Dr Bianca Hester’s practice explores how material, social and ecological forces converge and are embodied across specific sites. Her mode of working is expansive, experimental and highly collaborative, employing multiple forms of engagement involving sculpture, performance, infiltrations into public space, installation, workshops, publication and video. Her research interests include working critically within contested space, the politics of materiality and the ethics of collaborative engagement. Recent projects work directly with the fabric of cities, where place is approached as a complex constellation of human timescales, inhuman durations, atmospheric forces, objects, histories and geologic materialities. Her projects position an expansive form of public art distributed across times and locations, unfolding as a series of actions in response to specific contexts, and in dialogue with a range of interlocutors, participants and audiences.
Recent projects include: Converging in time, (with Open Spatial Workshop), MUMA (2017); Constellating bodies in temporary correspondence, exhibited during ‘Endless Circulation’, Tarrawarra Biennale of Art, Tarrawarra Museum of Art (2016); movements materialising momentarily, ST PAUL St Gallery, Auckland (2015); Down City Streets (with the Space Place and Country research group 2015); Fashioning Discontinuities presented during the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Hoops: sound tests, performances, documents, Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); only from the perspective of a viewer situated upon the surface of the earth does day and night occur, Glasgow International Festival for Visual Arts, (2012); a world fully accessible by no living being, which was the winning entry for the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2011); please leave these windows open overnight to enable the fans to draw in cool air during the early hours of the morning, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2010); and projectprojects at The Showroom in London (2008). The book titled accommodating spaces, materials, projects, people, videos, actions, objects, thoughts: relatively was published in 2009 by the Narrows. The recent monograph titled Converging in time, which coincides with the project of the same title (with Open Spatial Workshop) is published by Monash University Museum of Art and distributed by Perimeter books in 2017. She is represented by Sarah Scout Gallery Melbourne and is currently developing two publications through Public Office and Surpluss.
Hester completed PhD at RMIT in 2007 which won a University research prize. She was a founding member of CLUBSpropject inc in Melbourne (2002-2007), and is a continuing member of the Open Spatial Workshop collective with Scott Mitchell and Terri Bird since 2003. Hester has lectured at Victorian College of the Arts (2004-2012) and the Sydney College of the Arts (2016), where she was a post-doctoral research fellow and the co-leader of the Space, Place and Country research cluster with Dr Saskia Beudel between 2013-2016. She is currently a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow (2017-2018) and an Artspace studio resident throughout 2017.
Hester is currently a senior lecturer in Art and Design and is co-leading the Fine Art Honours cohort with Fernando do Campo. She has experience teaching across all levels in under graduate programs and in supervising practice-led Honours, MFA and PhD projects since 2004.