and Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw (2006); Face Up: Contemporary Art from Australia, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003); Contempora 5, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (1999); OrientATION, 4th International Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (1995); and Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1993).


Curator’s Insights
Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection
Hear from Assistant Curator Manya Sellers on the artist and works in the exhibition.
Thursday 18 February, 6.30–7pm, FREE.

Artist Talk: Mikala Dwyer
Where Myth and Magic Crash: A Conversation with Mikala Dwyer
Hear Sydney-based artist Mikala Dwyer discuss her work and practice. Dwyer is interested in the occult and the ability of her work to express ideas of uncertainty and instability.
Thursday 28 January, 6.30–7.30pm. MCA Galleries, Level 1. FREE, bookings recommended.


The MCA’s all new app features an artwork tour and audio from artist Mikala Dwyer and curator Natasha Bullock.


For high resolution images with captions click here.

CONDITIONS OF USE: Images may be used for media use only in relation to the exhibition. Captions must accompany all images reproduced. No images can be cropped, bled off the page, or printed in a single colour other than black, or overlaid with text.


Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Claire Johnson / Myriam Conrie
02 9245 2417 / 2434