Collective Ground

Collective Ground

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.

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AGWA Foundation Stimulus Package

In support of the WA arts community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGWA Board and the AGWA Foundation announced a sector-leading stimulus package of up to $1.5 million for Western Australian artists.

Through funding from the AGWA Foundation, the new initiative has provided support for all living West Australian artists represented in the State Art Collection and Aboriginal art centres across the State.

More than 350 Western Australian artists represented in the State Art Collection received $2,000 towards creating a richer State Art Collection archive. This generated up-to-date, online archival content, focusing on expanded artist biographies, artist statements and extended insights into artistic practice.

In addition, independent and art centre-based Aboriginal artists shared up to $525,000 through a targeted acquisition program to purchase existing works from up to 15 independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and from 25 Aboriginal art centres.

In total, more than 400 Western Australian artists directly benefited from the initiative, injecting up to $1.5 million into the arts sector economy.

The initiative supported the development of the State Art Collection, provided an invaluable and much-needed digital archive, and supported the Aboriginal artist community whose market has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic restrictions.

AGWA is closed until 16 October for a final stage of redevelopment works. Details