The John Curtin Gallery is currently closed while we prepare for:

IOTA21: Indian Ocean Craft Triennial

10 September to 30 October 2021

John Curtin Gallery is located on Nyungar boodjar in Perth, Western Australia.
We wish to acknowledge the custodians of this land, the Whadjuk people and their Elders past and present.

John Curtin Gallery is located at Building 200a, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia.

Gallery reopens to the public from 10 September 2021

with opening hours: Monday – Friday 11am-5pm and Sunday 12-4pm

[THE ALTERNATIVE ARCHIVE] 15 June to 30 July 2021

The Alternative Archive, John Curtin Gallery, 14 May to 30 July 2021. Artwork credit: Mary-Lou Divilli, Bilbijy, 2019.


The Alternative Archive exhibition presents a contemporary visual archive of regional Western Australian arts practice, documenting a dynamic anthology of how regional artists relate to the people, homes, towns or regions that they know so well. It showcases work by 40 contemporary artists selected from a series of regionally-based exhibitions facilitated by local curators.

Originally scheduled for May 2020 but postponed due to the COVID19 global pandemic, this exhibition celebrates the diversity and expertise of regional artists and is a great opportunity for those involved to present to metropolitan audiences.

The Alternative Archive is the culmination of a three-year project involving 13 regional art galleries, 35 curators and 200 artists and is co-curated by John Curtin Gallery Director Chris Malcolm and Independent Curator/Artist Anna Louise Richardson. It aims to increase understanding of the arts ecology, the practices and conditions of regional art making in Western Australia.


Speaker Series: Alternative to What?

Oral Traditions, Contemporary Voices. John Curtin Gallery Curator, First Nations Art Michelle Broun and Curtin Cultural Immersion Facilitator Elisha Jacobs discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral traditions and the passing down of history and knowledge through the generations.

Michelle and Elisha’s presentation touches on the strength of oral traditions and how these have sustained Aboriginal cultures for thousands of years.

They will also talk about the importance of contemporary Aboriginal voices in the context of truth-telling and opportunities for healing and consider how might a First Nations definition of an ‘archive’ be different than that of Western mainstream definitions?

What are the principles and values associated First Nations ‘archives’? And how can mainstream institutions ensure Aboriginal histories and living heritages are valued and cared for.

Sheila Network Event: connecting womxn

Sheila Foundation and John Curtin Gallery present a networking event for womxn in the visual arts.
Hosted at the John Curtin Gallery this inaugural event will address a gap within the support of the arts industry to create a regular space just for womxn. Timed to fall within The Alternative Archive survey exhibition, this event provides the opportunity to connect and network with peers in a unique, safe space.
The afternoon will comprise a casual panel discussion with Helen Carroll, Fiona Sinclair and Anna Louise Richardson on the experience of women practitioners working regionally and why this show, in particular, has such a high representation of women. The discussion will encompass an overview of the Sheila Foundation.
Welcoming all womxn (cis, trans, transfeminine) in the visual arts industry; artists, arts workers, writers, curators we would especially love for you to be able to attend.

Speaker Series: Regional Encounters

Curtin writers respond to The Alternative Archive

What happens when creative writers are gifted access to a rich and diverse visual archive? What stories will arise? What new connections or meanings will develop?Hear Curtin University staff and alumni respond to The Alternative Archive with original works of fiction and non-fiction. Travel with us to places and times near and far, as we enter the archive and spin our stories.Featured writers include Susanna Castleden, Rosemary Sayer, Deborah Hunn and Sally Murphy. Facilitated by Rachel Robertson. Also featuring guest writer Kelly Fliedner, co-editor of Semaphore, a prestigious on line and printed magazine that publishes poetry and short fiction.

Speaker Series: Healing the Land

Chris Malcolm, and Michelle Broun consider several artworks from the Curtin University Art Collection which provide insights into the lives of Stolen Generations children separated from their parents under racist Government policy.
Michelle will survey two artworks created by Revel Cooper during his incarceration at the Carrolup Native Settlement in 1949. Chris will discuss an artwork by Sandra Hill, a member of the Stolen generation and influenced by Revels’ art and story. Both will explore the opportunities these artworks and voices offer for healing people and the land in Australia, and in the context of John Curtin Gallery’s Centre for Truth-telling development.


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John Curtin Gallery acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which the Bentley gallery is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation.