Artists with a Kimberley perspective

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser
Derby woman Chelsea Menmuir with her artwork, to be exhibited at Year 12 Perspectives.
Camera IconDerby woman Chelsea Menmuir with her artwork, to be exhibited at Year 12 Perspectives.

Two Perth-based students from the Kimberley have been selected to showcase their artworks in a prestigious Statewide exhibition that celebrates a milestone anniversary this month.

Chelsea Menmuir and Allan Pigram are among 57 West Australian students chosen to be part of the Year 12 Perspectives exhibition, which turns 25 this year. Year 12 Perspectives showcases work by some of the best, brightest and most talented graduating high school artists in WA, and captures the thoughts and feelings of today’s youth.

Works span a variety of subject matter and media, ranging from painting and drawing to sculpture, digital moving images, photography and textiles.

Menmuir, a Derby resident who recently graduated from Presbyterian Ladies’ College, impressed judges with her oil painting, titled Exposed.

The young artist said her piece was based on culture and friendships and what it was like as an indigenous girl moving away from her Kimberley home to the city and experiencing a completely new culture and environment.

“Going away was pretty hard for me, I was pretty homesick,” she said.

Through her artwork, Menmuir wanted to capture the feeling of vulnerability when transitioning into a mostly non-indigenous society and the exposure felt when sharing Aboriginal culture, language and values with non-Aboriginal people. While the 2012 move was daunting, Menmuir said she was proud to have graduated from PLC and was thrilled to have her artwork selected for the exhibition.

Pigram, an Aquinas College student from Broome, was selected for his acrylic on print titled Good Place for a Barbie (After Frederick McCubbin), inspired by famous Australian painters of the landscape.

Through his painting, the 18-year-old said he was trying to juxtapose the difference in times between the 1800s and the present. Pigram said he was surprised and delighted that his painting would feature in the project.

As well as displaying nearly 60 works by various young artists, the exhibition will also highlight alumni who have become professional practitioners in the visual arts, including video interviews with previous finalists from across the years.

Gallery director Stefano Carboni said Year 12 Perspectives was a much-loved annual event showcasing the creative talents of WA students. “With strong evidence of the importance of creativity and arts engagement on positive mental wellbeing, the exhibition is a great fit for the Act-Belong-Commit message,” he said.

“Not only does it foster participation and demonstrate the wonderful work of the young artists, it also provides an opportunity for the WA community to engage and show support by coming to visit the gallery during the exhibition.”

Healthway’s acting executive director Maree De Lacey said Healthway was delighted to be partnering with the Art Gallery of WA to support the exhibition.

“This partnership is a fantastic way of engaging young people and their families with the Act-Belong-Commit message about positive mental health,” she said.

“The exhibition will draw young people together through their shared enjoyment of art, creating social connections that are so important for mental wellbeing.”

The Year 12 Perspectives exhibition will be on display at Art Gallery WA from January 28-April 2.

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