Frances Barrett: Meatus

Sat 2 Apr 2022–
Sun 19 Jun 2022

Main exhibition gallery

Advisory note:
Please be advised that this work contains strong adult themes, explicit sexual references, strong language and other mature content.

The exhibition contains loud sounds and low-level lighting.

Seating, earplugs and torches are available upon request.

Please speak to an ACCA staff member if you have any questions.


Vivid White

A project led by Frances Barrett with Nina Buchanan, Debris Facility Pty Ltd., Hayley Forward, Brian Fuata, Del Lumanta and Sione Teumohenga
Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship

Drawing on her background in performance, curating and collaborative models of making, Adelaide-based artist Frances Barrett has expanded the solo commissioning focus of the Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship to present new sonic compositions and live performances by multiple artists. Alongside a major sound installation developed by Barrett, Hayley Forward and Brian Fuata, Barrett has curated three specially commissioned sound compositions by artists Nina Buchanan, Del Lumanta and Sione Teumohenga, and invited a series of incursions by Debris Facility Pty Ltd, each of whom have responded to the concept of Meatus.

A ‘meatus’ – to which the exhibition title refers – is an opening or passage leading to the interior of the body, such as the ear canal and nasal passages. Encompassing a range of sensations and functions, the plurality of meatus became a way for Barrett to explore practices of listening that decentre the ear to activate the entire body, attuned to both conscious responses and unconscious intensities. 

Barrett has conceived of ACCA’s four galleries as meatus that passage through and into each other. Meatus thus becomes a performative staging of the body as an intense, immersive and sensory environment of sound and light; a body into which the audience may enter to encounter the physical, sensual and critical experience of listening. In the context of Meatus, listening becomes a starting point to consider the embodied and relational practices that extend the mappings of our bodies.

Frances Barrett is an artist living on Kaurna land, Adelaide. Her practice extends the paradigm of performance, with much of her recent work pivoting around the modalities of listening and touch. Barrett recently completed a PhD at Monash University and is a Lecturer in Contemporary Art at University of South Australia.

Frances Barrett: Meatus is presented in partnership between the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA); Carriageworks, Sydney; and the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council its arts funding and advisory body.

Commissioning Curator: Annika Kristensen

Watch: Artist interview with Frances Barrett

Listen: In Conversation: Frances Barrett and Daniel Mudie Cunningham


Project Partners

Lead Partner

Presenting Partner

Exhibition Donor

Bruce Parncutt AO

Exhibition Partners

Media Partner

Government Partners

Residency supporters