Profile on Jake Treacy

50 things collectors should know Issue, Art Collector Melbourne, 2021

Jake Treacy is quickly becoming a cardinal figure in Naarm/Melbourne, making important contributions to the ongoing interest in art and the occult that characterises this city, by building communities of care. One of the most hardworking Millennial curators to ever greet a gallery opening, they bring an outstanding work ethic and generosity to their projects, truly helping artists realise their exhibitions from beginning to end. Treacy sets a benchmark for curatorial practice, by weaving magical communities with radical tenderness, queer knowledge, and a collaborative ethos. Their exhibitions are an expanding grimoire, or encyclopedia, of dark arts and de-colonial enchantments, gathering a new generation of artists working with esoteric themes, such as Sean Miles, Manisha Anjali, Moorina Bonini, Blake Lawrence and more. Alongside their curatorial practice, Jake Treacy is also an artist and a poet working with the eroticism of dreams, doom metal and Luciferian figures.  

They are the curator of Incinerator Gallery, where they curated the acclaimed group show HTTP.PARADISE (2020), one of the best exhibitions to come out of pandemic lockdown. This show looks at the internet as a celestial space, hovering above us with utopian imagination. Like the assumption of souls into heaven, the artists upload their work to the ‘cloud’, where they reach an immortality of sorts. Present everywhere and nowhere, this exhibition makes an insightful commentary about how we engage with art during lockdown, mediated by spirituality and speculative fiction. This exhibition brings together a diverse range of practitioners working with digital media, including Angela Tiatia, Bridget Chappell and Patrick Hase, Corin Ileto and Tristan Jalleh, Felix ter Hedde and Hannah Hotker, Hannah Brontë, Louise Terra and Rachel Feery, Mohamed Chamas, and Youjia Lu.

In 2019, they curated the major exhibition Apocalyptic Horse at Heide Museum of Modern Art, with works by Albert Tucker, Patricia Piccinini, Hayley Millar-Baker and James Gleeson. This exhibition is inspired by Tucker’s painting Apocalyptic Horse (1956), a nightmarish image of a cadaveric horse set in an arid backdrop. Treacy expands on this picture to explore the Australian landscape and the dislocated psyche, within the frame of an apocalyptic mindset. The photographic work by The trees have no tongues (2019) by Hayley Millar-Baker is a decisive highlight. A series of monochrome pictures looking at the disastrous impact of Christian missions on Aboriginal communities, where they have enforced an intergenerational trauma akin to a cultural apocalypse.  

Jake Treacy is also very active in the artist run sector. They currently hold the position of Artistic Director at BLINDSIDE Gallery, where they have also curated various shows such as DEBUT XVI: TO LOVE IT ALL AGAIN (2020), Pearlescent Verse (2019), and Beyond TheVeil (2018). In 2018, they also curated the exhibition Utopian Tongues at SEVENTH Gallery and were the Director of Mailbox Art Space from 2017 to 2018.

Across these various projects and appointments, Treacy platforms magical artists with tenderness, inclusivity and care. This makes them an exciting community gateway for collectors, who are seeking to discover an entire new world of poetic marvel.  

Ramirez acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land where he lives and works, the Wurundjeri people. He pays his respects to Elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin Nation.