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Collective Ground

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Art Gallery of WA

Yamaji/Noongar curator Tui Raven has brought together works from First Nations artists across Western Australia, in Collective Ground — the first exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works acquired through AGWA’s COVID-19 stimulus package.

Collective Ground asks the viewer to consider the ground on which they walk. The pandemic has forced us to consider our relationship to the environments in which we live. Many of us have had to adjust from being in wide open spaces to being contained in small spaces. It has been a time to reflect on where we live, and the spaces and places we inhabit, internally and externally.

The works in Collective Ground have been curated considering the need to separate some of the works based on subject matter related to men’s and women’s Tjukurba/Tjukurpa (the creation period when ancestor beings created the world). During the Tjukurba ancestral beings left marks on the landscape and this laid out songlines or Creation Lines.

The word Tjukurba was chosen as it is from languages of the Western and Central Desert regions of Australia. Many works in Collective Ground relate to the Tjukurba of these regions. The word for Dreaming or creation time in Noongar is Koorndam, and Nyitting is the word for cold times.

This exhibition is the result of an initiative developed and supported by The Art Gallery of Western Australia Board and The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation through the COVID-19 Arts Stimulus Package. The selected works in Collective Ground were purchased from Aboriginal art centres and independent artists as part of a targeted acquisition program.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this exhibition contains works of art by deceased community members and may also contain images and likenesses of deceased community members.

Image credits - Tamisha Williams Chilling out Ngurra 2020 (detail). Photographic print on cotton rag paper, 80 x 120 cm. Corban Clause Williams Kaalpa (Kalypa, Canning Stock route 23) 2020 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 121 x 75.5 cm. Kittey Ngyalgarri Malarvie Milkwater 2014 (detail). Natural pigment on canvas, 100 x 140 cm. All works: The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation: COVID-19 Arts Stimulus Package, 2020.

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