50fifty:2020 Atrium2020-09-02T10:16:15+00:00

LIST OF WORKS FOR THE JOHN CURTIN GALLERY ATRIUM

Leah Chidlow, Colour Corruption 202, 2019

mixed media on Marine Ply and timber structure, 81 x 122 x 3cm (double sided).
Acquired with the support of the Vice-Chancellor from the Curtin University Art Degree Show, 2019

In an earlier project, I was regularly documenting the campus using my smartphone camera. The degree to which digital images mediated my experience eventually led to my fascination with glitches. I hope that by displacing glitched digital photos into a material and physical encounter, I can shift them away from their ordinary form, and demarcate the digital optics from the lived, embodied experience of residing in a place in time—specifically, Curtin at night. Suspending the works means that viewing and comprehending them requires physical navigation; while the use of materials reference unique architectural features of the campus. – Leah Chidlow

Leah Chidlow is an emerging visual artist, currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Art at Curtin University whose practice works across painting, drawing and printmaking. Chidlow’a current project aims to displace digital glitches into a physical and material encounter by utilising elements of sculpture, digital photography, data bending, printmaking and painting. Colour Corruption 202 was exhibited at Curtin University, School of Design and Art, Art Degree Show 2019 student exhibition.

https://www.leahchidlow.com/

Björn Erling Evensen, Gateway, 1976

stainless steel, 207 x 197 x 100cm.
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Jack and Jonathan Gregson, 2019

Björn Erling Evensen was born in 1924, Stockholm (Sweden). He completed his art studies in Rome, and residencies in France, Italy and England during 1947-53. He has exhibited extensively since 1951, most recently in 2012, in Gotland (Sweden). He has completed a number of commissions around the world, specifically in Stockholm and New York.

Evensen plays with the idea of making artwork which does not require interpretation, rather requires the viewer to have an experience from his work. Evensen also works under the methodology that his creations are never ‘completed,’ rather they extend through multiple pieces of artworks. A bronze iteration of Gateway was exhibited in the 1974 exhibition at the Sonja Henie Onstads Culture Center at Høvikodden in Oslo, Norway. Western Australian artist, Bryant McDiven had seen the exhibition and subsequently spent a number of years raising the funds to tour a steel Gateway to Perth in 1976 along with a selection of twenty other artworks from the original Oslo exhibition. Evensen was invited as a visiting professor to Perth, where he held talks, seminars and workshops. The artwork was purchased at this time by the Swan Brewery, Perth for their Canning Vale premises.

As a large outdoor sculpture, Gateway has the potential to be placed on permanent display on the extensive grounds of Curtin University and the style of the artwork is sympathetic to the brutalist architecture characteristic to the Bentley campus. The highly reflective stainless steel object, intensely worked by the artist, currently creates an electrifying entrance to the John Curtin Gallery.

https://www.evensen.se/bjorn/Welcome.html

Reynold Hart, Untitled, c1950

pastel and charcoal on paper, 27 x 37cm.
Donated by Sue and Ian Bernadt, 2018

Reynold Hart is one of the most celebrated of the child artists who created artwork while incarcerated at the Carrolup Native Settlement in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The children had been forcibly removed from their families to the notorious settlement on the banks of the Carrolup River under the government’s assimilation policies of the day. Hart, born 1938, was a Noongar artist and member of the Pinjarup and Kaniyang peoples of southwest Western Australia. Hart was taken to the Carrolup Native Settlement near Katanning when he was four years old, and was amongst the celebrated group of children artists who were encouraged to draw and paint their surroundings by teachers Noel and Lily White, the couple that managed the Carrolup School between 1946-50. Hart’s landscape paintings and pastels, along with those of other Carrolup children artists were exhibited and sold to wide acclaim in Australia, Europe and New Zealand in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

After Mrs Elliot went, Mr White came. The first year he came here, he found all the school children running around in the bush, looking like savages… He saw that we had some talent, we practiced on brown paper, night after night for about two years, and our drawing started to win the respect of the white people… That was the year [1947] we had an exhibition of art in Perth. Four boys were sent down to draw in front of the Public.

