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The Art Gallery of Western Australia

The Art Gallery of Western Australia

1 Rebecca Baumann and Brendan Van Hek
Untitled 2015
Mirrored acrylic, aluminium, dimensions variable. Photography by Simon Hewson. Commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre for ‘Colour Restraint’.

Artist | Rebecca Baumann’s work spans sculpture, installation and performance. Her practice is driven by a formal and conceptual exploration of materials, through which she interrogates ideas about colour and emotion. An important Perth-based artist with a distinguished national and international profile, Baumann has recently held a solo exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre, and is currently undertaking an artist’s residency in Helsinki.
Artwork | This work is representative of the ideas informing Rebecca Baumann’s WA Focus exhibition, where she will present a site-specific installation, creating an immersive experience through translucent coloured planes that explore the experience of colour, light and time.

WA Focus
May 28-August 22 
WA Focus is AGWA’s annual program dedicated to displaying the work of Western Australian artists. It showcases recent and new work by local artists, selected to represent a mix of gender, experience and medium.

Juha Tolonen
Home and away 2014
Pigment print, 120x120cm. © Juha Tolonen. Courtesy the artist.

Artist | Juha Tolonen, born in Australia in 1968, is an artist, writer, lecturer and
photographer. Originally based in Perth, he is a Visiting Researcher at Aalto University in Helsinki, and currently works in Lapland, Finland. His work depicts the human impact on landscape and the contradictions found in our modern built environment.
Artwork | Juha Tolonen’s parents fled with many other emigrants in the post-war period, and now Finland is encouraging the children of emigrants to return. In this moving photographic series of his ancestral homeland, Juha Tolonen asks, “Is return possible when the country no longer resembles the land of our forebears?”

WA Focus – Finlandisation – Juha Tolonen
September 3-November 21
Finlandisation is a series of landscape photographs, shot on medium and large-format film during the autumn hunting season in northern Finland, and contrasted with images of the Swan River and its surrounds.


Anders Nilsen
Don’t go where I can’t follow (page 79) 2006
Ink on paper, 27.9x35.6cm. © Anders Nilsen. Courtesy the artist

Artist | Anders Nilsen creates some of the most interesting and original comic art of our time. Without flinching, his work tackles the big questions: life, death and the meaning of being on this planet.
Artwork | This is a page from one of the most moving and compelling comic works ever made. It celebrates the life and mourns the death of his late partner Cheryl Weaver. The images here show Anders, accompanied by friends, carrying Cheryl’s ashes before letting them go in the waters of Promontory Point.   

Comic Tragics: the exploding language of contemporary comic art
Until July 25 
This exhibition is an international multi-media exploration of the inner life of comic artists, and their incredibly intense, personal and affecting comic works that connect with audiences in unexpected and powerful ways. The show presents some of the best comic artists at work in the world today, including Gabrielle Bell (US), Stephen Collins (UK), Aisha Franz (Germany), Anders Nilsen (US), Tommi Parrish (AUS), John Porcellino (US), Ron Rege Jr (US), Dash Shaw (US), and Emma Talbot (UK).


Nalini Malani
The sacred and the profane 1998
Synthetic polymer paint on Mylar, steel, nylon cord, electric motors, lights and hardware, 300x500x1100cm (overall installation). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 2001

Artist | Nalini Malani is one of India’s most innovative and compelling artists. She has an international profile, having exhibited from Tokyo to the US, and her work is included in numerous international collections. Her work engages with the present and past of Indian history and the beliefs that have sustained it. Malani’s practice moves across, in the most sophisticated of ways, painting, drawing, installation and projection.   
Artwork | Malani’s majestic installation work The sacred and the profane is composed of four gently rotating cylinders illustrated with fluid, lyrical paintings that evoke aspects of Indian myth and belief. These are illuminated by three lights that project the figures onto the wall, turning the room into an evolving drawing in colour, light and shadow.

Sacred and Profane
May 7-August 22 
This majestic display of three international large-scale works weaves together the detailed and personal, and the sacred and profane, into breathtaking pieces that inspire immediate awe through their sheer scale.


