Welcome to Insignificance—a celebration of the incidental, the broken and the transient.

At a glance

In its simplest form, Insignificance is a collection of photos, stories and moon moments that explores the process of making meaning in personal and cultural contexts. The exhibition includes sixty-four 10 x 15cm photographs each with a short story; 12 moon portraits; a 2-metre illuminated moon orb; and a floor projection.

The orb and the projection aren’t featured on this site but until 7 Oct, you can drop into 107 gallery to see them.

In more detail

In Australia, museums, galleries and cultural institutions use a tool called Significance 2.0 to determine historical importance, artistic and aesthetic worth, scientific or research potential, and the social and spiritual value of objects in a collection.

This cultural bounty—and the resultant dialogues of curators, collectors and historians—defines and influences our understanding of artistic value and how we assess relevance, beauty and worth. From it, we identify our cultural symbols and make meaning.

In creating Insignificance, I drew on Wabi Sabi, the Japanese Buddhist concept of existence involving impermanence, suffering and emptiness. I photographed inconsequential things found, seen or experienced in the course of my daily life, and wrote small stories to reimagine their importance and give them a history.

The stories are metaphors for the social exclusion, disenfranchisement, prejudice and powerlessness we experience in life. They are, in part, autobiographical, fictional, satirical and absurd.

I catalogued the works and connected each one to the cycle of the moon to provide them with a context to something substantial, unerring and in constant transition. The choice of the moon to denote significance is partly arbitrary, but I wanted to anchor these moments of Insignificance to something with timeless aesthetic appeal, and non-partisan cultural and spiritual relevance.

Using the moon as a reference shines a different light—a softer light—onto that which is insignificant and gave me a way to reframe our human experiences in relation to something beyond our control and something celestial. Something significant.

Carole Best. 2019

Thanks to the following people—I needed their help to make Insignificance happen:

Richard van den Broek, Felix van den Broek Best, Mark Plachetta, Andrew Brettell, Katie Duncan, Joe Florio, Paden Hunter, Margo Adelson and Anne Labovitz.