Romancing the Skull

An Art Gallery of Ballarat exhibition

The skull has entranced & fascinated generations of artists. The exhibition looks at the depiction of the skull in art & examines why we continue to be so enamoured with this iconic symbol. A range of themes are explored including the skull as a reminder of our mortality, the use of the skull in addressing social & political issues, & the skull and crossbones as a symbol of piracy and rebellion.

Art Exhibition previously on at Art Gallery of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.
From Saturday 14 October 2017 to Sunday 28 January 2018

Sam Jinks, Divide image Rona Green, Leonid image

Published by anonymous on Tuesday 26 September 2017.
Contact the publisher.

The skull will be celebrated in a fascinating exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from 14 October 2017 to 28 January 2018.
Romancing the Skull is a celebration of all things related to the skull, its power as a symbol representing not just death and danger, but rebellion, defiance and a ‘devil may care’ view of life itself.
The core of the exhibition will be skulls and skeletons as they are featured in Australian contemporary art, but the exhibition will also take sideways glances at historic imagery such as medieval Dances of Death, pirate flags, poison bottles and tattoo art.
The skull has always been an iconic symbol, and it is frequently featured in art. This tribute to the skull puts the question, ‘why has it been so fascinating for so long to so many people?’
The exhibition coincides with Dia de Muertos celebrations, with the Day of the Dead Festival moving from Federation Square in Melbourne to Ballarat on 4 November.
More than twenty prints by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) – long associated with the Day of the Dead – will be on show to Australian audiences for the first time.
Other exhibition highlights include a woodcut print from the renowned Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493 depicting one of the earliest Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) images, and Australian artist Shaun Gladwell’s Virtual Reality work Orbital Vanitas 2016, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. 
Romancing the skull will include also works commissioned specially for the exhibition by Fiona Hall, Rekko Rennie and Sally Smart, as well as works by contemporary Australian artists Sam Jinks, Rona Green, and Ben Quilty.
The exhibition will include events, talks, an educational program, and school holiday activities.
Visitors with a real skull tattoo can gain entry for just $10 – provided it can be shown without offending public decency!


40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat, Victoria