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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Black and white image of inside the Art Gallery with man standing in centre of room
Calendar, December 19, November 19, October 19, October 19, September 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete

21 Sep  – 3 Feb  @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

AGWA 40 – Celebrating the Art Gallery of WA’s 1979 Brutalist building anniversary.  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.

Opened on 2 October 1979 by then Premier Charles Court, the new Art Gallery of WA building was a dramatic example of late Brutalist architecture designed by Polish born Charles Sierakowski.

The Perth Brutal exhibition opens out the many layers of the history of the building’s development featuring images of the building in construction and its early days,  along with ephemera such as building models, plans, diagrams and drawings, and early promotional brochures about the structure and its place in the Cultural Centre.

Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete is a free exhibition.

SPECIAL EVENT:
Symposium | Perth Brutal: AGWA, the Perth Cultural Centre and Brutalist Architecture in Australia.
www.seesawmag.com.au/visual-arts/symposium-perth-brutal-agwa-the-perth-cultural-centre-and-brutalist-architecture-in-australia/
9am-3pm, 2 October 2019 | $10

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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Eva Fernandez Flora obscura 14 (detail), 2013 digital print on Hahnemuhle fine art paper 32 x 21 cm On loan from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection
News, Reviews, Visual arts

Seeds of life and destruction

Review: ‘The Botanical: Beauty and Peril’ ·
Art Gallery of Western Australia ·
Review by Miranda Johnson ·

This incredibly diverse exhibition guides the viewer on a journey through more than 200 works that progressively instill a sense of wonder at the richness of the natural world.

This wonderment is used as a vehicle to gently remind us of the threat and peril of the exhibition’s title – a doubling of hope and danger, two sides of a single coin.

Merrick Belyea, ‘Lesmurdie’, 2019, oil on board, 123 x 146.5 cm, On loan from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.

Traversing historical and contemporary attitudes towards our natural world, “The Botanical: Beauty and Peril” seeks to address the progressively increasing sense of despair, loss and anxiety related to environmental destruction. It positions our current ecological circumstances within a historical context to help understand how we came to be facing a climate emergency.

The exhibition is drawn from the State gallery and from that of its chair, Janet Holmes à Court, and is co-curated by AGWA’s Melissa Harpley and the Janet Holmes à Court Collection’s Laetitia Wilson and Megan Schlipalius.

It takes a narrative form, allowing the viewer to walk through sections dedicated to different periods of human investment, impact and relationship with the botanical world. Beginning with European botanical illustrations by artists including Margaret Forrest and Florence Hildegarde Bassett alongside Aboriginal  representations of Country by Emily Kam Kngwarreye, this rich, immersive show drives home the importance of representing the natural world as a way to understand, experience, and find one’s place within it.

Walking clockwise through the exhibition, the narrative shifts from human representation of the landscape to our effect upon it. We see works reflecting the impact of logging, the politics of Aboriginal land rights and ongoing European settlement expressed in such works as brightly illustrated posters advertising Western Australia as a desirable place to travel and live.

Brian Robinson, ‘…and meanwhile back on earth the blooms continue to flourish’, 2013,
wood, plastic, steel, synthetic polymer paint, feathers, plant fibre and shell, 200 x 350 x 50 cm, State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through The Leah Jane Cohen Bequest, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2014, © Brian Robinson, 2013.

A particular highlight are the 18 hanging batik fabrics by Utopia women artists in the 1980s, an injection of joyful colour and pattern displaying important plants and vegetables used for food and medicine. Here, the joy of making aligns with the love of country and an understanding of the connection between human survival and a bountiful land.

Although the exhibition follows a theme of the destructive effects of human intervention on the landscape, the works themselves are not presented chronologically. Alongside botanical illustrations from the 19th century, Eva Fernandez’s Flora Obscura series (2013) seeks to replicate the look of these early studies of WA flora. This makes for thoughtful juxtapositions of contemporary and historical works that speak to one another across the decades.

A B Webb, ‘Felling a Karri tree’, Western Australia 1929, lithograph, 102 x 151 cm, State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Sir Claude Hotchin Art Foundation, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 1993.