Eugene Von Guèrard
Mt William from Mt Dryden, Victoria 1857
Oil on canvas, 61.5x91.5cm (sight), 76.2x106cm (framed). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 1971

Artist | Eugene von Guérard trained as an artist in Italy and Germany, but came to Australia in 1852 to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields. Failing as a prospector, he returned to painting in 1854 and soon developed a reputation as the colony’s leading artist. 
Artwork | Von Guérard travelled extensively throughout Victoria, and visited the Grampian Ranges twice in the 1850s. Here, he has depicted Mt William, the highest peak in the ranges, at sunrise, using the low slanting light to throw the landscape into relief and contrast the dawn of a new day against the fleeing shadows of night. Incorporating the diurnal cycle in the one work suggests
a world in harmony, symbolic of von Guérard’s view of the Australian landscape as a natural paradise.

Continental Shift
Continents apart, yet influenced by the same global artistic trends, this exhibition highlights the cross-pollination of ideas and influences, exploring the referential artistic practices intrinsic to the development
of art movements across the centuries.


Tom Nicholson
Fragments from Melancholia (Documents after five
actions, Berlin) 2001-2002, Berlin, Germany, Melancholia (Banner 4)
Oil on linen, with sewn hessian loops,
307x270cm (irregular). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Gift of John McBride, AM 2010.

Artist | Tom Nicholson, born in Australia in 1973, is a conceptual and performative artist, writer and lecturer who has held solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. His banner works form a key part of his practice, which moves across film, photography, flags, drawings, text and multiples, including artist’s books. His work engages with archival material including Indigenous and colonial histories and the visual languages of politics.
Artwork | This is one of five banner works created by the artist for his performative Berlin marches of 2002, and draws on totalitarian political propaganda imagery. Nicholson’s practice engages cultural and political arenas through a variety of ‘actions’, which appropriate the idioms of protest, propaganda and art history. His work has focused on public actions in Melbourne, Berlin and Dili, East Timor. The actions may be seen as probing the experience and meaning of collective participation in community action, through a process of bearing images through place.

Dissenting Voices
August 20-January, 2017
Selected from historical, Indigenous and contemporary work in the State Art Collection, Dissenting Voices shows how artists respond to socio-political issues and events – such as conflict, national identity and the gay rights movement – and how their art provides persuasive commentary on the human condition. A key feature of the exhibition is the presentation of large canvas works by artists including Leon Golub, Tom Nicholson, and Peter Kennedy, whose banner documents a notorious moment in Australian political life in the 1970s.


Frederick Garling
View of Swan River, taken at the commencement of fresh waters 1827
Watercolour, ink and pencil, 22.5x32.8cm (sheet). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 1957

Artist | Frederick Garling was a Sydney-based artist whose primary occupation from 1829 onwards was as a customs official. Prior to that, Garling had been appointed official artist to James Stirling’s 1827 expedition to the Swan River to assess its viability for a British settlement.
Artwork | This watercolour is one of the images Garling made to record Stirling’s expedition, and it shows one of the expedition’s boats some distance up the Swan River, probably around East Perth. Garling has used many of the conventions of the picturesque tradition of painting, showing the scene from a slightly elevated vantage point and using trees as framing devices. The image presents the environs of the Swan River as non-threatening, and the vignette of the sailor shooting a swan implies a land of plenty, capable of sustaining a population.  

Unknown Land: Mapping and Imagining Western Australia
September 17-January 30 | Ticketed
The first documented visual record of European contact with Terra Australis Incognita (the unknown land of the south) occurred along the western coast of Australia in the seventeenth century. Over the next three hundred years, a vast array of images of the new land was made, including coastal views, landscapes, and detailed pictures of the flora and fauna, all of which feature in this exhibition.


Mary Reid Kelly
Priapus Agonistes 2013 (still)
Single-channel HD video with sound, made with Patrick Kelley. Duration: 15 minutes, 9 seconds. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 2015

Artist | Mary Reid Kelley is currently based in upstate New York. Her graphically bold work across a range of media incorporates aspects of early expressionist cinema with a finely tuned contemporary feminist approach to rethinking the stories and myths that shape our histories and present day.
Artwork | Priapus Agonistes is one of a group of works made by this young American artist that re-examine and re-perform aspects of Greek mythology. Combining humour and tragedy, the film focuses on a minotaur roaming a labyrinth beneath a gymnasium, waiting for members of the losing team to be
sent down as food, and on the posturing of one of the players, Priapus, who, at the film’s end, will descend to destroy the creature. As in all mythology, nothing is black and white, and plot and sub plot weave over each other in this playful and inventive work.  

Screen Space – Mary Reid Kelley Priapus Agonistes
June 4-September 25 
A new work is screened every two months in this dedicated space for AGWA’s growing filmic acquisitions.


Art Gallery of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
(08) 9492 6600,

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