One foot on the ground, one foot in the water

National Exhibition Register

  • previous install at Bunjil Place Gallery, 2022
    previous install at Bunjil Place Gallery, 2022
    Image Credit
    Photographer Christian Capurro

About the exhibition

At a time when many are experiencing complex feelings about the frailty of life and future uncertainty, this exhibition explores the subject of mortality and the inseparable link between life and death. 'One foot on the ground, one foot in the water' explores mortality as a state of transition, presenting processes of art making as a means of facing death collectively and individually. The exhibition presents paintings, sculptures, installations and sound works, that challenge us to reckon with death and dying as an inherent part of life, invoking experiences of loss, impermanence, transience, remembrance, memorialisation and varied expressions of grief. One foot on the ground, one foot in the water presents over 25 works of art, with scale ranging from a massive 3.3m cast-iron and steel monument by artist Michael Needham to 100 intricate handmade vessels crafted out of biodegradable florist foam by participants in Catherine Bell’s 'Facing Death Creatively' workshops. The contrast between vast and minute scales is echoed in the contrast between singular and repeated forms, and ephemeral and permanent materials, referencing the relationship between the universal and the individual, the eternal, the finite and states in between. Each artist offers insight into the way we let go of the dead, or hold them close, as a continuing living presence in the world. Artworks and other objects can reflect these kinds of present–absences, allowing the departed to continue to resonate in our memory, and in objects that outlive them. 'One Foot on the Ground, One Foot in the Water' is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring six newly commissioned texts by Yinimala Gumana, Mabel Juli, Wukun Wanambi and Pedro Wonaeamirri. 'One foot on the ground, one foot in the water' is a La Trobe Art Institute exhibition toured by NETS Victoria. Curated by Travis Curtin.

Artists and Curator

Travis Curtin

Catherine Bell, Timothy Cook, Richard Lewer, French & Mottershead, Mabel Juli, Sara Morawetz, Michael Needham, Nell, Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri, Nawurapu Wunuŋmurra

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/09/2023 - 10/02/2024
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
La Trobe Art Institute, Victoria
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Catalogue/Book, Digital Catalogue, Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels, Media Kit, Public Program Opportunities, Public Workshops, Signage
Other materials
All furniture/technology/equipment also provided. 3D, interactive tour also available (of a previous gallery: This exhibition is supported to tour to any state in Australia.
Primary contact
Claire Watson
Exhibitions Coordinator
NETS Victoria (National Exhibitions Touring Support Victoria)
This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, as well as receiving development assistance from NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund, supported by the V