woman studying painting
Calendar, Lectures and Talks, November 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Out of the Boxes and into the Desert: In Dialogue with Conservation

15 November @ Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·
Presented by Berndt Museum of Anthropology ·

‘Out of the Boxes and into the Desert’ features extraordinary Central Desert artworks that have been in storage at the Berndt Museum for many years. Bringing these artworks to exhibition standard has required close attention to their conservation and preparation.

Join conservator Michael Houston to learn some of the stories behind preparing this exhibition. Houston has worked within the commercial Indigenous art industry for nearly a decade. In 2018 he was tasked with the completion of the final objective of the Berndt Museum Storage Improvement Project, entailing the stabilisation and preparation for storage/display of over 150 canvas paintings.

Friday 15 November, 1pm – 2pm

More info
W: lwag1939.eventbrite.com.au/?aff=seesaw
E:  lwag@uwa.edu.au

Pictured: Opening night, Out of the Boxes and into the Desert, Berndt Museum of
Anthropology. Photograph by Ilkka K Photography.

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Woman viewing several paintings
Calendar, Lectures and Talks, October 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Friday Talks @ LWAG

11 & 25 October @ Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·
Presented by Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·

Join us at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery for a lunchtime discussion on the latest exhibitions and events. Hear from curators, artists and experts as they share their insights with us.

Portraits of Maternity
Friday 11 October 2019, 1:00 – 2:00pm

Join UWA Associate Professor of English and Literary Studies, Alison Bartlett, as she explores the exhibition ‘The Artist and Her Work’, featuring work drawn  from the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, through the lens of representations of maternity.

Free event. Register: lwag1949.eventbrite.com.au/?aff=seesaw

On the Life & Work of Nora Heysen
Friday 25 October 2019, 1:00 – 2:00pm

Join writer Anne-Louise Willoughby as she discusses painter Nora Heysen (1911-2003), whose work is currently on view in ‘Cosmopolitan’. Heysen was the first woman to win the Archibald Prize and Australia’s first female painter to be appointed an official war artist.

Free event. Register:  lwag1942.eventbrite.com.au/?aff=seesaw

More info
W: www.lwgallery.uwa.edu.au/events
E:  lwag@uwa.edu.au

Pictured: Installation view, The Artist and Her Work. Photograph by Ilkka K Photography.

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Woman studying large Aboriginal painting
Calendar, Lectures and Talks, September 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Out of the Boxes and into the Desert: Curator’s Talk + Tour

13 September @ Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·
Presented by Berndt Museum of Anthropology ·

‘Out of the boxes and into the Desert’ explores the Berndt Museum of Anthropology’s collection of paintings from the Central Desert. These works include stories of ancestral beings that travelled across country, through waterholes and into the stars.  Join exhibition curator Dr Vanessa Russ as she leads us through the exhibition, sharing insights into the artworks and the history of the Berndt Museum.

Dr Vanessa Russ is the Associate Director of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology. She was awarded Honours (Fine Arts) at the UNSW 2009 and a PhD in Fine Art at the University of Western Australia in 2013. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in 2014.

Out of the Boxes and into the Desert Curator’s Talk and Tour takes place from 1 – 2 pm on Friday 13 September.

More info
W: lwag1938.eventbrite.com.au/?aff=seesaw
E:  lwag@uwa.edu.au

Pictured:
Opening night, Out of the Boxes and into the Desert, Berndt Museum of Anthroplogy.
Photograph by Ilkka K Photography. Artwork: Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri (c1926-1998),
Pintupi, Many Dreamings, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 202 x 337 cm. Berndt Museum of
Anthropology collection [1978/0037] © Estate of the artist licensed by Aboriginal Arts Agency Ltd, 2019.

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Landscape in shades of light brown and grey
Calendar, Lectures and Talks, September 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Cosmopolitan: Curator’s Talk & Tour

7 September @ Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·
Presented by Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery ·

Join Cosmopolitan curator Dr Sally Quin for this discussion exploring the exhibition and a look into some of the major themes in Australian art in the 1930s, a time of significant political, economic and social change. The eclectic range of works, featuring pieces in surrealist, abstract and realist styles, reflect both the optimism and tumult of the decade.

