Contour 556: Katy Mutton, PANOPTICON

Dates & times

Fri 16 October 2020, 18:00–19.00


ANU Drill Hall Gallery


On behalf of Contour 556 The Drill Hall Gallery is pleased to host a live happening: PANOPTICON by Katy Mutton

from 6-7 pm in the forecourt of the Drill Hall Gallery and extended evening opening hours of our Lightworks exhibitions from 6-8pm.

Entry is by ticket only. Please book tickets here.

Note: Wet weather contingency. Should the weather prevent outdoor presentation of this work the happening will move indoors. Ticket holders will be allowed access to the gallery in groups of up to 40 at a time due to COVID restrictions, on a first come basis. Outdoor ticket sales are for 80 attendees.


Panopticon is reactive wearable art devised as a tool for counter surveillance movements. The work envisions a form of technological utopianism; the populous arm themselves against ever invasive surveillance from corporations and governments by donning their outer wear. Panopticon can push these ideas further again by applying data visualisation and visual language systems into our physical world reality. This wearable work aims to bewilder and challenge perception through engaging, multi-faceted forms.

The onset of COVID-19 has impacted this work to directly focus on the privacy issues surrounding the pandemic; most particularly on citizens’ rights to privacy. In Australia government tracking apps are hurriedly being developed. Many initiatives applied by governments in this crisis under emergency powers may be hard to wind back. It is crucial that as a free society we are able to explore these issues, open discussion, and scrutinise initiatives implemented by leaders in times of crisis.

Panopticon integrates 3D printed ‘fabrics’ with technology that can activate an array of digital sensory responses. These are reactionary, subversive works which aim to bamboozle counter surveillance and highlight personal space and physical distance.

This project is supported by Arts ACT.

The project has received COVID-19 Emergency Action Funding through the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.


Katy Mutton is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work exploits the manipulation of perception and employs diverse materiality. Mutton’s work frequently explores the machinations of politics and the dichotomies of technology in popular culture. Her work spans drawing, printmaking, painting, installation and public art and often employs data visualisation strategies and visual language systems. Mutton’s work is held in many public and private collections including The Australian War Memorial, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, City of Yarra VIC, Curtin University Collection WA, Mildura Regional Gallery, and The State Library of Victoria. Katy is based in Canberra Australia.

Contour 556 is Canberra’s biennial public art festival, curated by Neil Hobbs.

Contour 556 is the water level of Lake Burley Griffin, which links the event in name as well as in purpose to the history of the central Canberra landscape. The artworks and installations selected for the festival respond in some way to Canberra’s history, from 50,000 years to the present day. contour 556 will therefore offer the Canberra, Australian and international community a unique opportunity to engage with and understand the layers of Canberra’s history through art.

The Gallery will be open from 6 – 8pm extended evening viewing of our current exhibitions:

Lightworks: Virginia Coventry, Richard Dunn, Lesley Dumbrell and Trevor Vickers

Interval: Hannah Gason

and Watershed: David Stephenson and Martin Walch


Visitors to the Drill Hall Gallery:

For your safety, the Drill Hall Gallery will be following guidelines, recommendations and enforceable public health directions published by ACT Health and Safework Australia. We will be collecting contact tracing information from all visitors to the gallery.

To ensure a safe and healthy environment while visiting the Drill Hall Gallery at this time we request that you:

  • Stay at home if you are unwell.
  • Stay at home if you have been in contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Utilise hand sanitisers provided at the entrance of the gallery.
  • Assist our staff in filling out your contact tracing information on entry and exit from the gallery.
  • Maintain1.5 metres distance from other visitors and staff.
  • Comply with the number restrictions clearly signposted in each of the gallery spaces.
  • Comply with any written or verbal directions from staff.
  • Use contactless payment for any purchases made at the Drill Hall Gallery.
  • Consider downloading the COVIDSafe app if you have not already.
  • We strongly encourage you to wear a facemask during gallery events.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we appreciate your help in keeping our community safe during this time.

For information on ANU’s privacy policy please refer to:




Drill Hall Gallery

Updated:  4 October 2020/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery