A giant neon sign, a mini Elvis and some interstellar dust are just some of the great artworks on show at Revealed.
Featuring more than 300 works by 100 new and emerging Aboriginal artists across WA, the exhibition is a salient reminder that not all Aboriginal art is dot painting and there is a burgeoning collection of young and innovative artists pushing the medium.
Revealed starts with a tongue-in-cheek bang as you are greeted by a giant pink neon sign “Moorditj!” – meaning strong, good – as you walk inside the Fremantle Arts Centre.
It was created by independent artist Amanda Bell, a Badimia and Yued woman, born on Whadjak country and raised on Wadandi land by the sea.
“I had a vision of a beautiful Noongar word, as old as Boodja and as new as now, shining for all to see,” Bell says.
“I honour this word, this Country and our people.”
From there on the exhibition is an explosion of colour and style, including everything from wool lizards to jewellery and strange sculptures.
Highlights include John Morrison’s World Monsters, where you guide a cartoon character through a land of weird hybrid creatures.
Situated in the kids zone, it’s part video game, part animation, and a great example of the eclectic pieces on show.
Morrison works out of a Midland studio belonging to DADAA, a Perth-based organisation that helps artists with disability or mental illness.
Revealed is well suited to the huge rooms and super high ceilings at FAC, allowing the larger artworks to breathe and make a lasting impression.
It’s a welcome return to form for FAC, as its last two exhibitions have been a bit underwhelming (understandable given the uncertainty generated by covid-19).
Revealed coordinator Jane Chambers says this year’s exhibition has the highest number of independent artists in the program’s history, including those from Broome, Derby, Wickham, Ngarluma (Roebourne), Wadandi (Bunbury and South West), Whadjuk (Perth metropolitan) and Wilman (Dwellingup) Country.
“Increasing participation for independent artists has been a major focus for this year’s Revealed,” says exhibition coordinator Jane Chambers.
“Without the infrastructure of an arts centre to support them, it can be really difficult for independent artists to connect with audiences and find opportunities to pursue their creative practice.
“The strength and variety of their works add a different perspective to the exhibition, which we can’t wait to share.”
Revealed is at Fremantle Arts Centre until May 23 and all the artworks are available to buy.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK