Home to the State Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, which is a part of the Perth Cultural Center, first opened its doors in 1979. With over 15,000 works of art on display, the Art Gallery attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year, all eager to learn more about Western Australia’s unique offerings of art and culture.
The most popular permanent exhibition at the gallery is entitled Your Collection and showcases the State Art Collection, which is Western Australia’s leading public art collection. The collection is arranged chronologically, beginning in the 1800’s and ranging up to the modern day, and features everything from Modern British art to Western Australian art to indigenous art. The William Kentridge Shadow Quartet is one of the highlights of the State Art Collection, created by one of the most compelling artists of our time. Your Collection features eighteen pieces by the artist, including four large bronze statues that seem as though they disappear as you move through them. The Shadow Quartet was commissioned specially for Perth, bringing the theme of transformation to life.
Current Temporary Exhibitions
There are a number of different exciting temporary exhibitions that are currently on display at the Art Gallery, providing visitors with new themes and pieces to explore each time they visit. Sacred and Profane features three large-scale pieces by world-renowned international artists, while the Rise Sound Gallery features an exhibition entitled Swamp Gospel, which is an ode to the former wetland and lake that the gallery is now situated on. Those visiting this vertical sound gallery will experience a number of different recordings, from turtle calls to swirling water, filling your senses with a sense of history that was thought to be lost. Comic Tragics is another temporary exhibition currently on display at the gallery, and explores contemporary comic art, while Reason for Being is a collaboration with Co3, one of Western Australia’s hottest new contemporary dance companies.
The gallery’s schedule of upcoming exhibitions will thrill any art lovers out there. One of the most highly anticipated is WA Focus, which is an annual program that showcases new pieces by local artists. From the end of May until August, the artist on display will be Rebecca Baumann, whose work encompasses sculpture, performance and installation. The exhibition will be a site-specific installation, boasting a hypnotic display that explores color, time and light. The Art Gallery of Western Australia also places a strong emphasis on the art of film, with their Screen Space showing a new piece every two months. Mary Reid Kelley’s Priapus Agonistes will be screened here from July to September, with the film combining tragedy and humor while exploring various aspects of Greek mythology.
Since the Art Gallery of Western Australia is situated in the Perth Cultural Center, it makes for extremely convenient access, whether you are traveling on foot, by car, or on public transport. The gallery provides visitors with a unique insight into both historic and contemporary Australian art and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Perth.