Reynold Hart to Florence Rutter[i]

Reynold Hart was one of the four boys described who accompanied the exhibition of drawings to Perth in 1947 and sketched with chalks on paper in the exhibition space. Landscape preoccupied Hart as it did the other artists, again in a distinctive style that has become recognisable as coming from the ‘Carrolup School of Art’. Hart continued to paint in his adult years and passed away in Collie, Western Australia, in 1981.

Language group: Pinjarup and Kaniyang

Active: Western Australia

https://trove.nla.gov.au/people/1485163?c=

https://jcg.curtin.edu.au/carrolup/

 

[i] Miller, Mary Durack and Rutter, Florence 1952, Child Artists of the Australian Bush, Australasian publishing Co. / George G. Harrap, pp 67-68

Reynold Hart, Untitled, c1965

Gouache on paper, 33.5 x 51cm.
Donated by Fay Read

This untitled artwork was painted by Reynold Hart while incarcerated in Bunbury gaol circa 1965. Detective Sergeant William (Bill) Read was in charge of Bunbury C.I.B. and purchased art paper, paints, brushes and tobacco to ease Hart’s boredom. The painting was a gift to Sgt. Read in appreciation of his kindness.

Reynold Hart is of the most celebrated of the child artists who created artwork while incarcerated at the Carrolup Native Settlement in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The children had been forcibly removed from their families to the notorious settlement on the banks of the Carrolup River under the government’s assimilation policies of the day.Hart, born 1938, was a Noongar artist and member of the Pinjarup and Kaniyang peoples of southwest Western Australia. Hart was taken to the Carrolup Native Settlement near Katanning when he was four years old, and was amongst the celebrated group of children artists who were encouraged to draw and paint their surroundings by teachers Noel and Lily White, the couple that managed the Carrolup School between 1946-50. Hart’s landscape paintings and pastels, along with those of other Carrolup children artists were exhibited and sold to wide acclaim in Australia, Europe and New Zealand in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

After Mrs Elliot went, Mr White came. The first year he came here, he found all the school children running around in the bush, looking like savages… He saw that we had some talent, we practiced on brown paper, night after night for about two years, and our drawing started to win the respect of the white people… That was the year [1947] we had an exhibition of art in Perth. Four boys were sent down to draw in front of the Public.

Reynold Hart to Florence Rutter[i]

Reynold Hart was one of the four boys described who accompanied the exhibition of drawings to Perth in 1947 and sketched with chalks on paper in the exhibition space. Landscape preoccupied Hart as it did the other artists, again in a distinctive style that has become recognisable as coming from the ‘Carrolup School of Art’. Hart continued to paint in his adult years and passed away in Collie, Western Australia, in 1981.

Language group: Pinjarup and Kaniyang

Active: Western Australia

https://trove.nla.gov.au/people/1485163?c=

https://jcg.curtin.edu.au/carrolup/

[i] Miller, Mary Durack and Rutter, Florence 1952, Child Artists of the Australian Bush, Australasian publishing Co. / George G. Harrap, pp 67-68

Barry Loo, Untitled, 1949

pastel on paper, 56.5 x 48.5cm.
Donated by Noelene Wigmore and Heather Barrett in memory of their grandmother Amy Barrett, 2020

Barry Loo was one of a number of child artists who created artwork while incarcerated at Carrolup Native Settlement, near Katanning, Western Australia in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The children were forcibly removed from their families to the notorious settlement on the banks of the Carrolup River under the government’s assimilation policies of the day. The so-called ‘Carrolup artists’ were a celebrated group of child artists who were encouraged to draw and paint their surroundings by teachers Noel and Lily White, the couple that managed the Carrolup School between 1946-50. Loo’s landscape paintings and pastels, along with those of other Carrolup children artists whose works were exhibited and sold to wide acclaim in Australia, Europe and New Zealand in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

This untitled artwork is believed to have been acquired by the Donors’ grandmother Amy Barrett who possibly had connection to Noel White whilst he was in Paynes Find in early 1930s. Mrs Barrett was the young wife of an older miner working at Cox’s Find out of Laverton at the time.