“The Botanical” does not shy away from stark reminders of our uncertain future, its strength lying it its focus on the double-sided nature of nature itself, as something beautiful yet also dangerous. Through subtle revelations of the dark side of the natural world, including extinction and bushfires, the exhibition hints towards danger and destruction, but stops short of paralysing viewers with fear, leading to inaction.

In its balance of light and dark, beauty and danger, as well as the associated series of public programs aiming to stimulate conversation and education around climate change, the exhibition is successful in its gentle push towards consideration of and care for our natural world, with just enough of a hint of a threat to encourage you into action.

“The Botanical: Beauty and Peril” runs until November 4.

Pictured top: Eva Fernandez’s digital print Flora obscura 14 (detail).
On loan from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.

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Squares in shades of peach, mauve and light brown
August 19, Calendar, December 19, November 19, October 19, September 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: WA Now – Eveline Kotai: Breathing Pattern

17 Aug – 20 Jan 2020 @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

Over the past 15 years, Eveline Kotai’s interest in material dissolution and regeneration has culminated in the practice and process of cutting up and reworking her own paintings into new works. Her unique technique of reconfiguring pre-existing works into new compositions via invisible thread, and onto new surfaces, echoes a world in perpetual motion, transition and continuation. Like a computer program trying to repair itself or a human mind trying to get to know itself, new paths are found, new solutions forged.

This method provides Kotai with, not only a never-ending source of new beginnings, but also an important meditative practice, a kind of breathing pattern, through the action of cutting and stitching her canvasses anew. The exhibition will include new and recent work with the variety of media including canvas reconstructions and paintings.

WA Now – Eveline Kotai: Breathing Pattern forms part of the WA Now series dedicated to showcasing work by practising WA artists. To complement the exhibition, AGWA is hosting a series of events including a free artist talk on Saturday 14 September.

More info
W: artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/wa-now-eveline-kotai-breathing-pattern
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured: Eveline Kotai Breathing Pattern #3 2019. Acrylic on ply, 120.7 x 270 cm.
Courtesy of the artist and Art Collective WA.

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Actress hugging toy robot
Children, Features, News

Kids Winter Gig Guide

“Bring your rain poncho and wear noisy shoes,” the instructions read. Now that sounds like an intriguing art installation.

Contemporary artist Marnie Orr is running school holiday workshops at the Art Gallery of WA and they are all about rain. From July 10-19 children will use their bodies and found materials to brew up a storm in an immersive exploration of rain. The AGWA workshop is one of many art activities for children launching as Perth’s creative community gears up for school holidays.

The State Theatre Centre  is brimming with events. On July 13 the building will come alive with Aboriginal art, poetry, films and culture to celebrate Naidoc Day.  And between July 6-14 the theatre will be overrun with robots as Barking Gecko take over the building. A season of Finegan Kruckmeyer’s show My Robot  (read Seesaw’s review here) will be complemented by some very cool free classes. Kids can flex their engineering and design skills by building a Lego robot, then fight it out in the Battle Arena with other young programmers. In the Super Heroes Workshops kids and adults work together using drama and creative thinking to solve problems.

Robots battle it out at Barking Gecko’s Robot Workshop

From August 13  – 16  the State Theatre will present a production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts.  Roald Dahl’s classic reworking of The Three Little PigsCinderellaLittle Red Riding HoodSnow WhiteGoldilocks and Jack and the Beanstalk  is being brought to the stage by Shake and Stir Theatre.

There is an enormous range of art classes at Fremantle Arts Centre for children and teenagers: photography, cartoons, pottery, anime and mosaic to list just a few. And you can check out the work of 2018’s Year 12 students in Pulse Perspectives, (reviewed by Seesaw here) in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of WA.

Don’t forget to include some musical magic in your school holiday fun. The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra will present Jazz for Juniors at His Majesty’s Theatre July 9 & 10. These fun-filled concerts introduce young children to the concepts of jazz music and the instruments the musicians play. Best of all, everyone gets the chance to try out some instruments built for small hands.

