New art exhibition showcases Australian Indigenous artists
Wesfarmers Arts has joined with The Art Gallery of Western Australia and the National Gallery of Australia to bring the Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia exhibition to Perth.
The exhibition features more than 100 works by 80 artists as it considers seven overarching and interlinked themes: Ancestors + Creators; Country + Constellations; Community + Family; Culture + Ceremony; Trade + Influence; Resistance + Colonisation; and Innovation + Identity. Together the works underline the ever-present existence of the First Peoples of Australia.
From Albert Namatjira's Ormiston Gorge, Timothy Cook's Kulama, and Mabel Juli's Wardel and Garnkiny to Julie Dowling's Self-portrait: in our country, Michael Cook's Broken Dreams #2 and Richard Bell's Omega (Bell's Theorem), the works in the exhibition traverse themes of identity, connection, Australia's contested historical narratives, and the contemporary experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists practising today, each piece revealing the determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to tell their stories in their own way.
Although a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Ever Present does not shy away from Australia's complex histories. The artists contest populist views of Australian history, using art as a tool of resistance and replacing physical weaponry with wit, satire and juxtaposition to confront viewers and encourage conversations that are essential to dispute outdated myths and ideologies.
Wesfarmers has long-held partnerships with The Art Gallery of Western Australia and the National Gallery of Australia. The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art ranks as one of the pre-eminent corporate collections of Australian art.
"This significant exhibition results from our long-term and highly valued partnerships with both the galleries," Rob Scott said.
"Ever Present represents some of the most important historical and contemporary art produced in Australia and celebrates the central place that Indigenous art occupies in defining
the contemporary face of Australia, both at home and to the world. We're delighted to have the exhibition open here in Western Australia, before travelling overseas."
After its Australian showing at The Art Gallery of Western Australia through to April 2022, the exhibition will tour overseas galleries including the National Gallery of Singapore.