Sam Cranstoun’s evocative new exhibition imagines history’s Impossible Conversations
When it comes to rich and thought-provoking personalities, the annals of Italian history are an absolute hotbed. From poets and painters to saints and scientists, there are so many people whose knowledge we can draw upon … except for the fact that a whole bunch of them are dead. Enter Sam Cranstoun, the award-winning artist acting as a conduit between modern Brisbanites and timeless figures in Italian history. His exhibition Impossible Conversations is opening at the Museum of Brisbane from October 10 to rewrite history – with a little creative license. Intrigued? You should be.
As an artist with plenty of experience bridging the gaps in history, Sam Cranstoun’s Impossible Conversations is a perfect fit for his repertoire. Inspired by Vanity Fair’s acerbic 1930s series ‘Impossible Interviews’, Sam has approached nine Brisbane residents to share the imaginary dialogues they would have with their chosen figure from Italian history. The finished list includes works inspired by the likes of Casanova, Galileo, Dante and more, with a varied selection of figures across many disciplines.
The process of Impossible Conversations commenced with a community-wide call-out for participants, with nine locals being selected. Over a period of months these people shared their imagined conversations, their questions and sense of connection and interest with Sam, writer Mary-Rose MacColl and photographer Jacqueline Bawtree. This team came together to produce a visual representation of these cross-cultural, cross-continental and cross-generational conversations. There is another layer to the Impossible Conversations project that ties in with QPAC’s 2018 International Series featuring Italy’s iconic Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company. As part of the series, the full conversations will be displayed in QPAC’s tunnel at the Cultural Precinct from November in conjunction with Teatro alla Scala’s stunning season.
Sam Cranstoun’s Impossible Conversations is running at the Museum of Brisbane from October 10, 2018 until March 31, 2019 – you can grab more details in our Events Guide.
Image credit: all images from Impossible Conversations (2018), watercolour series by Sam Cranstoun.