Newell Harry’s work stemed from the experiences and observances of travelling between Australia, Vanuatu and South Africa, and is caught up in the vernacular words, phrases and textures of these distinct places. With a mischievous and subversive sense of humour, Harry worked across a wide variety of media, including installation, drawing, printing, sculpture, photography and neon,and picked over the artefacts of colonial exoticism and the slippages of language that occur between different cultural contexts. Immortality presented Newell's series (Untitled) Nimoa and Me: Kiriwina Notations, 2014-2015, made whilst in the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea.
Susan Hiller excavated the overlooked, ignored, or rejected aspects of our shared cultural production, with influences from Minimalism, Fluxus, Surrealism, and anthropology. Her varied projects collectively have been described as investigations into the 'unconscious' of culture. Hiller's The Last Silent Movie (2007 / 2008) presents recordings of extinct and endangered languages spoken by now deceased men and women.
Andrew Liversidge makes conceptual objects and videos. He was interested in the romantic quality of the conceptual gesture. Recurrent themes included abstraction and the collapse of finite models, the infinite and its relation to metaphysics and epistemology, limit, order, repetition and paradox. Immortality includes Liversidge's 2017 series of 15 plaques entitled Death.
Tobi Wanik is from Korkor Village, Wahgi Valley, Papua New Guinea and was known to be active in the 1990s. Tobi's metal Wahgi shield Fantom (c.1998) was used after its production in inter-tribal fighting, with the enamel painted image of the Phantom added a contemporary symbol of invincibility, with the glossy enamel paint adding further indications of strength and vigour.
Unknown artists (Asmat)
The Asmat live along the vast system of rivers that flow into the Arafura Sea in southwestern New Guinea. In Asmat culture, there is a close relationship between humans and trees, with wood considered as the source of life. Wood carving is held in high esteem among the Asmat, a tradition that has continued to the present day. The wooden Asmat war shields presented in Immortality carried figurative carvings and painted detail that called upon ancestral imagery, endowing the shields with both the power and protection of the ancestors.
John Gillies is well-known for his multi layered and complex video works and installations. Gillies was interested in stories that can affect the future, as the future is in the act of being made from fragments of the past. Immortality included his cinematic work Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes in which he brought to screen an imagination of an actual exchange between the Polish artist Witkacy and the anthropologist Malinowski on a train from Brisbane to Toowomba.