Crying In The Leagues Club is a compelling artistic examination of male vulnerability in Australian sport from multidisciplinary artist, Samuel Leighton-Dore.
In just his second solo exhibition, Samuel articulates the multi-dimensional and layered role the NRL plays in today's society, with its unique blend of a traditional masculine power structure and emotional openness. It's a realm where men are free to express feelings that – beyond the playing field and changerooms – would be looked upon by many as unusual, uncomfortable and unacceptable.
Featuring over 30 works spanning acrylic paintings, ceramics, animation, sound design and LED neon, Samuel presents a domain laden with both contradiction and camaraderie, and explores sport's potential as a progressive platform for masculinity.
Ultimately positive in its considerations, Crying In The Leagues Club evokes a poignant sense of this colourful, fragile, complex world where men are emboldened to cry, hug, take pride in each other's achievements and express admiration for their physical prowess.
Playful, immersive and thought provoking, it asks viewers to question why these intense displays of emotion are only socially acceptable when viewed as part of the shared cultural experience of sport.
As Samuel explains, "I see this as an opportunity to communicate issues of mounting urgency " domestic violence, mental illness, feelings of isolation and shame " in a way that doesn't threaten or accuse, but rather invites."
Curated and presented by aMBUSH Gallery, the exhibition's unveiling is, appropriately, just a few days before the NRL Grand Final, when sports fever is at an all-time high.
Join the opening night celebrations for Crying In The Leagues Club on Thursday, 3 October from 6-9pm at aMBUSH Gallery (Cultural Centre Kambri, ANU Building 153, L2, Acton ACT). There'll be music from Captain Earwax and drinks by Capital Brewing.
On Friday, 4 October, Samuel Leighton-Dore will be in the Gallery from 1:00-2:00pm to participate in an Artist Talk. This event is free of charge to the public.
The exhibition will then run until Sunday, 27 October, showing daily from 10am-6pm weekdays and 12pm-5pm on weekends. Admission is free and all artworks are for sale.
Visit www.ambushgallery.com for more information, and look for aMBUSH Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for exhibition updates.