In a couple of very busy weeks for CCAS Footy Fever had a climatic opening on Friday night with some appropriately dubious behaviour (although it must be said there was no dacking and for that we can be thankful). Must have been due to the punters wearing their favourite footy gear and getting free drinks for every item worn … Timed in the lead up to grand final season Footy Fever, however, is not just an exercise hero worship although there are certainly elements of popular culture in this energetically animated exhibition. Curated by Alexander Boynes, Footy Fever looks at the sporting phenomena of Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, and Wheelchair Rugby filtered through the eyes of artists from many different cultural backgrounds, essentially and ostensibly focusing on one common goal. For some artists footy might be a guilty pleasure while for others it is a less than secret obsession. There is for instance, Meta Rotary’s extraordinary paintings of legendary Tony (Plugger) Lockett – on rocks – and a more political approach with Alex Asch and Julian Laffan maintaining the rage in respect of the recent denigration of Sydney Swans hero Adam Goodes by certain elements in Australian society. Through the eyes of women, works by Mariana del Castello and Louise Paramor are mind bogglingly mysterious. David Spooner’s popular work takes the view of a gay man for whom memories of football are ambivalent – part horror/part erotica. Dinni Kunoth Kemarre’s “footy heroes” are a heartwarming tribute in the style of traditional Aboriginal sculpture while Richard Lewer throws the kiwi rugby union ball onto the field with works that present footy as “much more than a game”. And that’s just a sample of works in an exhibition that covers many bases and concerns. There is no doubt that Footy Fever is a fun show, very colourful, humorous, but it also has an edge, sometimes dark …. Daniel Savage’s brilliant wheelchair rugby creed a case in point. Footy Fever will please both footy fans and rusted on arty types equally. Check it out at CCAS Gorman Art Centre until 3 October.
ARtists: Shoeb Ahmad, Alex Asch, Jon Cattapan, Mariana del Castillo, Dinni Kunoth Kemarre, Julian Laffan, Richard Lewer, James Lieutenant, Glenn Morgan, Louise Paramor, Meta Rothery, Daniel Savage, David Spooner and Theo Tremblay. Curator Alexander Boynes.