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Art Gallery WA Media Release
Frederick Garling, View across the coastal plain

everyone has a history

Part One: Plain Speak

Opens 25 February 2017 | FREE

Plain Speak launches a new annual series at AGWA, Everyone has a history, presenting compelling personal stories told through art.

Exclusive to PIAF, the inaugural show puts Indigenous artists in the spotlight. Featuring 50 powerfully personal works, presented through a range of media; including video work, paintings, photography, sculpture and textiles. 

These are personal stories that demand to be told. Whether it’s a grand tale or something intimate as a diary, these are stories and histories that will provoke a response and resonate with the audience. The Indigenous voice, the Indigenous sensibility as you’ve never encountered it before. Up close and personal.

Artists include; Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Michael Cook, Brenda L. Croft, Sandra Hill, Lesley Murray and Christopher Pease.

Quote attributable to Stefano Carboni, AGWA Director
“This new three year project is about stories that have to be told – Everyone has a history. Whether it’s a grand narrative or a modest tale, an intimate moment or an everyday account, this exhibition explores the way people construct stories to connect, remember and potentially forget. The launch exhibition in this series is part of the Gallery’s commitment to build an ongoing program focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.”

Quote attributable to Carly Lane, AGWA Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art 
"Plain Speak features personal stories, histories and encounters that matter to the artist, and perhaps more broadly to us all. Vernon Ah Kee delivers a moving call to arms about Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and likewise Michael Cook and Brenda L. Croft present deeply felt musings about child and mother relationships. While Christopher Pease looks at connection to place. These and other highly personal stories allow us to engage with the artist – as both the narrator and subject – and to the stories they are compelled to share."

Presented as part of the Perth International Arts Festival

Further information

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email

Annual Sponsors

Principal Partner

Wesfarmers logo

303 MullenLowe, Singapore Airlines, Audi, Smartbots, Alex Hotel, Juniper Estate, Gage Roads Brewing Co.

Christopher Pease Nyoongar Dreaming 1999. Oil on canvas, 114.2 x 147.4 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 2001. Brenda L Croft In My Mother's Garden (series 48 photographs) 1998. Ink jet print on archival paper, 29.5 x 42 cm (each). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased partially through the Mapplethorpe Photography Trust Fund, 1999.

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