2013 Acquisitions

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Arthur Boyd

born 1920 Melbourne, Victoria
died 1999 Melbourne
worked Melbourne

Bridegroom drinking from a creek II belongs to Arthur Boyd’s major series Love, marriage and death of a half-caste, painted between 1957 and 1959. Boyd had travelled to Alice Springs in 1951 and was shocked by the conditions in which Aboriginal Australians were living. The resulting series of paintings was conceived by Boyd as a contemporary morality tale to confront audiences with a social issue about which they were largely unaware.

The first works in the series, made in 1957, were painted in oil and tempera on a large scale, making them physically arresting, as well as underscoring the gravity of their subject matter. The second group, to which Bridegroom drinking from a creek II belongs, was painted in late 1958 and 1959. As a whole, the series deals with the issue of race in Australia, as well as the individual complexities of human relationships played out in a context of tension and marginalisation. It covers the range of human emotion, from the magical delight of first love and sexual attraction through to the tragedy of death and separation. Boyd’s artistic reference points are many; for instance, his sparse dreamlike compositions of floating figures are drawn from Chagall, while his intensely worked brushwork owes a debt to the expressionists.

In contrast to the desperation of many of the other works in the series, Bridegroom drinking from a creek II is an image of symbolic intensity and optimism. The bride and groom inhabit a nurturing and fecund landscape brought to life by the vigorous brushwork, the positive colours of blue and gold, and the comfort and containment of the figures within their environment.

Arthur Boyd - Bridegroom drinking from a creek II 1959

Arthur Boyd Bridegroom drinking from a creek II 1959. Oil and tempera on board, 60.4 x 80.5 cm (sight); 80.8 x 100.9 cm (frame). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased with funds donated by Andrew and Nicola Forrest, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013. © Arthur Boyd 1959

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Daniel.Emma

established 2008, South Australia

works Adelaide, South Australia

In their relatively short career, Daniel.Emma have honed a precise and focused aesthetic with a focus that has been on creating functional desk-top items. Their work can be seen as a new century interpretation of Bruno Murani’s modernist design principles. Murani’s own stationery objects reflected his desire to reduce all superficial and unnecessary detail. While Daniel.Emma say that they try to make work that is ‘simply nice’, this statement must be understood as a quirky update of the classic modern design imperative - ‘rightness of purpose’. In addition, each object has a precise presence as it channels modernist dreams of order and clean functionality to ensure the desktop is a place of calm.

DANIEL.EMMA D.E vessels 2012

DANIEL.EMMA D.E vessels 2012. Wood, aluminium, steel, brass, bronze, resin, 12 units: dimensions variable. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Peter Fogarty Design Fund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013

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Jackson Eaton

born 1980, Perth, Western Australia
lives Melbourne, Victoria

Jackson Eaton is a Western Australian-born photographer now living in Melbourne. His work, explores the nuances of interpersonal relationships and often these have a strong performative element. For instance, his exhibition Third wheel was presented at his own home and featured photos of him inserted uncomfortably into various couples’ everyday lives. And, recently, Melfies was a series of portraits of the artist taken by other people as an examination of how he fits into the lives of friends and associates.


Better half 2007-2009/2012-2013 is one of Eaton’s most complex works to date. One half is a series of candid images of himself and his Korean (now ex-) girlfriend which were shot in Seoul and Perth over the period 2007-2009 and exhibited under the title Were never married. The second half of the work is a re-staging of the original series with his father taking the role of Jackson and his step-mother taking on the role of Jackson’s ex-girlfriend. The work as a whole came into being after his father divorced Jackson’s mother and soon after married a Korean woman he met in Seoul. It was a way for Jackson to work through his family break-up and his sense that his father was now living the life he once had. The result is a compelling look at father-son physical and emotional connection, the yearning for ‘the other’ and the breakdown of the family unit and the manufacture of new, more dispersed ones.

Jackson Eaton Better half 2007-2013

Jackson Eaton Better half 2007-2013

Jackson Eaton Better half 2007-2013 [detail]. C type prints, 36 parts: 30.0 x 45.0 cm each. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 2013. © Jackson Eaton 2007-2013

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Deb Jones

born 1963 Parkes, New South Wales
lives Adelaide, South Australia


Deb Jones is a leading Australian glass artist whose work deals with the specificity of the medium and its processes of making. She has a background as a glass blower but is best known for her cast work. Often her work has manifested in installation form, such as her works for the Glenside Hospital redevelopment and the University of South Australia. With all, however, she creates a conversation between the translucent qualities of glass and the traces of the work’s production. Unlike most other practitioners, she stays clear of the grinding machines and does not fetishise ‘finish’. In this, her pieces are singularly minimal in manner.

