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Art gallery of western australia           
AGWA media
19 November 2015
AGWA invites audiences to
'See things differently' in 2016

Major exhibitions announced on 
Comic artists Comic Tragics 
Historic landscape artists Unknown Land and Continental Shift
Video work from ‘artist of the moment’ Ryan Trecartin
Political ferment in Dissenting Voices

Commitment to WA artists reaffirmed with year long program of 5 exhibitions

Key new partnerships announced with
Co3 Dance Company – ‘new AGWA artists in residence’
Black Swan Prize for Portraiture

New developments
Two new ‘Micro Galleries’ Sky & Garden specialising in giant works in small spaces open in May
AGWA Portraiture Month launches in October
New interpretation centre The Imagination Room


At an exclusive launch event last night, the Art Gallery of Western Australia revealed its 2016 exhibition program ‘See things differently’ featuring diverse major new exhibitions, new partnerships, a reaffirmed commitment to contemporary Western Australian artists and the launch of two new Micro Galleries.

AGWA Director Stefano Carboni announced a wide-ranging program across genres and traditions and invited visitors to take a new look at the gallery experience in 2016. From explorations of comic and video artists to shows spotlighting landscapes and portraiture he said, "AGWA is boldly offering a strong and diverse program that invites visitors to view the world anew."

“It’s challenging and enthralling; proudly Western Australian and adventurously international,” said Stefano Carboni.

“We want to dynamically support local artists in new collaborations; illuminate Indigenous art in new ways; and reach out to wide-ranging audiences with a series of exhibitions that cover a tremendous range of subjects and styles."

The Gallery announced a new partnership with Co3. Led by artistic director, Raewyn Hill, WA’s newest contemporary dance company Co3 will create dance in response to works on view and the Gallery’s architecture.

AGWA also revealed that they would partner with ARTrinsic Inc. to host the 2016 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture as part of portraiture month in October at the Gallery.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said he believed that the Art Gallery of WA had put together an exciting and diverse program for 2016.

“There will be something on offer for everyone to enjoy from major exhibitions Comic Tragics: the exploding language of contemporary comic art, Unknown Land and the popular Year 12 Perspectives,” Mr Day said.

“The collaboration with a range of arts organisations including the Perth International Arts Festival and the new Co3 dance company is a great example of how our arts sector can work together to deliver exciting experiences for Western Australians and visitors.”

Also in the program for 2016 is the introduction of several new gallery spaces. These include a dedicated space for the Gallery’s growing collection of craft and design objects, which opens at the same time as a new objects space. Also planned are two new Micro Galleries Sky and Garden enabled by an increase in support from Wesfarmers Arts, and the introduction of The Imagination Room which will act as a multipurpose place for activity and education.

You can view the full program here.

Resistance - Until 21 Feb
Provocative and timely perspectives from Australia’s First peoples. Resistance is a subtle, yet powerful presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews on contemporary Indigenous life.

Ryan Trecartin 6 Movies - 30 Jan - 8 May
A highlight of the Perth International Arts Festival 2016, Ryan Trecartin fashions insightful, frenetic, layered works about identity in today’s digital world. Trecartin is widely considered to be the artist of our moment. Calvin Tompkins of the New Yorker recently dubbed him ‘a video art visionary’ whose work is full of ‘breaking news about the future.’ In this Perth debut of Trecartin’s work, AGWA’s major new acquisitions Sibling Topics (section a) 2009 and CENTER JENNY 2013, are presented alongside four more movies.

Comic Tragics: the exploding language of contemporary comic art - 9 Apr - 25 Jul
This international multi-media exploration presents a window into the inner life of the great comic artists of today and their incredibly intense, personal and affecting works that connect with audiences in unexpected and powerful ways.

Sacred and Profane - 7 May - 22 Aug
This majestic display of three international large-scale works features Public Notice 2 2007 by Jitish Kallat installed across the entire length of a gallery wall, alongside Chinese Bible 2009 by artist Yang Zhichao. These works are partnered with AGWA’s significant acquisition, The sacred and the profane 1998 by Indian artist Nalini Malani.

Dissenting Voices - 20 Aug - Jan 2017
Dissenting Voices is a significant Collection-based exhibition examining the relationship between visual art and politics, and how artists respond with issues-based art practice. Featuring many works on display for the first time, the exhibition offers a fresh, insightful look at socio-political engagement, identity politics, and acts of aggression.

Unknown Land: Mapping and Imagining Western Australia - 17 Sep - 30 Jan 2017
The first documented visual record of European contact with Terra Australis Incognita (‘the unknown land of the South’) occurred along the western coast of Australia in the seventeenth century. Over the next three hundred years a vast array of images of the new land were made, including coastal views, landscapes, and detailed pictures of the flora and fauna, all of which feature in Unknown Land: Mapping and Imagining Western Australia.

