An exhibition of works by significant Australian Indigenous artists, curated from the art collections of leading Western Australian universities, will be exhibited at the John Curtin Gallery from 13 May.
It is the first collaborative project of its kind involving these university art collections and together, the works represent a significant record of the period.
The exhibition includes works from urban artists Brenda Croft, Julie Gough and Tony Albert, who exploit, subvert or parody language to interrogate histories and form a narrative which underlies the cultural alienation and displacement of Aboriginal people since invasion.
Works by artists who practice within remote communities, including Rover Thomas, Churchill Cann, Queenie McKenzie and Patrick Mung Mung, illustrate an ongoing connection to country.
Curators Connie Petrillo (Edith Cowan University), Mark Stewart (Murdoch University) and Pauline Williams (Curtin University) have selected works from each collection that not only explore cultural identity and the artist’s ongoing connection to country, but also artists who recognise the influence of other Indigenous artists as role models.
In developing the show, the curators have also considered art as a vehicle for the survival and revival of culture, presenting works by Indigenous artists that explore their own perceptions of identity and role modelling. The exhibition provides reference points for cultural practice and offers artistic commentaries on inclusive contemporary Australian society.
John Curtin Gallery Director Chris Malcolm said, “This exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution that university art collections make to Australia’s intellectual and cultural life. As campus based collections they do not always enjoy the exposure that other high profile public collections do like the State Collection. This is a rare opportunity to see an outstanding exhibition of major works by many of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists.”
The exhibition runs from 13 May until 6 July.