9 September – 9 December 2023



The final exhibition period at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery for 2023 aligns with a change in the weather on Noongar Boodjar. The season of Djilba (AugustSeptember) heralds warmer days and Kamberang (OctoberNovember) sees an explosion of floral colour.


It’s ‘wildflower season’. 


For many Western Australians, native plants and flowers are life-giving, a source of pride, resources, and of personal and cultural significance.


For Noongar people, many flowers and plants are food and medicine. The arrival of different flowers throughout the year marks the changing seasons.


Since the earliest days of colonisation, the State Government has used floral imagery to create a sense of identity – in tourism campaigns, heraldic crests and acknowlegement of colonial milestones. More recently, ‘botanicals’ are the heroes of locally produced food and design offering unique experiences rooted in place.


WILDFLOWER SEASON brings together a collection of artworks exploring the many ways meaning is made through images of plants and flowers.


We celebrate the conclusion of a significant conservation project with the exhibition of forty botanical watercolour studies by Emily Pelloe, made between 1920 and 1934.


After relocating to Western Australia from Mildura in 1916, Pelloe quickly established herself as a figure of influence in Perth society, well known for her passions for botany, equestrian sports, journalism and women's issues. She was a prolific and self-taught artist and produced many of her watercolour studies on long-distance horseback rides through the South West. This exhibition will place her paintings in the context of her life and work, bringing together a substantial folio gifted to the University of Western Australia after her death in 1941, to be held in trust for a women’s college


In dialogue with Emily Pelloe’s watercolours will be a diverse group of artworks – including painting, etching, sculpture, photography and moving image – which complicate rules of botanical and scientific classification. They emphasise lore rather than law: the stories we tell, and keep alive, about plants and the places we find them. Through observation, documentation and the arrangement and rearrangement of collections, each artist describes their place within a complex, living world. 


WILDFLOWER SEASON features works from the University of Western Australia Art Collection by:


Godfrey Blow, Penny Coss, Guy Grey-Smith, Lucy Griggs, Gregory Pryor, Wattie Karruwara, Robyn Stacey, Holly Story, and from the ‘Replant’ folio: Fiona Hall, Winsome Jobling, Irene Mungatopi, Marita Sambono, Judy Watson, Deborah Wurrkidj and Salvatore Zofrea.




A 16mm cameraless film by Kirsten Hudson, and an ambitious multimedia commission by celebrated Noongar theatre-maker, actor and artist Kylie Bracknell.


Additional loans from The State Library of Western Australia and St Catherine’s College.


Media Release

WILDFLOWER SEASON media release  [PDF 510KB]





Image: Emily Pelloe, Eucalyptus caesia Bentham (detail), 1930, watercolour, 39.2 x 28.8cm, The University of Western Australia Art Collection, Gift of St Catherine's College, 1970

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