The title of work, Kind of cube, blue 2012, evokes jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ Kind of blue, his landmark 1959 album that established him as the leader of the pared-back, Cool jazz movement. Jones uses this reference point to highlight the coolness of her own equally unfussy, pared-back approach to making. There is a nod to representation, however. From one side, the work appears like a large cube. When one turns around it, though, it appears to be simply a slab of glass. The back view foregrounds the ‘imperfections’ of the moulding process. Here, therefore, Jones stages a flicker between our will for glass to be a gorgeous medium (almost for its own sake) and to refer beyond itself. This work is Jones’ first inclusion in the State Art Collection and adds depth to the increasingly significant holdings of Australian contemporary glass.

Kind of cube, blue 2012. Cast lead crystal, 48.0 x 48.0 x 6.0 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through The Leah Jane Cohen Bequest, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013. © Deb Jones 2012

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Tom Moore

born 1971 Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
works Adelaide, South Australia


Tom Moore has a strong reputation within Australia, and internationally, for creating works that unite dazzling technical expertise with a zany sense of humour. His work is predominantly figurative in nature as he creates hybrid beings from the merging of, for instance, potatoes and people, carrots and dinosaurs, cats and onions and asparagus. As such, the quality of mutability is vital. This is the perfect subject matter to display his fine hot-working skills as he creates forms ‘live’, hot-joining (not gluing) whilst balancing heavy material components and complex compositions.


This work is the winner of the Tom Malone Prize 2013, the Gallery’s key platform for our engagement with the Australian glass scene. Principally, it is its general cohesion of form and colour, scope and impact that impresses. The use of the beige colourings reflect the fact that the work is, for Moore, a creature proudly showing off his/her wares on a sandy beach. The balance of the head, and the forms that sprout from it, are perfectly achieved. Its references to Danish design – Loti design ware in particular – are important too as the piece connects Australian domestic and beach experiences to the broader flows of international modern design culture.


Tom Moore Buff Sandy 2012. Blown and solid glass, 69.0 x 30.0 x 17.0 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Tom Malone Prize, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013. © Tom Moore 2012

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Blanche Tilden

born 1968 Kiama, New South Wales
works Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne-based jeweller Blanche Tilden creates simple, yet finely made, necklaces and bracelets composed of glass and metal. Often, these are inspired by architectural formations as she condenses the ways certain buildings occupy space and address engineering challenges so they can be comfortably worn on the body.

This neckpiece was inspired by the Empire State Building in New York City, erected in 1931, and for many years the tallest building in New York and the world. The hanging pendant evokes the upper shape of this iconic building. In her simplification of this form, Tilden also charts parallels between the design at the Empire State Building and the aesthetic of art nouveau and art deco that it was a product of.

Blanche Tilden Empire III (necklace) 2012. Titanium, blackened 925 silver, 25 x 3 x 1 cm. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased through the TomorrowFund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013.

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Bede (Ampuruwaiuah) Tutuulum

born 1952 Bathurst Island, Northern Territory
Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
Language: Tiwi / Yaringapila

From the time Bede Tuutulum was a little boy he watched his father, famous sculptor Gabriel Tungutalum, carving pukumani poles and birds from ironwood, and learnt how to carve and cut woodblocks for printing. Now that most of the senior ceremonial carvers have passed away, Tuutulum has become a leading authority on Tiwi artistic traditions.

This work is highly significant. Having been incorrectly named by non-Indigenous arts workers as Bede Tungutalum, the artist in this work asserts his true identity. It is a depiction of the traditional Tiwi mask that selected initiated men wear when participating in ceremony. A self-portrait, the artist’s eyes peer from behind the mask, the upright spear and body markings making a strong statement about the character of the wearer.

Bede Tutuulum My name is Tutuulum 2011. Wwood block print, 33.5 x 23.5 cm (image) 45 x 33.2 cm (paper). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the TomorrowFund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2013.

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