WA Artwork Gallery exhibition wrestles with ghosts of colonialism in an age of woke

It owns priceless items of artwork by the likes of Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Norman Lindsay, Tom Roberts and even Lucien Freud, in addition to one in every of Australia’s most recognisable masterpieces, Frederick McCubbin’s Down on His Luck.

However should you had been hoping to see any of those famend treasures on the Artwork Gallery of Western Australia for a lot of the previous two years, you’d have been upset.

Most of them have not been on show in any respect.

Up to now, AGWA has exhibited its historic jewels, encased in their elaborate gilt-edged frames, side-by-side in a devoted gallery, the place guests might marvel at works by Heidelberg College greats and English Romantics alike.

WA Artwork Gallery exhibition wrestles with ghosts of colonialism in an age of woke
The exhibition challenges audiences to consider how colonial artwork suits into a contemporary world.(ABC Information: Hugh Sando)

Now it is taking a radically totally different method, as director Colin Walker makes an attempt to draw new audiences whereas wrestling with the ghosts of colonialism in a brand new age.

Mr Walker, who took over at AGWA in the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, stated it was time for the gallery to answer international occasions and take into consideration the broader context of its artwork.

“It’s important to be political within the sense that you have to reply to problems with the day in some form or type … and you have to give extra space to folks and artists and communities and ethnicities who’ve simply not had the entry earlier than,” he stated.

Colin Walker
Colin Walker says the State Artwork Assortment is one in every of WA’s biggest visible property.(ABC Information: Hugh Sando)

Since Mr Walker took over, there was a renewed deal with the gallery’s intensive assortment of Indigenous works, together with Blaklight — a month-long celebration of First Nations artwork and tradition earlier this yr, wherein each wall and exhibition house was dedicated to First Nations artwork.

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