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Art gallery of western australia           
AGWA media
5 August 2015
Helen Smith - paintings and photography
15 August – 18 October 2015

After launching with an exhibition by Abdul and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, AGWA's WA Focus gallery space returns on 15 August with an exhibition of works by mid-career artist Helen Smith.

The WA Focus display will feature a selection of Smith's paintings and photographs from the State Art Collection where her work is well represented from 2000 to 2014. The exhibition includes her early Bordello series of photographs and other important paintings and photographs from her emerging career, together with new paintings she has created in the last year.

AGWA Curator of Contemporary Australian Art, Jenepher Duncan said, "Helen Smith’s practice spans painting, photography and site specific installation that adopt a minimalist approach to geometric forms while reflecting her interest in social, political and cultural systems. In this exhibition, her painting and photographic work is shown together for the first time to demonstrate the subtle relationship between these two streams of her practice.

"Smith is interested in the psychological effects of colour and how it can be used to achieve an emotional response. She also likes to think of the canvas, wall or photographs as a container for an idea. This approach allows her to maintain a focus on her explorations of abstraction while relating her work to actual forms, symbols and processes of everyday existence.”

About the Artist
Helen Smith was born in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales and lives and works in Perth. Since completing an Honours degrees in Design and Visual Arts at Curtin University, Helen has shown her work in many exhibitions, in Australia and overseas, and is represented in the collections of National Gallery of Australia, Daimler Collection Berlin, Artbank - National Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australian Embassy - Madrid, John Curtin Gallery - Curtin University of Technology, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery University of WA and various private collections in Australia and Europe. She is a founding member of the Perth-based collective of local and international artists, AC4CA (Australian Centre for Concrete Art) and her wall installations are well-known around Fremantle.

Recent exhibitions include One Place After Another, AC4CA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 2014; Bliss, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, 2013; Zwei Waende, Institut Fur Alles Mogliche, Neukoelin, Berlin, 2013; Australian Centre for Concret Art @ FABRIKCulture Hegenheim, France, 2012; AC4CA Print Port Folio, Paris Concret, 2012 and SNO@BHO, Ballhaus Ost, Berlin, 2012.

Artist Talk 
2pm, Saturday 22 August | FREE | WA Focus Gallery
Join Helen Smith as she shares an insight into her artistic practice and the work on display in WA Focus.
Reserve your place at

In the Cultural Centre

Through a partnership with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA), complementary installation works by Helen Smith Blue Highway # 16 and Jeremy Kirwan-Ward Untitled, both AC4CA Projects, are also on display in the Urban Orchard. 

For further information please visit

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email
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Helen Smith May 2014, Alighiero e Boetti from Wikipedia, United Nations 2014 (detail). Oil on canvas, 150 x 210 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Sir Claude Hotchin Art Foundation, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Art Collective WA. © Helen Smith, 2014. Helen Smith Sint Annestraat #1 + Madam Mandarin #5 2004. Digital print on aluminium, 120 x 360 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Gift of the Artist, 2014. © Helen Smith, 2004.
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