Artist Book


60 page full-colour artist book, images and text by Peta Clancy with an essay titled ‘Skin Deep’ by Dr Melissa Miles. For Paper Thin “Peta Clancy considers the surface properties of paper – in this case, photographic paper – and the surface or skin of our bodies…In this artist’s book – an artwork in its own right – the art historian Geoffrey Batchen is quoted as suggesting that photography sits ‘between vision and touch’. I think of the immediacy of family photographs, as they are thumbed through and viewed over and over; and of the work of the hands which direct the camera, then develop the prints, selecting and cropping, framing and displaying them for us to look at…These works consider the relationship between hand and eye, body and representation. Sensual and imperfect – a far cry from the perfection we have grown accustomed to through media imagery – these faces map the passage of time and experience, and are rendered timeless through the act of photography.” Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art – for the opening of Peta Clancy’s exhibition Paper Thin at Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney, 3 December 2009

Paper Thin

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The Body is a Big Place



An in-depth exhibition of The Body is a Big Place on Leonardo Electronic Almanac coinciding with the Performance Space exhibition in Nov 2011. The exhibition outlined the development of the project through a series of staged research residencies. Featuring images, video documentation, text by the artists, participants and collaborators, and an online forum in which issues and ideas raised by the work were discussed. Curated by: Vince Dziekan

Nov 2011

Leonardo Electronic Almanac

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The Body is a Big Place



The Body is a Big Place installation presented at Performance Space, which is one of Australia’s leading development and presentation organisations for interdisciplinary arts, was a key event during the Exchange season at PS. The Body is a Big Place explored the fluidity between bodily boundaries inherent to the organ transplantation process, the ambiguous boundary between life and death, and the complex and multilayered responses reported by organ transplant recipients. Two performances featuring the reanimation of a pair of fresh pig hearts were staged during the exhibition. Curated by Bec Dean

3 – 26 Nov 2011

Performance Space

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2012 ANAT Synapse Art/Science Residency

Peta Clancy and Helen Pynor awarded The Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) 2012 Synapse Residency Grant. This program supports artists to collaborate with scientific institutions to undertake a period of intensive research. Helen and Peta will work with Dr Kumud Dhital in the Heart and Lung Transplant Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, for 4 months in 2012, exploring clinician and patient experiences of heart transplantation.

Sept – Dec 2012

ANAT Synapse Residency

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Controversy: The Power of Art


Video footage from the reanimated pig hearts performances from The Body is a Big Place is featured in this exhibition exploring the social and cultural impact of art. The exhibition features artworks by some of Australia’s preeminent artists that have provoked intense reactions, such as those that have re-defined the nature of art, engaged with social and political issues; and explored the human body in the context of volatile re-interpretations. Curated by Dr Vivien Gaston

21 June -12 Aug 2012

Controversy: The Power of Art

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Grants 2010

Australia Council for the Arts – Visual Arts New Work Grant

Peta Clancy was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts New Work Grant with Helen Pynor. This grant funded their collaborative project The Body is a Big Place.

Peta Clancy was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts New Work Grant to create two new series of photographic/wax works Skin as Shifting Surface and The Aurelian Project. For Skin as Shifting Surface she explores the paradoxical qualities of skin through photographic portraiture. Clancy will embed her photographs in wax to reflect the translucent and opaque qualities of skin, both visually and metaphorically. The Aurelian Project (the title references the transformation of a chrysalis) will explore the impact of human habitation on the lifecycle of butterflies in Australia. This series will feature photographs of threatened specimens from natural history museums.

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The Body is a Big Place – Award Winner Prix Ars Electronica 2012

The Body is a Big Place has been selected as one of the winners in the 2012 Prix Ars Electronica awards. The project has been awarded an Honorary Mention in the Hybrid Arts section.
Ars Electronica celebrates pioneering creative work at the interface of art, technology and society, and has been running since 1987, as a part Prix Ars Electronica Festival, 30 Aug – 3 Sept in Linz, Austria.
Ricardo Peach, Acting Director of the Inter-Arts Office, Australia Council for the Arts, says: “Australian artists continue to deliver extraordinary milestones in media and interactive art on the world stage. The Australia Council is proud to have supported the work of such talented artists…”
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