Language group: Nyungar

Active: Western Australia

https://jcg.curtin.edu.au/carrolup/

Laurel Nannup, No 28, 2014

etching, edition 2/20, 60 x 80.2cm.
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Brett and Laurel Nannup, 2020

At the age of eight, Laurel Nannup was separated from her family in Pinjarra and was sent to live at Wandering Mission with her six-year-old sister. Her prints reveal a very personal history and intimate portrait of her early life: No 28, 2014 documents her life at Pinjarra Mission, the title revealing her assigned ‘number’ (her sister was No 29). Nannup’s stories validate a contemporary experience of Australian Aboriginality that includes loss of access to family and culture. “My son would often ask me things about my culture and I felt I had no stories to tell. But once I… got talking with other Noongars, I began to remember certain things that happened in my life and I realised, these are my stories. They are my life.”[i] In reclaiming her past, Nannup addresses the power structures that have written the history of this country – in which Indigenous Australians have been largely invisible.[ii]

Laurel Nannup is a respected senior Noongar artist who born in 1943 at Carrolup. She is a Curtin University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) in 2000 and completed postgraduate studies in 2001. She has an extensive exhibition history and her major solo exhibition, A Story to Tell, 2012 toured nationally and was accompanied by an illustrated book. She has been the recipient of recent Public Art Projects including UAP’s collaboration with FORM for a sculpture located at Elizabeth Quay, Perth called First Contact (2016) and at Optus Stadium Perth with a work titled Kulbardi (2016). Nannup’s work is held in many public and private national and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Berndt Museum of Anthropology, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in The Netherlands.

Language group: Binjareb/Noongar

Active: Western Australia

https://www.uapcompany.com/studio/laurel-nannup-first-contact

http://museum.wa.gov.au/whats-on/story-tell

[i] Nannup, L. 2006 A Story to Tell, Crawley: University of Western Australia Press

[ii] McKnight, L 2015 Post-hybrid: reimagining the Australian self, Exhibition Catalogue, John Curtin Gallery

Shane Pickett, Ancestors Before the Journey of the Dreaming, 2008

acrylic paint on canvas, 152 x 121cm.
Acquired with funds donated through Curtin Foundation, 50fifty Acquisition Initiative, 2020

My career has been a journey, expanding in scope; as I have grown in maturity, my work has become less like a photograph and has tried to explore the deeper meaning of the landscape[i]. – Shane Pickett

Born in Quairading (Ballardong Country) in the south-west of Western Australia, Shane Pickett (1957-2010) was one of the foremost Nyungar artists of his generation. Combining his deep knowledge and concern for Nyungar culture with a confident and individual style of gestural abstraction, Pickett’s paintings resonated with a profound but subtle immediacy. Balancing innovation with tradition, modernity with an ancient spirituality, they were complex visual metaphors for the persistence of Nyungar culture against the colonising tide of modernity.

Pickett was selected as a finalist in numerous major art prizes including the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. In 2006, he was awarded the first prize at the Sunshine Coast Art Prize and Joondalup Invitation Art Award.  In 2007, he was awarded first prize in the Inaugural Drawing Together Art Award. He has exhibited in every state and territory in Australia, as well as in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. His works are held in major private and public collections throughout Australia and internationally.

