“Art is a magical cargo, a means of diplomacy and a survival skill.”
- John Mateer
Current visual art trends in Western Australia
Artsource and UWA Cultural Precinct present Art Cargo, an opportunity to discuss trends in the visual arts industry in Western Australia and its regional neighbours.
Art Cargo will examine recent locally produced art and the relationships forged by travel and the trading of ideas. How did travel and trade in the past shape the identity of Western Australia and its art? Does WA art have affinities with art in other cultures or communities? Are there potentially stronger affinities to explore than the one with the rest of Australia?
In 2014, The Undiscovered: A National Focus on Western Australian Art was a symposium co-presented by Artsource and the University of Western Australia’s Cultural Precinct. It highlighted key aspects of the visual arts industry affecting the Western Australian sector. Conversations arose about the future of the industry, suggesting a need for artists and curators to branch out, get online, and work together to turn WA’s perceived isolation into a selling point.
A study commissioned by Lotterywest was conducted in 2014 to determine the feasibility of a major international visual arts event in Western Australia. While the event has not yet eventuated, three areas of interest were identified: Aboriginal Art, the Indian Ocean Region and Experimental Art. These elements provide a catalyst and resonance with Western Australia and reflect the recurring interest in reorienting the identity of local visual art.
The day will feature discussions and presentations about key projects to foster new, productive and sometimes challenging work and interactions between contemporary artists and communities in the Indian Ocean Region, and examine cultural exchange over time.
1.00 to 1.30pm KEYNOTE
JOHN MATEER - Writer and curator. His most recent project explores the continuing connections and parallels that exist between the histories and politics of Australian, South African, Dutch and Balinese contemporary art.
1.30pm to 2.30pm SPEAKERS
MAGGIE BAXTER - Textile artist, writer, independent curator, and public art coordinator. She first visited India in 1990 and maintains a textile arts practice in Kutch, Gujarat state.
MARCO MARCON - Artistic Director and co-founder of International Art Space: an international event of socially engaged art involving the participation of regional and rural communities throughout Western Australia.
ABDUL-RAHMAN ABDULLAH - Artist. He uses his Muslim Australian/ Malay heritage to negotiate shared understandings of individual identity and social outlooks in a multicultural Australian context.
GERALD SANYANGORE - Co-founder & cocurator at Another Antipodes Inc: promoting crosscultural dialogue between Australia and Africa though the exploration and presentation of contemporary visual arts.
TANIA FERRIER - Artist. Her recent work explores race relations in installations that transgress the boundaries between the art gallery and museum.
2.30pm to 3.00pm AFTERNOON TEA
3.00pm to 5.00 pm PANEL DISCUSSION and Q+A
5.00pm to 6.00pm SUNDOWNER AT LAWRENCE WILSON ART GALLERY
IMAGE: Maggie Baxter, documentation from Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles exhibition. Hand woven cotton Telia sari by Bappaditya and Rumi Biswas. Photographed on location in Kolkatta by Leena Kejriwal