Dr Sally Quin is Curator of the University of Western Australia Art Collection at LWAG. Her work focuses on modern and contemporary Australian art, and her publications include ‘Bauhaus on the Swan: Elise Blumann, an émigré artist in Western Australia, 1938-1948’  (UWAP, 2015) and the  monograph ‘Stewart Scambler: Works 1982-2018’ (LWAG, 2018).

The Curator’s Talk and Tour takes place between 2 and 3 pm on Saturday 7 September.

More info
W  https://lwag1936.eventbrite.com.au/?aff=seesaw
E:  lwag@uwa.edu.au

Pictured: Dorrit Black, Landscape, Noarlunga, c 1937, watercolour, 23.8 x 29.7 cm, The University
of Western Australia Art Collection, University Senate Grant, 1984.

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Black and white image of internal design of Art Gallery of WA
Calendar, Lectures and Talks, October 19, Visual arts

Symposium: Perth Brutal, AGWA, the Perth Cultural Centre and Brutalist Architecture in Australia

2 October @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

Speakers
Dr Robert Cook, AGWA Curator of 20th Century Arts
Dunja Rmandić, AGWA Associate Curator of 21st Century Arts
Melissa Harpley, AGWA Manager of Curatorial Affairs | Curator of 19th Century Arts
Winthrop Professor Simon Anderson, The University of Western Australia
Dr Annette Condello, Director of Graduate Research at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Curtin University
Andrew Murray, PhD Candidate, School of Design, University of Melbourne

A symposium celebrating the 40th anniversary of the AGWA building and Perth’s early role in the architectural style in Australia. Followed by guided tours of the AGWA building, Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete and the iconic brutalist Curtin University campus.

9am – 3pm 2 October: $10

AGWA 40
2019 marks and celebrates the 40th year anniversary of the main Gallery building as AGWA  presents a series of exhibitions and special events looking at the building: the exhibit Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete, (www.seesawmag.com.au/visual-arts/visual-arts-perth-brutal-dreaming-in-concrete/)plus talks, performances and a symposium presented  with Curtin University’s School of Architecture. The art of the 1970s in WA will also be  revisited in the exhibition That Seventies Feeling…the Late Modern.

More info
W: artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/perth-brutal-dreaming-concrete 
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured: Fritz Kos Art Gallery of Western Australia 1979. State Library of Western Australia.  Sourced from the collections of the State Library of Western Australia and reproduced with  the permission of the Library Board of Western Australia. (160419PD)

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Abstract with human form amongst large dots
Calendar, Film, July 19, Lectures and Talks

Other Suns Curator’s Lecture: Jack Sargeant

26 July @ Fremantle Arts Centre ·
Presented by Fremantle Arts Centre ·

In conjunction with Other Suns: Cult Sci-Fi Cinema and Art, Curator and Revelation Perth International Film Festival Program Director Jack Sargeant (UK) will deliver a lecture prior to the official opening of the exhibition.

Sargeant is an internationally regarded curator, film programmer and writer specialising in cult film, underground film and independent film. He is the author of several books including Flesh & Excess: On Underground Film, Against Control and Deathtripping: The Cinema of Trangression. Not to be missed by sci-fi aficionados, his lecture is titled Concrete: an autobiographical account of science fiction obsessions.

The lecture will be from 5-6 pm on Friday 26 July.

More info
W: www.fac.org.au/whats-on/post/suns-curators-lecture-jack-sargeant/
E:  artscentre@fremantle.wa.gov.au

Pictured: Astro Morphs, Astro Morphs Ascension, 2018

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Features, Festivals, Forums, Lectures and Talks, News, Opinion, Visual arts, Workshops

Artists take aim at canon

Perth artists Gabby Loo and Steven James Finch will be exploring a new approach to the Western canon of art and culture at this weekend’s Disrupted: Festival of Ideas. Entitled “Epistemicide in the Western art canon”, their workshop is about making visible the alienation experienced by people of colour in the face of this cultural monolith. Nina Levy spoke to the pair to find out more.

