WA Art Gallery reopens with a bold display of contemporary and fresh Western Australian art


What does (art in) Western Australia look like around 2021? The view from here, the reopening exhibition at the new Art Gallery of WA, has many excellent answers to this question. These can be various styles of graffiti that make up 100 vandals, a multigenerational celebration of the urban art form that divides that features prints, sketches and an anti-graffiti government newspaper ad. It could be an oil painting immortalizing the fire that destroyed Inglewood Bunnings. It could be a bright pink neon sign saying ‘moorditj’, a Noongar word meaning ‘good’, ‘strong’ or ‘awesome’, part of an audiovisual work exploring the physical effects of language on the body . It could be vintage sportswear from the 90s with designs depicting the northern suburbs of Mirrabooka. Or it could be the family of 34 Adidas-clad cats scattered around the museum.

Addressing a variety of issues – ranging from accessibility and patriarchy to the well-being of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders – the exhibit is a snapshot of contemporary arts in Western Australia, with the work of artists based here and elsewhere. Ian Strange, a Perth-born artist who makes New York City his home and is famous for redecorating homes, is the gallery’s guest art director. He played a central role in bringing together perspectives and elements of The view from here, representing the broad view of West Australian art (and, by extension, culture).

“It is important that at this major moment of renewal for the gallery, it is not just about the building, but about the art and artists of WA and celebrating the diversity and incredible artistry that this state product, ”Strange said. “I am very happy that visitors to the gallery are seeing some of the best works of art in the world by artists from Western Australia.”

Other artists involved include Sarah Bahbah, an artist based in Los Angeles and raised in WA with over a million followers on Instagram; artist and designer Tim Meakins, who created giant 3D printed sculptures of “smiling weightlifters, posers and weights”; and Indigenous artists John Prince Siddon, Tyrown Waigana and Sandra Hill, a survivor of the stolen generations. In total, the exhibition features more than 230 artists and 361 works of art, of which 111 were specially commissioned for the exhibition.

“The launch of the all-new AGWA is a major moment for the arts and artists of Western Australia,” AGWA Director Colin Walker said in a press release. “AGWA will be a champion of WA artists, and the reopening celebrates our local talent and our unique worldview from this special place.”

Aside from the new exhibit, the other major addition to the gallery is the new $ 10 million rooftop space for 500 people that offers 360-degree views of the CBD skyline and a 34-meter-long mural. five meters high from Minang. / Noongar artist Christopher Pease. The rooftop bar is open on Fridays from 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m., serving a menu of local beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks – with the exception of two champagnes, all drinks are available. from Western Australia – and small plates.


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