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Visual Arts and Exhibitions



Enjoy art in FCAC’s backyard with FCAC Summer’s four weeks of live music, kids experiences, creative workshops, visual arts and talks. Browse the full program here.

CONNECT is an exhibition in two parts curated by Tamsen Hopkinson. Located indoors and outdoors at Footscray Community Arts Centre, CONNECT investigates ideas of re-emergence and considers the way we navigate place, community and public space through contemporary art.  

RE:SOUNDING by James Nguyen and Victoria Pham
James Nguyen and Victoria Pham will extend RE:SOUNDING; a collaborative project that aims to locate, record, digitise, and re-engage with the percussive sounds of the Vietnamese Bronze Age Đông Sơn drum. Displayed at FCAC are two reconfigured video works by Nguyen and Pham that include contemporary compositions and an expanded exploration of the personal narratives connected to the instrument.

The artists invite you to RE:SOUNDING PLAY, an interactive digital platform that allows you to play the instrument and learn more about the Đông Sơn drum.

In the second part of CONNECT in May, Nguyen and Pham will invite the community to re-engage in person with the Vietnamese Bronze Age Đông Sơn drum by encouraging participants to play the instrument.

CONNECT: Phn Mt, do James Nguyn và Victoria Phm thc hin và điu khin bi Tamsen Hopkinson.

RE:SOUNDING là mt sn phm ngh thut do James Nguyn và Victoria Phm hp tác thc hin, vi mc đích ghi âm và tái to nhng âm thanh ca trống đng Đông Sơn ca thi k đ đng Vit Nam. Sn phm ngh thut này bao gm mt lot các video và nhng hình chm ni làm bng giy bc s được trình by.

Nhng chic trống đng này đã b lưư lc trong thi k thuc địa và bi tình trạng mua bán đ c Đông Nam Á sau khi chiến tranh chấm dt. Nhng chiếc trống này có chức năng cu mưa, cu mùa và cuc sống sung túc cho người dân đa phương, cũng như là mt nhc c chiến tranh. Hin nay nhng chiếc trống này đang được lưư gi ti các vin bo tàng và các b sưư tp trên khắp thế gi

RE:SOUNDING s làm sống li tiếng trống đng Đông Sơn bên ngoài các t kính ca các vin bo tàng.

CONNECT: Phn Hai – James và Victoria s mi chính quý vị cùng tham gia đánh trng.

I am Passing Through by Rafaella McDonald
FCAC’s outdoor amphitheatre acts as a scaffold for Rafaella McDonald’s paintings assemblages; an investigation of painting as a site of multi-directional forces that speak to a contemporary moment, where the personal intersects with narrative, language and process. For the second part of the exhibition, the paintings will be buried to absorb some soil toxicity, shifting the PH of the fabric and mordanting the fabric, before being hung in part two of the exhibition, documenting the contributions of the site to the painting composition.

I am Passing Through includes an installation of six un-stretched dye painting assemblages, made from cotton sheets, found fabrics, drop sheets and raw canvas and stencilled images on PVC vinyl. The installation in the amphitheatre documents a materiality of speech; these dye paintings are slipping, scratching, blooming as they wash the material world with diaristic scribbles, figures and text scrawl. Together these painting assemblages lounge over the amphitheatre forming a nonlinear comic strip depicting a driver mid-journey, who, like painting as speech, is mouthing words to fellow drivers in a fleeting moment of connection.’ – Rafaella McDonald

Rafaella, James and Victoria will be joined by Hannah Brontë, Kerrie Poliness, Centre for Projection Art and Nabilah Nordin in the second part of the exhibition, CONNECT: Part Two, in May 2021. 

WHEN: 22 Jan – 21 Feb 2021 (Rafaella McDonald – closed 30 Jan and 6, 13 Feb)
VENUE: FCAC Amphitheatre & Henderson House Gallery
COST: Free

Find out more about COVID Safety at FCAC. 



Rafaella McDonald has a painting and sculptural practice, working across gallery settings, public spaces, and clothing. Her practice is concerned with the gestural and playful elements of materials, documenting interactions between materials and the body. Since 2014 Rafaella has exhibited solo and group exhibitions in Melbourne’s not for profit and commercial galleries including Westspace, TCB Inc, Fort Delta and Daine Singer. She has completed several large public art work commissions for The Melbourne Metro Authority, The Substation, City of StonningtonShepparton Art Museum and Melbourne Fringe. Her work has been included the biennial Next Wave Festival for emerging artists, acquired by National Gallery of Victoria collection and private collections. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Midsumma Art Prize Award and received a Vic Arts Grant to undertake a month long residency in Los Angeles. Rafaella received First Class Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts (2015) and holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from Melbourne University (2009). Her textile work has been included in publications such as Hessian Magazine and The Craft Companion (Thames and Hudson).  


James Nguyen works with short-form documentaries, sculpture and experimental collaborations. Together with friends, colleagues, and family, he creates conversations around epistemic refusal, the diasporic absurd, and collective risk. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors) from The National Art School, a Master of Fine Art at the Sydney College of Arts (University of Sydney), he is doing a research PhD at the University of NSW. With the support of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Scholarship, he was a Collaborative Fellow at Uniondocs Centre for Contemporary Documentary Arts in New York City.  

Most recently, recently he has received support from the Australian Council for the Arts, and ArtsNSW for the BLEED Festival and Dream Sequence with Urban Theatre Projects. 


Victoria Pham is an Australian archaeologist, photo-documenter, artist and composer. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She has been commissioned by a number of institutions such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

As an artist and photo-documenter, she has featured in several festivals from VIVID and BLEED. She is the Artistic Director of FABLE (London) and the co-Artistic Director  and co-Founder of experimental music art-sound collective Sonant Bodies (Australia) with composer James Hazel. As an archaeologist, Victoria has fieldwork experience in Australia, Northern Mongolia and Sri Lanka and has just embarked on her first solo fieldwork project in Moià, Catalonia at the Paleolithic site of Coves del Toll as an Olwen Tudor Jones Scholar. Her specialisation is in prehistoric archaeo-acoustics, audio-mapping caves and cognitive evolution.  


Tamsen Hopkinson (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pahauwera) has extensive experience within the visual arts sector as an artist, curator and teacher. She advocates for Indigenous representation across contemporary art at all levels with a focus on not-for-profit artist-run initiatives. Her practice considers ideas around materiality, language and access. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (honours) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Painting, Art History and Philosophy from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, Aotearoa.

Tamsen was a TCB Art Inc. board member between 2013-2019 and played a key role in the recent relocation of the gallery. In partnership with UN Projects, Tamsen produced STUDIO; an artist interview video series with a focus on contemporary art and accessibility. She has also collaborated across various music projects including Blank Statements and JMRG. Tamsen has worked across multiple programming roles at West Space Art Inc. between 2013 – 2017 and recently returned in 2020 as the Curator of Programs. She sat on the West Space Board and was the chair of the Artist Committee. She was also a Teaching Associate in the BFA honours program at Monash University of Art Design and Architecture (MADA).

She currently works as a Senior Producer between Footscray Community Arts Centre and The SUBSTATION.

Presented as part of FCAC Summer.

1- Image of drum courtesy James Nguyen and Victoria Pham.
2- Rafaella McDonald, Conversations Visions and Needs (detail), Eaglerock Home, 2018. 

Date & Times


22 Jan – 21 Feb 2021
Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5pm
Saturday to Sunday, 10am–4pm
(Rafaella McDonald – closed 30 Jan and 6, 13 Feb)


Footscray Community Arts Centre



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