This evening I attended the opening of Second Sight: Witchcraft, Ritual, Power at The University of Queensland Art Museum. In 2015 I completed my Honours in history focusing on the memorialisation of the Salem Witch Trials in Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I have a very special place in my heart for anything to do with witchcraft. I was really looking forward to this exhibition and jumped at the chance to attend the opening.
Before entering the exhibition, there is a panel explaining why this exhibition has been curated and what it’s hoping to achieve. According to the panel, the historical etchings and contemporary artworks seek to depict or disrupt ideas of witchcraft. Whereas some of the historic pieces have quite stereotypical depictions, the contemporary works delve deeper into themes of gender, nature and sexuality, to name a few.
It worked really well not having the works displayed chronologically. Instead, as the panel states, the exhibition becomes less literal and more open to interpretation. If I were seeing purely historic artworks, I would argue the opposite and hope they would be displayed in some sort of chronological or geographical way.