Gabby Loo and Steven James Finch. Photo: Tasha Faye.

Nina Levy: Tell me about yourselves and your artistic practice.
Steven James Finch: I am an early-career community artist with migrant settler heritage living on stolen lands. I have an ongoing concern about care, culture and ethical art practices in the face of ecological collapse and climate disaster. I recently become interested in decoloniality of the illegal state of Australia and solidarity with First Nations people.

I have edited literary journals, built and lived in nomadic off-grid structures, curated festivals and visual art exhibitions, produced Fringe performances, written and performed poetry, literature and performance art. Throughout I have tried to constantly ask what is the best way of living and caring for each other and for all beings? How can we be good, curious, just and truthful?

Gabby Loo: I am an emerging multidisciplinary artist and community arts facilitator based on the stolen lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation. I am a second-generation migrant of Shan and Hakka ancestry.

In my personal arts practice I enjoy visually exploring my intersectional identities and autobiographical histories, of past and future self. I tend to accompany these ideas with fictionalised and surreal elements. I currently explore these ideas through illustration, comics, photography, textile works and small sculptures.

I am a co-director of Paper Mountain, creator of the CaLD & ATSI Creatives of WA online community group and I co-coordinate the ongoing community arts project Belonging with Aisyah Sumito, a local artist and curator. Belonging is a Noongar boodja-based community arts initiative with an aim to provide a safe space for artists to express ideas of self and identity, to make art, and have a voice with a particular focus on platforming Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) youth. We host communal workshops, meet ups and forums.

NL: What has shaped your artistic practices?
SJF: During my degree, when I thought being an author was a relatively straightforward process of releasing books, I developed an interest in the ethics of Soren Kierkegaard. Ethics for me became tied to aesthetics and interrelationality or spirit. I roughly remember Kierkegaard describing the ethical way as watching the face of someone who is perfectly responding to an imperfect but youthful actor on stage. So, for me, initially, creative practice and meaning-making is tied into ideas of being good and living ethically. So, instead of a solitary writer I’ve become committed to helping others express themselves. I have learned from running a magazine with my peers and putting in a lot of volunteer hours; from living off-grid in a nomadic structure in a backyard, hosting dinners about the end of the world; from running an artist run initiative; and from doing all of this while living in economic precarity.

What really helped me get to where I am today is meeting and working with incredible and good people, like Gabby Loo, Amber Boyatzis, Vidya Rajan, Claire Bushby, Alina Tang, Janet Carter and people on the dotdotdash and Paper Mountain team, people from Aunty Mabel’s Zine Distro. This led me to a key moment in 2016 when I was doing a short course with the Centre for Cultural Partnerships at the University of Melbourne, when Tania Cañas was a tutor, and spoke of how Western pedagogy and education had led to this widespread epistemicide, the death of the diversity of knowledge. From that moment, I began to take my community arts work more seriously. In speaking with our collaborators from the “Seasons, Histories, Hopes” exhibition at the SLWA, I have learned so much about who I am and what knowledge I can share with my cultures and communities – one of which, from Walter Mignolo and others, is the idea of decolonial aesthetics.

GL: In 2017 I graduated from UWA with a Fine Arts Major. I’ve been a freelance independent artist and community arts facilitator ever since. As an artist of colour I am driven to create change in the Perth arts and foster culturally safe spaces for marginalised identities.

My arts practice was shaped by personal experiences of art as therapy, a means of self-empowerment and self-acceptance. As a gender queer young person of colour, my lived experiences are laden with intersectional discrimination and the battle against harmful effects this has on my well-being. As I move towards my future, with my past as a reminder in my back pocket, I’m always learning how to unpack the internalised harm and decolonising my modes of thinking and foster positive attitude of self-realisation for myself and others.

