Art tells State’s story

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Naomie Hatherley.
Camera IconNaomie Hatherley. Credit: Ben Houston Photography, Ben Houston

After taking part in an ambitious Statewide arts project exploring local history, nine Kimberley artists will be showing their work in Perth.

The John Curtin Gallery has named 40 regional artists, including three from Broome and six from Kununurra, to bring their work to The Alternative Archive exhibition in 2020.

Co-curated by John Curtin Gallery director Chris Malcolm and independent curator Anna Louise Richardson, The Alternative Archive is set to be the culmination of 13 regional exhibitions bearing the same name, which took place from February-October this year.

Representing Broome will be Naomie Hatherley, Gary Smith and June Djiagween, while Peggy Madig Griffiths, Jan Goongaja Griffiths, Agnes Yamboong Armstrong, Brenda Mingen Ningarmara, Ben Galmirrl Ward and Mary-Lou Divilli have been selected from Kununurra.

Hatherley said she felt honoured to be part of the Perth-based exhibit alongside “amazing artists” like Smith and Djiagween.

“Their work is so powerful and engaging and I feel really privileged to have been selected along with them,” she said.

“It’s a big responsibility to be representing the Kimberley, but sharing the load with these amazing artists certainly helps.

“I certainly didn’t think I would have been selected considering the high calibre of the Broome exhibition, so it is very humbling.

“It’s absolutely extraordinary to have three artists from one small show and six from another picked and it just goes to show the talented artists we have in the region.” Curator Chris Malcolm said artists selected for the 2020 exhibition, to be held at the John Curtin Gallery from May 15-July 5, were representative of every venue and their work best epitomised the curatorial aims of the project.

“The exhibition aims to increase understanding of the arts ecology, the practices and conditions of regional art-making in Western Australia by urban audiences,” he said.

“The 2020 exhibition will be 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.”

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