Language group: Nyungar

Active: Western Australia

http://mossensongalleries.com.au/artist/shane-pickett/

[i] Retrieved 23/07/2020 from: https://kluge-ruhe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Shane-Pickett-Catalog.pdf

Spinifex Women’s Collaborative, 2020

Work in progress, Spinifex Art Project, Tjuntjuntjara, Western Australia, commissioned 2020.
Acquired with funds donated through Curtin Foundation, 50fifty Acquisition Initiative, 2020

As you travel throughout the great sandhill country that encompasses much of traditional Spinifex Lands, you’re immediately taken by the diversity of flora and colour within the rich, red sand landscape. But you are also struck by the remoteness of this beautiful country and how inadequate your own upbringing was in equipping you with the necessary skill set needed for survival in an environment like this. For this vast interior is so inaccessible to most of us and, for a myriad of reasons, unfamiliar, that one would be forgiven for thinking they were on another continent. There are no road signs, no parking bays and no speed limits, making the country seem even more boundless. But of course, this is only to those that can’t see.

To the Spinifex People this land is more than their home. It is their umbilical, the foundation of a lived religion with the doctrine written in the breathtaking landscape. It is sung into life, danced by firelight and talked of in hushed tones. It has secrets known only to those few and dangers to the uninvited or the uninitiated. It has history and culture, and a language all of its own that keep it alive while sustaining the very people who are born from it. A symbiotic relationship of immense consequence.

So to be able to move through this environment in the company of those who perceive beyond the present view is not just a privilege but an education in the enormity that can exist outside one’s own knowledge of the world. Travelling and watching as the layers are peeled back with the movement of unhurried hand gestures pointing to where the landscape carried and was thus formed by, those first Creation Beings. It was they who traversed this land, effecting their journeys into the physical form we see. Fingers are lightly tapped onto the dashboard of the Toyota, while the poignant song of this very place is sung faintly above the sound of constant corrugations. It is then you realise you are in the presence of greatness.

It was in the middle of last century, in this very country that the Spinifex People lived one of the last traditional nomadic existences within Australia. Unchanged for up to 60,000 years. They were gifted with all the necessary skills needed to survive in an arid but plentiful environment and they built a complex society with the spiritual land forming the basis of its culture. But within reach of their territory an unknown dominant power would unleash a deadly contagion that saw the Spinifex People being moved from the very land that kept them alive and taken over 600km south to a Mission that was deemed for their own protection. The British and Australian Governments were complicit in the removal of the Spinifex People from a land they stated was unoccupied while detonating atomic weapons at nearby Emu Fields and Maralinga for a ten-year duration.

The Spinifex People became determined to return to the country of their birth as they saw the familiar demise of their people through substance abuse, incarceration whilst a great distance from their spiritual home. Over the subsequent decades a slow physical journey was taken north toward the land the Spinifex People were dispossessed from, while also making the arduous journey through the courts for recognition and ownership of the country that was taken from them. It was in the year 2000 that the State Government of Western Australia granted Native Title to the Spinifex People over some 55,000 square kilometres of land they never ceded. The Spinifex People were finally back home.

As part of the preamble to Native title, two large scale collaborative paintings, a ‘Men’s Combined and a ‘Women’s Combined’ were presented as evidence to the courts. This set in motion the correlation of land tenure and collaborative painting that has since underpinned the Spinifex Arts Project to the present day. The understanding and commitment to each other and the common goal has never waned whilst the energetic creativity has blossomed. It is this sincere collaborative foundation made possible by the artists themselves that most guarantees success and has been the esteemed heart of public exhibitions since. Spinifex artists easily gravitate to the collaborative process because it reflects the cultural dynamism of the everyday and is steeped in the sharing and unified teachings of the Tjukurpa (Creation).

And whilst today Toyotas may take the Spinifex People further and faster across their land than ever before, the story remains the same. The created land is unchanged, the songs are still sung and the Law is sacrosanct. What a joy it must be to never be lost in this endless country.

