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WA Focus – Nathan Beard


Wed 24 May 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm
Thu 25 May 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm
Fri 26 May 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sat 27 May 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sun 28 May 2017, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth CBD, Western Australia

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Art Gallery of WA

Based on an exploration of his Thai-Australian background, Nathan Beard’s work bridges the personal and the political. Dealing with the fluid and hybrid nature of family and cultural identities, Beard has an equally hybrid attitude to his art making.

Spanning sculpture, installation, photography and drawing, the works he produces are resonant experiences of selfhood, memory and cultural heritage.

As he investigates the duality of his family’s heritage he challenges what it means to grow up “Australian”. His interest in the exchange between himself and his maternal ancestors infuses his work with an emotional edge that draws audiences into his complex, but deeply felt, web of influences.

Often drawing on an aesthetic inspired by what he has described as a “kitsch Orientalism”, Beard reworks elements of Buddhist icons, shrines and funerary practices.

Central to his WA Focus display is Beard’s suite of mixed media photographic works titled Ad Matres. This work features manipulated images of found photographs depicting deceased relatives from his mother’s abandoned home in Nakhon Nayak, Thailand. Beard has meticulously decorated these portraits with intricate crystal patterns combining influences from various death masks and runway fashions with traditional Thai culture.

About the Artist:

Nathan Beard graduated from Curtin University in 2010 and has exhibited in public and private gallery spaces in Perth, and in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria with two other Western Australian artists as part of the 2012 Next Wave Festival, as well as in Sydney at Artereal and Bangkok. He has had artist’s residencies in China, Thailand and at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England.

Artist Talk, free
3-4pm, Saturday 8 April 2017
With an introduction by AGWA Curator Jenepher Duncan, hear from artist Nathan Beard for an insight into his practice and his WA Focus display.

Image credit - Nathan Beard
Boonlaern 2015-17 (detail)
digital print on Canson Baryta, Swarovski elements
Edition 2 of 5 unique prints
35.5 x 48 cm, 51 x 38.5 cm (framed)
© Nathan Beard
Photo: Casey Ayers