Georgiana Houghton The Portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ 1862 courtesy of the Victorian Spiritualist Union
Georgiana Houghton
The Portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ 1862
courtesy of the Victorian Spiritualist Union

Exhibition Dates: 21 April – 27 June 2015

Opening function: Wednesday 22 April 2015, 6-8pm

The major group exhibition Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits takes as its departure point the art of forgotten Victorian-era Spiritualist Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884), and features contemporary and historical painting, sculpture, video and photography that both explore and adopt Spiritualist practices and methodologies. Rarely seen outside a Spiritualist context since 1871, Houghton’s 25 abstract watercolours from the Victorian Spiritualist Union collection were produced as part of her Spiritualist practice, which saw Houghton use drawing as a way to channel communication with spiritual entities. The works were brought to Australia for an exhibition in 1910, during a period in which Spiritualism was especially popular. The Victorian Spiritualist Union is the longest continuously operating Spiritualist organisation in the world and counts amongst its many distinguished patrons Australia’s second Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, who was the organisation’s President before devoting himself to politics. Believe not every spirit affords an opportunity to reflect on the influential role of the Spiritualist movement in Australian history.


Guest curators: Lars Bang Larsen and Marco Pasi

Artists | Georgiana Houghton (UK), Yuri Ancarani (IT), Jan Bäcklund (DK), Kathy Barry (NZ), Belle Bassin (AU), Vincent Ceraudo (FR), Mikala Dwyer (AU), Max Ernst (DE), Madame Favre (FR), Chiara Fumai (IT), Diena Georgetti (AU), Madge Gill (UK), Tamar Guimarães (BR) & Kasper Akhøj (DK), Susan Hiller (US), Susan Jacobs (AU), Jess Johnson (NZ), Kristine Kemp (DK), Joachim Koester (DK), David Lamelas (ARG), Dane Mitchell (NZ), Matt Mullican (US), Olivia Plender (UK), Lea Porsager (DK) Laurent Schmid (SU), Georgina Starr (UK) and Dorothea Tanning (US)

Public Programs

Monday 20 April, 6.00-7.30pm Boiler Room lecture at The Wheeler Centre with Matt Mullican

Tuesday 21 April, 12.30-1.30pm MUMA floor talk with Kathy Barry and Dr Jan Bryant, Senior Lecturer MADA

Wenesday 22 April, 6pm Opening celebration with performance by Matt Mullican

Wednesday 22 April, 12.30-1.30pm Lunchtime Forum Lecture with Lars Bang Larsen and Marco Pasi Venue: Monash University Caulfield, Lecture Theatre G1.04

Address: Ground Floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield campus, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East


Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm; Saturday: 12 – 5pm