Be inspired by some of WA’s best young musicians as the WA Youth Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Northey perform a concert of Australian and Russian music, including the world premiere of a piece by Australian composer Melody Eötvös. Tickets don’t come much cheaper than this for a full symphonic concert and you can be guaranteed a passionate performance.

At UWA’s Conservatorium of Music kids can leap into the world of percussion at the Discover! Percussion workshop at UWA on July 10, or a saxophone bootcamp with Emma McPhilemy on the 12-13th.

A fusion of dance and puppetry in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s Fox. Photo supplied.

And of course Spare Parts Puppet Theatre will perform puppet shows in Fremantle throughout the holidays. Their show this time is the story of the unexpected friendship between a magpie and a dog. Fox is a fusion of puppetry and dance that will take you on a journey through scorched scrub and ochre desert where the true meaning of friendship and loyalty will be discovered.

WA’s performing and visual arts companies are reaching out this winter to engage young people with the arts. There’s no better time to dive in!

Pictured top: A real robot is part of the cast in Barking Gecko’s My Robot. Photo supplied.

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Object in beige resembling cushion
August 19, Calendar, July 19, June 19, September 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: AGWA Design – Family resemblance

15 Jun – 9 Sep @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

A collection display featuring a range of (largely) ceramic works that showcase the way some of thenation’s and world’s best makers create sequences and clusters of objects. These works explore the idea that hand-making is so often about incremental and subtle shifts in focus and form, as a style and an artistic approach comes into being over time, and from form to form to form. In this mode, we might observe that singular entities in a maker’s output resemble “family groupings”.

The works selected to open this out are incredibly subtle and reserved and can be experienced as a series of the most delicate gestures and expressions of a material poetics that create, even quietly demand, a contemplative space around them. Other material looks at the ways seriality creates the conditions for meditative experience, while others still, are composed of various kinds of parts that speak to formal relationships within individual works whilst foregrounding their inventive (and often oddball) conversations with the larger world of modern and contemporary ceramic practice.

The display includes recent and older acquisitions by makers such as Ron Nagle, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Margaret West and Sandra Black amongst many others.

More info
W: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/agwa-design-family-resemblance
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured:
Ricky Swallow Fig. 2 2009 (detail). Jelutong (Dyera costulata), 82 x 38 x 25 cm. State Art Collection,
Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation:
TomorrowFund, 2010.

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A plant appearing to grow out of soil on a chair with soil and stones on the floor
August 19, Calendar, July 19, October 19, September 19

Visual Arts: The Botanical: Beauty and Peril

6 Jul – 7 Oct @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA and Janet Holmes à Court Collection ·

This major exhibition explores the abundant beauty of the botanical world and the threats that assail it.

The Botanical: Beauty and Peril draws from the renowned collection of Janet Holmes à Court and the AGWA Collection to present a vivid, involving and sometimes disturbing journey through the diverse representation by Australian artists of the glorious kingdom of plants.

From wildflower rooms to bush fire photography, the show both celebrates the natural beauty of landscapes and plants, and raises bracing issues about environmental destruction and the land rights of Australia’s First Peoples. By turns immersive, stimulating, moving and inspiring, the exhibition is designed to stimulate conversations about our botanical world and how we live in it, and live with it.

A number of events will run in conjunction with this exhibition, including a climate change panel discussion, symposium, guided tours, collector talk, curator tours, workshops and much more. Visit the website to plan your visit.

Part of the What On Earth project at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery (opens May), Midland Junction Arts Centre (Aug), Mundaring Arts Centre (Sep) and Kings Park Festival (Sep).

More info
W: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/botanical-beauty-and-peril
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured:
Eva Fernandez Anigozanthos flavidus 2011. Archival inkjet print on Ilford Galerie Pearl paper (laminated), 100 x 150 cm, edition AP/6. © the artist. Janet Holmes à Court Collection.

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depiction of feathered bird
August 19, Calendar, July 19, June 19, June 19, May 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: WA Now – TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd: Ibelongyoubelongwebelong

4 May – 5 Aug @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA, TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd ·

Ibelongyoubelongwebelong presents a series of work that reflects the artist’s Aboriginal spirituality and cultural research on connection to country, in particular the Boorongurup (Porongorup Ranges), the oldest granite formation on Earth. Boorongurup is an important place for Bibbulmun Peoples and the most important Winartj sacred place on Country.

TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd is a Bibbulmun Nyoongar/Budimia Yamatji man, born in the south-west of WA.  His work emphasises Aboriginal spirituality with its deep connection and unity of land, people, animals and plants. His work offers an easy access to reflect on how each of us belong and connect to all that is around us.

More info
W:  www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/wa-now-tjyllyungoolance-chadd-ibelongyoubelongwebelong
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured: TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd Waitj Boorongur 2014. Acrylic on Belgium linen, 120 X 90 cm.  Courtesy of the artist . © TJYLLYUNGOO/Lance Chadd, 2014.

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Shearers at work in a shed shearing rams
April 19, Calendar, February 19, July 19, June 19, March 19, May 19, Painting, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Tom Roberts’ Shearing the rams

13 Feb – 28 Jul @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

AGWA is home for the next few months to one of Australia’s iconic colonial-era paintings. Tom Roberts’ Shearing the rams on loan from the National Gallery of Victoria until late July, in return for the loan of one of AGWA’s much-loved paintings, Droving into the light, which features in the NGV exhibition Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art.

Shearing the rams hangs alongside AGWA’s own Down on his luck by Frederick McCubbin, and gives you a rare opportunity to see these two great nationalistic narrative paintings side-by-side. Both works take rural subject matter as the starting point for their images of Australian identity, but Roberts presents a positive vision of the pastoral industry, far removed from McCubbin’s image of a struggling pioneer.

Roberts based his painting on sketches made in a shearing shed in country New South Wales.  The close observation of details and atmospheric effects, together with the sense of this being a snapshot of a fleeting moment, gives the painting an aura of ‘truth’, which has helped to secure its popularity for many generations. It is a great example of Roberts’ statement that if art is “the perfect expression of one time and place, it becomes art for all time and of all places”.

More info
W:  www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/shearing-rams
E:   admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured:
Tom Roberts Shearing the rams 1890. Oil on canvas on composition board, 122.4 x 183.3 cm; 170 x 230.4 x 9.5 cm (framed). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1932.

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Three glass vases in soft blue grey tones
April 19, Calendar, March 19, May 19, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Tom Malone Prize 2019

9 Mar – 13 May @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by Art Gallery of WA ·

The Tom Malone Prize is a highly respected national event within the Australian glass art community. Glass is one of the most exciting and dynamic art forms in this country. It is a uniquely captivating medium, capable of almost endless transformation. Glass provides a perfect vehicle for the exploration of a range of themes, from the personal to the observational, and Australian makers are some of the world leaders in the medium.

Each year, the Tom Malone Prize presents new works by many of Australia’s best glass artists. In 2019, the exhibition features the work of Lewis Batchelor (SA), Clare Belfrage (SA), Matthew Curtis (ACT), Liam Fleming (SA), Mark Eliott (NSW), Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello (ACT), Marc Leib (WA), Jeremy Lepisto (ACT), Nick Mount (SA), Stephen Skillitzi (SA), Anne Sorensen (WA), and Kayo Yokoyama (NSW).

The Tom Malone Prize has played an integral role in the Gallery’s acquisition of works by Australia’s most inspiring, innovative and accomplished artists in this medium. Capturing some of the diversity in the approaches to glass in Australia, the Prize showcases key trends in glass art and the incredible skills of the makers. Now in its 17th year, the Tom Malone Prize continues with the support of Ms Sheryl Grimwood, AGWA Foundation Benefactor.

Tom Malone Prize 2019 will be on display at AGWA 9 March – 13 May 2019. The winner of the $15,000 acquisitive prize will be announced on 12 March 2019.

More info
W: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/tom-malone-prize-2019
E:  admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au

Pictured: Lewis Batchelar Landscapes 2018 Blown glass, murrine, lathe worked and pumice finished 41 x 19 cm (tallest)
Photographer: Michael Haines

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