20/04/2015 - 16:40

Unique Aboriginal art Revealed

20/04/2015 - 16:40


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A new peak body representing rural Aboriginal art centres is hoping to attract corporate support for its role highlighting tourism and education opportunities.

Unique Aboriginal art Revealed
VOICES: Martumili Art Centre based in Newman provides an outlet for the Martu people’s work. Photo: Chris Skoggin

A new peak body representing rural Aboriginal art centres is hoping to attract corporate support for its role highlighting tourism and education opportunities.

Western Australia’s Aboriginal art centres will be united under a new peak body launched at this year’s biennial Revealed exhibition of emerging Aboriginal artists.

The governing body, called Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub WA, or AACHWA, is being set up to boost the development and promotion of art centres across the state.

Chairman Kado Muir said AACHWA, which grew out of an Aboriginal arts hub incubated by Country Arts WA, would seek corporate partnerships to develop opportunities in remote areas.

“Aboriginal art holds one of the greatest opportunities to improve the disadvantaged situation of Western Australia’s Aboriginal communities,” Mr Muir said.

“With proper promotion and support, our board believes it could drive the tourism, education and economic agenda for the state.”

Revealed, which calls itself an exhibition, marketplace, symposium and professional development program, is a fitting place to launch AACHWA, given the growth over its short history.

The fourth installation of Revealed opened last Saturday, April 18, and will run until May 9, featuring the work of 45 artists at the Central Institute of Technology on Aberdeen Street in Northbridge.

Coordinator Tim Acker said organisers were considering running the event on an annual basis due to the growing interest in the exhibition.

“It’s been pretty successful ... especially the marketplace which is a great opportunity for remote artists to make contact with Perth audiences and learn the dynamic of selling. There are not many opportunities to do that when they live so remotely,” he said.

“It’s grown into itself, there’s more to the event; and the level from out bush has grown as well.

Mr Acker said the basic philosophy of Revealed was to engage and encourage emerging Aboriginal artists to participate in the art world and develop their skills.

Over the course of the event, visiting artists and members of rural and regional galleries, who have flown to Perth, participate in educational sessions.

Artists also attend classes where they try out new technologies and mediums in collaborative group settings.

Mr Acker said age was no barrier at Revealed, which was an event exclusively for emerging artists.

“It’s a big mix. Emerging is a difficult word to put absolute definitions around. You may have a 70-year-old desert man who has only been painting for a year or two, whereas you might have someone from Geraldton who’s 25 and at the start of their career,” he said.

“That range of people is very wide. Revealed is about maximum learning and benefits to artists. It’s often only the top level artists that get to travel and be in the public eye, this is a chance for that next generation to have those same experiences and understand what it is to be a professional artist,” he said.

Both the WA and federal governments provide funding for Revealed. Artworks are for sale and admission is free.


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