Brian Hallett, 2020

Spinifex Arts Project

https://www.spinifex.org.au/spinifex-arts

Brian Robinson, and on the fifth day the waters swarmed with sea creatures, 2017

palight plastic sculptural installation, 360 x 308 x 40cm.
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Brian Robinson, 2020

I have always been very interested in my own cultural mythology that originates from the Torres Strait. Mythological tales exploring the origin of landforms and other natural phenomena and magic are spread throughout the culture. Once I started exploring this, as well as Greek mythology, I started to tease out similarities and have created works that speak about the combination and culmination of this research.[i]­ – Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson was born on Waiben (Thursday Island) 1973 and is now based in Cairns. He is a multi-skilled contemporary artist whose practice includes painting, printmaking, sculpture and design. The graphic style in his practice combines his Torres Strait Islander heritage with a strong passion for experimentation, both in theoretical approach and medium, as well as crossing the boundaries between reality and fantasy. The results combine styles as diverse as graffiti art through to intricate relief carvings and construction sculpture echoing images of Torres Strait cultural motifs, objects and activity.

Robinson’s work has featured in many exhibitions nationally and overseas, including in Berlin, Noumea, Washington DC and New York City. Robinson’s work is held in major collections including National Gallery of Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; National Museum of Australia; the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art; Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia; the Australian National Maritime Museum.

and on the fifth day the waters swarmed with sea creatures was created for the National Gallery of Australia exhibition Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial, 2017. It was exhibited as part of Robinson’s solo exhibition tithuyil: moving with the rhythm of the stars at John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University in 2019. In February 2020, selected works from the exhibition travelled to the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA.

Language group: Kala Lagaw Ya and Wuthathi

Active: Queensland

http://mossensongalleries.com.au/artist/brian-robinson/

[i] Retrieved 22/11/2019 from: https://www.artistprofile.com.au/brian-robinson/

Miriam Stannage, On this Site, 2009

light jet photographs, UP (unique print), 40 x 50cm each (18 components).
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Christopher and Katherine Stannage, 2020

Miriam Stannage (1939 – 2016) was born in Northam, Western Australia and was one of this state’s most important and respected senior female artists. Stannage was a conceptual artist concerned with the politics of representation, appropriation and particularly photography, working frequently with text, found images and assemblage. Stannage was a relentless innovator.  Her practice was founded upon a deep intellectual engagement with and curiosity about, the challenges and nature of contemporary life. For the last fifty years of her life, she produced a dazzling range of works that resist easy categorisation. Stannage celebrated the strange and beautiful in our everyday, working across the genres of installation, photography, painting, video, prints and drawings, and artist’s books. On this site forms part of the artist’s ‘words in the landscape’ series that use suggestive text and imagery to evoke apparent crime scenes.[i]

Stannage travelled to Europe and the USA in the early 1960s, returning to Perth influenced by ‘new developments in geographical abstraction.’ She studied with William Boissevain from 1963–4, then with Henry Froudist from 1965–8, as well as at Claremont Technical College, Perth. Extensive travels in the Australian bush are evident in her work, which also often uses text in order to enhance her particular form of social commentary. Stannage’s first solo exhibition was in 1969 at the Old Fire Station Gallery, Perth, and she has since exhibited in major galleries across Australia.

Stannage has artworks in over 35 public art collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Parliament House and Artbank. The Art Gallery of WA and John Curtin Gallery have exhibited major surveys of her work in 1989 and 2006 respectively. Stannage was previously staff of WAIT and in 1998 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Curtin University. She was a State Living Treasures Award recipient in 2015. A monograph of her life and art practice was produced to coincide with the exhibition Miriam Stannage:  Survey 2006 – 2016 at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2016.

http://www.lwgallery.uwa.edu.au/exhibitions/stannage

http://www.dca.wa.gov.au/resources/living_treasures/2015-recipients/miriam-stannage/

[i] Kinsella, L 2016, Miriam Stannage: Time Framed. Perth: UWA Publishing