My lived experiences and learning from peers who have also been through similar experiences are very relevant to the core of my practice, guiding how I work with individuals in communities and build creative communities which value cultural safety and decoloniality. As an artist based on stolen Whadjuk Noongar land, it is my hope that I can support creative spaces that foster intercultural solidarity, amplify the voices of BIPOC folx (Black, Indigenous, and People of colour), and learning the truth about our cultural histories (colonial erasure and Western Euro-centrism sucks big time!).

NL: How did you meet? And how did you come to collaborate?
GL: We met while volunteering at Paper Mountain, an artist-run-initiative and gallery on William Street in Northbridge. One of the first projects we worked on was during KickstART Festival 2017 for WA Youth Week. Steve, who was the Festival Coordinator at the time, asked me to run a community workshop series and exhibition for migrant and refugee background youth, supported by OMI, Propel Youth Arts WA and North Metro TAFE. It was then that the ongoing community arts project Belonging was born.

SJF: I approached Gabby to ask if they wanted to run a series of art workshops for the Office of Multicultural Interests. It was all a bit last minute, and a process that was a bit stressful for Gabby, but they really stepped up. Belonging became a beautiful ongoing project. For the State Library exhibition, I spoke to Gabby as I was applying for the fellowship. Initially we were going to do two separate individual projects, but as we spoke together and organised community gatherings, we realised that the project needed a many-voices approach to the idea of Asian identity in WA, and so it became a group project we co-facilitated.

NL: You recently co-curated and presented Seasons, Histories, Hopes at the State Library of WA, a group exhibition about Asian migrant history in WA that is the culmination of the year-long research project Imagined Migrant Future. In the exhibition catalogue you talk about how the project evolved over the year. Can you talk us through that process of evolution, and what the project uncovered for you?
GL: The Western framework of archives, libraries and museums use the white gaze to constrict the living cultural practices and everyday objects of people into palatable stereotypes and racist imaginaries.

SJF: We entered the State Library space knowing this, but also assuming that people who work in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) Sector would be aware. What we found were State Library materials, signage, and processes that seemed unaware of the inherited racist structures they were replicating. We also experienced racism from some staff members; people who would tell us our research project was misguided or unimportant in focusing on Asian migration, or who would assume that we did not belong in the staff areas or that we must be cleaners. Our fellowship itself was named after James Sykes Battye, chief librarian of the State Library, who in his Cyclopedia of Western Australia only mentions Chinese people once, and that is in reference to there being a State budget surplus and a discussion by the government on acquiring cheap labour to further increase the surplus. I wish to mention that there were also staff members who were helpful and professional, that this is not about a series of isolated incidents, but about how ongoing racist structures are perpetuated by administrative organisations.

GL: Despite these disheartening experiences there was always a strong feeling of hope when we met with our exhibiting artists. Sitting together and discussing with other non-white people our struggles with racism, both external and internal, our specific cultural knowledge and histories, and being heard as humans rather than as racialised identities was incredibly empowering. We have documented a lot of our experiences and our histories in  the documentary Imagined Migrant Futures by Michelle Vuaillat and our exhibition catalogue.

NL: And you will be presenting a workshop this month as part of the Disrupted Festival of Ideas: Epistemicide in the Western Art Canon. Firstly, for those who don’t know, what is epistemicide?
SJF: Epistemicide is the colonial act of killing knowledges. It is a term used by Boaventura De Sousa Santos in the book Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide to describe how colonial powers destroy language, ancestral ties, memories and culture of subordinated groups. We’ve found this term useful in understanding current monologic expressions of culture. As local artists we’ve found that there is a violent process of meaning-making predicated on erasing and writing over the lived cultural truths of First Nations people and People of Colour that is, unfortunately, quite prevalent today, even from well-meaning individuals. And so we feel this is a much needed conversation to be had with our community.