Blue Sky with Rainbow 2015
This major new acquisition by Julianne Swartz is a sculpture which transforms light from the Gallery roof into an enveloping Gallery installation. It refracts light creating a new visual view. It reflects AGWA’s 2016 aim of throwing new light on to art, ourselves and the world we’re part of.

AGWA’s annual program dedicated to promoting the work of Western Australian artists gathers momentum, presenting new work by practicing WA artists. We also take the time to look back at one of WA’s respected female artists, Helen Grey-Smith, in the year of the centenary celebration of her birth.

Graham Miller is one of Western Australia’s most important photographers. He is known for his atmospheric images that combine cinematic vision with the eye-for-subtle-detail of a short story writer.

Trevor Richards, Alex Spremberg and Jurek Wybraniec are Perth-based artists with a long-standing interest in abstract forms with found interventions. All three are creating new bodies of work for this project show.

Rebecca Baumann’s work spans sculpture, installation and performance. Her practice is driven by a formal and conceptual exploration of materials, through which she interrogates ideas about colour and emotion. For WA Focus, she will present a site specific installation, creating an immersive experience which explores colour, light and time.

Finlandisation is a series of landscape photographs, shot by Juha Tolonen on medium and large format film, during the autumn hunting season in northern Finland contrasted with images of the Swan River and its surrounds.

Helen Grey-Smith had a long career in Western Australia as a textile designer, painter and maker of collages. Ceaselessly inspired by the physical world around her, Grey-Smith’s subject matter reflected her deep engagement with the landscape and flora of WA, and her fascination with the Asian culture of our region. Reflection celebrates the centenary of a remarkable mid-century artist.

A different work is screened every two months in this dedicated space for AGWA’s growing filmic acquisitions.

Shaun Gladwell’s dual-channel video installation Broken Dance (Beatboxed) continues his engagement with urban subcultures. This energetic video work synchronises the vocal percussions of a beat-boxer with the freestyle moves of dancers merging the genres of break-dancing, krumping and whacking.

Priapus Agonistes is one of a group of works made by young American artist Mary Reid Kelley that re-examine aspects of Greek mythology.

HEAT is a captivating work and a personal recollection of contemporary Bidjara artist Christian Thompson, visiting the harsh Australian desert landscape with his father.

A new Objects Focus Gallery will become a permanent display space for AGWA’s growing collection of objects. Showcasing works across a range of mediums, the newly introduced Craft and Design Focus Gallery allows for AGWA to express the many ways that craft and design practitioners use their materials to engage with the world.

Supported by Wesfarmers Arts, AGWA opens two new Micro Galleries Sky and Garden. The concept of these spaces is giant art in micro spaces. The Art Gallery of WA is proud to offer a window on the renowned Wesfarmers Arts Collection, featuring large-scale works not generally on view to the public. Mid-year, AGWA opens The Imagination Room, a new place for activity including education, events, family activities, artist experiences, and digital adventure.

An exciting partnership between the Art Gallery of WA, Chicago‑based Terra Foundation for American Art and the University of Western Australia sees fifteen American landscape paintings shown in the context of their Australian counterparts in Continental Shift.

In a new partnership between AGWA and contemporary dance company, Co3, Gallery visitors will experience a creative response to their State Art Collection and Gallery architecture re-interpreted through contemporary dance and collaborative performance.

In an exciting new initiative for 2016, AGWA introduces portraiture month and will explore the many forms of portraiture across photography, painting, video and sculpture. Taking centre focus is the State’s premier portraiture prize, the 2016 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, presented for the first time at the Gallery.

The Tom Malone Prize was established in 2003 as an annual prize for Australian glass artists. As an acquisitive prize, each year’s winning entry becomes a part of the State Art Collection.

Year 12 Perspectives is your yearly taste of art by some of the best, brightest and most talented graduating high school artists in the State.

Combining people, art and live entertainment, ARTBAR presents another exciting season of international and national acts at AGWA.

Rooftop at AGWA is back for an exclusive season in 2016. Following its sold out sessions in 2015, the bar with the view is back for six Fridays across January and February.

For further information please visit

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email
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Julie (Yaminga) Dowling Icon to a stolen child: Perfect 1998. Synthetic polymer paint, red ochre and gold on canvas, 40 x 35.3 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 1998. Ryan Trecartin CENTER JENNY 2013 (still). HD video, duration: 53 minutes, 15 seconds. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the TomorrowFund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2014. © Ryan Trecartin. Image courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Emma Talbot Holes and Stains and Marks 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 195 × 155 cm. © Emma Talbot. Courtesy Domo Baal and Petra Rinck. Tom Nicholson Fragments from Melancholia (Documents after five actions, Berlin) 2001-2002, Berlin, Germany, Melancholia (Banner 4) 2002. Oil on linen, with sewn Hessian loops, 307 x 270 cm (irregular). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Gift of John McBride, 2010. Frederick Garling View across the coastal plain 1827. Watercolour and pencil, 13.2 x 37.5 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 1978.
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