PO Box 130
Katanning WA 6317
Ph: (08) 9821 4310
Fax: (08) 9821 4303
The Katanning Gallery, located within the Katanning Library, is one of the largest galleries within the Great Southern Region and showcases a diverse range of shows throughout the year. Of special interest is the annual Together Exhibition, hosted in September, which specifically showcases the many and varied talents of artists within the area.
The Katanning Art Gallery is also available for hire to individuals, groups, and organisations to display their exhibitions. Please call the Gallery if you would like further information regarding hire, fees, and the terms and conditions of use.
April 6 – May 14, 2016
ART ON THE MOVE AND COMMUNITY ARTS NETWORK PRESENT
ART ON THE MOVE is giving venues and galleries around the state the opportunity to showcase a series of portrait paintings and photographs that honour the strength and resilience of Noongar Elders from Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.
The ART ON THE MOVE Touring Exhibition Bush Babies – Honouring our Elders is a collection of paintings of sixteen Elders who were painted as part of Community Arts Network’s Bush Babies community arts project, which records and preserves the unique stories of the Elders who were born in the bush, reserves, missions or fringes of towns.
The paintings, and the short stories that accompany them, open a window on a sorry part of our history. The Elders featured in this exhibition all lived under harsh government policies that denied them basic human rights, including the privilege of being born at the local hospital. Many of them were born in tents, makeshift shelters or under the stars, with senior women in their families serving as midwives. This exhibition gives an outlet to share this story to audiences and create awareness of these issues amongst communities.
The exhibition was inspired by a single photograph taken during one of Community Arts Network’s digital media workshops. The photographer, Jarrad Seng, who is well known for his work with musicians Ed Sheeran and Passenger, captured a stunning image of Ballardong Elder Hazel Winmar on her 99th birthday. The photograph inspired Wheatbelt artist Graham Smith to paint her portrait and this in turn inspired other artists to come forward to volunteer to honour an elder on canvas.
“The first time I saw Jarrad Seng’s marvellous photo of Nana Purple (Hazel Winmar), I knew that this was a painting I had to do. I feel very privileged to be a part of this Bush Babies Elders Portrait project and I hope it continues to open doors towards reconciliation and the honouring of Elders all around Australia.” – Said Artist Graham Smith.
Hazel who was affectionately known as ‘Nana Purple’ sadly passed away shortly after her 100th birthday and the official opening of the Bush Babies exhibition in Perth. Her family wanted the exhibition to continue as a tribute to her memory.
A mix of professional and student artists have painted the portraits that feature in the show. All painters volunteered their time to honour the Noongar Elders. Many of the non-indigenous artists who took part, lived alongside the Elders in their town, but knew little or nothing about them or the hardship and oppression they endured.
Bush Babies – Honouring our Elders has already reached 72,000 people in Perth alone, being on show at WA Museum, and is set to start its regional tour with ART ON THE MOVE beginning at Katanning Art Gallery from April 6 – May 14, 2016.
KEY QUOTES AND REVIEWS
“Portraits are a way of directly connecting to the soul, bypassing all the intellectual baggage of prejudice, attitude and fear. It is our hope that people viewing these portraits absorb this connection and respect.”
Artist Graham Smith
“As the portrait slowly evolved, I became quite sensitive to Noongar life and its challenges – of the past, present and future. After completing the portrait, I feel I have a closer understanding of the Bush Babies heritage – hence the title of my work – Strong Heritage.”
Artist Margaret Fleay
“This is some of the most interesting artwork I have ever seen. Fabulous. Thanks.”
Sandra Fox, visiting from the UK
For more information about Community Arts Network or Bush Babies visit www.canwa.com.au.
The tour of this exhibition is managed by ART ON THE MOVE. This exhibition has been assisted by ART ON THE MOVE through the Exhibition Touring Program.
ART ON THE MOVE is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts.
ART ON THE MOVE is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
About ART ON THE MOVE
ART ON THE MOVE is Western Australia’s peak visual art touring exhibition organisation, providing touring support and delivering the best contemporary art to the regions and across Australia. Working with curators, exhibition venues and artists, we develop and tour stimulating art exhibitions that encourage people to get involved with contemporary art wherever they are.