NL: And what will the workshop involve?
SJF & GL: During the workshop we will be looking at the following ideas:

  • Unpacking the constructions of truth, particularly as defined by Western Euro-centric efforts at universal truths through the erasure of cultures, languages and diversity.
  • Specific histories that uncover cultural bias and theft, particularly during the Enlightenment and Modernity.
  • Identifying and discussing international/local decolonial art histories and repatriation efforts.
  • The effects of representation on lived and racialised bodies.
  • Reference to other efforts in decolonial thought and activism.
  • Fun!

NL: Who do you hope to see at the workshop? 
GL: We hope to meet an array of people who are art admirers, artists and art workers. They do not need to have any training/experience. However, we hope those with a keen interest in truth-telling will attend and learn how our histories are documented and shaped through art.

SJF: Anyone that has ever, like me, been seduced into liking Western culture and the Western art canon, and as a result have gone through periods of real self-doubt and self-hate and shame and racial dysphoria. This space is for you. These are the truths that have always been there. Your lived experience, your cultures, your childhood: they are all as valuable and deserving as any of this.

Disrupted: Festival of Ideas takes place at the State Library of Western Australia on July 27 and 28. It is a free event. 

“Epistemicide in the Western art canon” is fully booked but you can join the waitlist here.

 

Pictured top: Gabby Loo. Photo: Giselle Natassia Woodley.

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Four women engaged in panel discussion
August 19, Calendar, Lectures and Talks, Visual arts

Lectures & Talks: Women in Art: Then & Now

3 August @ Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) ·
Presented by PICA ·

An intergenerational discussion.

In response to Trying to Find Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair, leading female art makers and industry voices discuss the history of women’s art and the arrival into the present. Join us for this critical panel exploring where we have come from, where we are, and where we need to go.

PICA invites industry and community alike to engage in this interdisciplinary discussion.  From forgotten artists to triumphs celebrated, seize the opportunity to prompt further discussion during our Q&A as we explore the question, “Have we come far enough?”.

Saturday 3 August, 3.30pm – 4.30pm

More info
W: pica.org.au/show/women-in-art/
E:  info@pica.org.au

Pictured: Women in Art, Credit: Susie Blatchford (Pixel Poetry)

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Names in black print on white background
Calendar, July 19, Lectures and Talks

Artist Floor Talk with Agatha Gothe-Snape

27 July @ Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) ·
Presented by PICA & Agatha Gothe-Snape ·

Trying to Find Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair is a celebration of hidden stories.

Artist Agatha Gothe-Snape has followed the thread of histories from work in the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at the University of Western Australia and has gained a unique and vital insight into Australia’s only public collection of women’s art.

Join Agatha Gothe-Snape, with curators Gemma Watson and Charlotte Hickson, as they guide us through the research and development, stories and hidden gems, comfort and discomfort of what it means to share personal experience with personal practice.

Saturday 27 July, 3pm

More info
W: pica.org.au/show/artist-floor-talk-agatha-gothe-snape/
E:  info@pica.org.au

Pictured: Agatha Gothe-Snape, Every Artist Remembered with Elizabeth Pulie, 2009, from the series Every Artist Remembered (Firstdraft), posca pen on arches paper, framed. 183 x 155 x 7cm, CCWA 950 Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, The University of Western Australia. Credit:  Robert Frith. © Courtesy the artist.

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Men working in a forest
Calendar, July 19, Lectures and Talks

An illustrated lecture with Nicholas Mangan

24 July @ Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) ·
Presented by PICA & Nicholas Mangan ·

Nicholas Mangan’s work challenges us to question the histories embedded in objects, structures, and documents of human culture. How often do we consider the effects of  human activity on the natural environment? Mangan – one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists – calls for us to interrogate these narratives, and asks us to imagine possible futures.

Come down for this illustrated lecture, led by Mangan, through lines of research and anecdotal histories that have informed the development of his revealing project Termite Economies.

More info
W: pica.org.au/show/illustrated-lecture-with-mangan/
E:  info@pica.org.au

Pictured: Image AMS467_035_354 – man sawing section out of termite mound nest.
Courtesy Australian Museum Archives. Credit: Anthony Musgrave

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