A new survey exhibition from the next generation of Martumili Artist
After a pandemic imposed break, FORM in partnership with Martumili Artists is proud to present What Now? a group exhibition by the next generation of Martumili Artists, on display at The Goods Shed, 7 October – 20 December.
What Now? will showcase emerging talent from Martumili Artists, one of Western Australia’s most vibrant remote Aboriginal art centres. The exhibition itself is a collective celebration of the dynamic paintings and photography currently being produced by artists across the vast East Pilbara. It provides a survey of bold new works from the brightest Martu artists, informed by Country, empowered by culture and inspired by their predecessors.
“FORM and Martumili Artists have had a long and very productive relationship, since we first collaborated on the internationally-acclaimed Canning Stock Route project almost 15 years ago. We love supporting the significant work that Martumili does for Aboriginal artists in the East Pilbara, and we know how warmly Perth audiences respond to their work,” said FORM’s Senior Curator Andrew Nicholls.
The exhibition comes as the wider economic impact of COVID-19 is setting in, and a combination of factors related to the pandemic has reduced the crucial income Aboriginal artists across the remote Pilbara region generate from the sale of their work. FORM’s programming seeks to support the practices of Western Australian contemporary Aboriginal artists through professional development and exhibition opportunities. FORM’s dedicated exhibition space The Goods Shed provides the ideal venue to showcase remotely-based artists to a metropolitan audience.
Nicholls emphasised, “What Now? presents an exciting opportunity for Perth audiences to view and purchase work by the art centre’s most compelling emerging talent, including artists who are destined to become some of our State’s Aboriginal art stars over the coming years. Metropolitan audiences will learn about Martu Country and culture while supporting some of the most dynamic work currently being produced in Western Australia’s regions.”
What Now? features recent works by Gladys Kuru Bidu, Biddy Bunawarrie, Marianne Burton, Derrick Butt, Doreen Chapman, Lorna Linmurra, Mary Rowlands, Judith Anya Samson, Helen Dale Samson, Debra Thomas, Cyril Whyoulter, Corban Clause Williams, and Tamisha Williams.
Though all of the artists participating in What Now? can be considered ‘emerging’, they are aged between 24 and 80. Some of the senior artists have been painting for several years but have recently experienced a significant change in the direction and focus of their practice, or have produced their first major body of work in what can be considered a highly anticipated length of time. Younger Martu artists learn to paint by observing and assisting their older relatives, and What Now? demonstrates how these artists are developing their own styles that still reflect the powerful influence of their elders.
Naturally, all of the artists are looking forward to sharing unique expressions and stories of their culture, family and rich Aboriginal heritage.
Newman-based Derrick Butt, who paints the site of Kulyakartu (located in the far north of the Martu homelands, near the Percival Lakes region of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert) states of his participation in What Now? “This opportunity for me as an artist, to showcase my art through the story of my grandmother, is important – telling the story of my grandmother’s Country so that people can understand where I come from. I’m proud of my painting and of my story.”
Punmu-based Marianne Burton is equally thrilled to be taking part, exclaiming, “Good one init!? Looking forward to it.”
All 13 artists will travel from the Pilbara to Perth for the launch of the exhibition, which will take place over two evenings. The first evening, Wednesday 7 October, will see the exhibition officially opened. On the following night, Thursday 8 October, guests will be treated to an artists’ talk providing an intimate insight into the diverse creative practices emerging from the State’s most isolated and remote communities. RSVP to either event is essential – contact or ph 08 9385 2200
All works, along with a selection of unstretched canvases painted by the broader Martumili Artists group, are available for sale.
The Goods Shed
4 Shenton Road
Claremont WA 6010