Museum of Freedom and Tolerance marks International Human Rights Day with launch of first virtual collection of Western Australian art on Google Arts & Culture
Starting today, over 250 items curated by the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance (MFT) can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture by people around the world, through a new partnership between Google and MFT.
In this new virtual exhibition, users will be able to see large scale works including kaleidoscopic paintings by Fitzroy Crossing artist John Prince Siddon, hand-carved glass points distinctive to Kimberley Aboriginal language groups found on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island), and a series of handmade Noongar Dolls – symbols of the resilience and healing of members of the Stolen Generation and their descendants. These, and many other diverse stories can be discovered in just a few clicks on Google Arts & Culture.
More than 20 virtual exhibits have been specifically created for online visitors by MFT’s digital curators and well-known Western Australian curators such as Emilia Galatis, who works with remote Aboriginal arts centres. These exhibits tell a rich story of Western Australian identity, including the truth of Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) and its dark history as an Aboriginal prison, the world through the words of a Pakistani-Australian performance poet, and the meaning of home to Iranian-Australian artist, Layli Rakhsha.
Some of the most significant items to be showcased in the collection include:
● Australia: Mix it all up (2019) by Walmajarri artist John Prince Siddon, his colourful work commenting on the political and social issues of today and WA’s mostly undocumented history
● Rose’s Yard (2016) by modern artist and Traditional Owner, Evelyn Malgil whose work wrestles with tension between settler structure and Country
● Martuwarra (2020) by Walmajarri artist Sonia Kurarra, who creates art from her aged-care home in Fitzroy Crossing
● Kimberley Points from the Rottnest Island Museum, photographed by Bo Wong
● Sisters by award-winning Noongar artist Sharyn Egan (2016), from the Tamworth Regional Gallery collection
Museum of Freedom and Tolerance CEO Shaheen Hughes said: “Our collection gives prominence to non-dominant narratives, centralising them, increasing the representation of diverse voices and stories, and challenging norms in relation to what it means and looks like to be Australian today.”
“We believe the arts provide an ideal platform to interact across our differences with empathy and compassion, and a space to understand each other better in this polarised world.”
Patrick Gorman MP, Federal Member for Perth said: “Telling the stories of a diverse group of Western Australians ensures our community understands the world from a different perspective. Ensuring the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance’s collection is accessible to everyone is an innovative and excellent way of sharing their goal of promoting a society where everyone can live peacefully, free from racism, prejudice and fear.”
An event to mark the occasion will be held on the evening of 10 December at the new WA Museum Boola Bardip, in celebration of Human Rights Day and the official collection launch.
About Museum of Freedom and Tolerance
The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance is a cultural think tank that builds bridges – not walls – in our quest for a more peaceful society. Founded to promote a society where everyone can live peacefully, free from racism, prejudice and fear, the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance amplifies unheard, hidden or otherwise invisible stories through the arts and technology.
About Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2.000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture’s mission is to make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world. Discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings, Puerto Rico’s heritage, Sports in Australia or the women’s right movement to ancient Maya temples, Japanese Food and Indian Railways.
WA Museum Boola Bardip
Perth Cultural Centre