Exhibition offers a journey of comfort and disquiet across Country

17/04/2023 | 3 mins

A new exhibition at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery invites visitors to follow the wardong (Australian raven) in flight as we travel across Country and recognise reverberations of comfort and disquiet. 

KANANGOOR/Shimmer, co-curated by Amanda Bell, Badimia and Yued artist, and LWAG curator Lee Kinsella will offer visitors a journey through the gallery space, guided by sound and light.  

Drawing upon resonate objects from several UWA collections, and enriched by new commissions from Amanda Bell, Corey Khan and Rickeeta Walley, KANANGOOR/Shimmer reflects on our relationship with the environment. 

KANANGOOR/Shimmer considers responses to the landscape with objects that emerge from a profound engagement with land to others that communicate a sense of dislocation or strangeness.  

Chris Pease Down the rabbit hole II oil on canvas

Image: Chris Pease, Down the rabbit hole II, 2013, oil on canvas, 61.5 x 90.5 cm The University of Western Australia Art Collection, University Senate Grant and Gift of the Friends of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2014, Copyright and courtesy of the artist and Gallerysmith.

The exhibition includes works of protest and works of power, beauty and delicacy, such as the shimmering silk batik fabrics produced by Utopian artists and Joseph Williams Jungarrayi’s remarkable paintings on maps of an abandoned gold mine.  What is consistent to all is a sense of agency and of the land being active and vital.   

“This place, the place of our ancestors, the sustaining Boodja, rows of Wannang and the breath and life off the Derbarl Yerrigan has been a space where, we have been unseen, just a trace – sometimes our bodies barred, wounded and removed,” Bell said.  

“In the sound and song of KANANGOOR/Shimmer, we mean to provide a place to listen, reflect, move through space, ready for change and show ways forward.  Our bodies stand on Whadjuk Boodja at the Gallery.  We propose change, and to bring our blood and spirit to a place where it has always been.”

The exhibition highlights some of the narratives that traverse across and deep within the traditional lands of the Whadjuk Noongar peoples on which the UWA Crawley campus is located. 

Visitors will encounter a range of engagements with Country – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – that allude to the many knowledges and traditions which inform understandings of place.  

The installation, Wirringkirri, by Joseph Williams Jungarayi, Jimmy Frank Japarula, and Lévi McLean, in the Janet Holmes à Court gallery, is curated by Jessyca Hutchens for the Berndt Museum. It was first presented as part of the exhibition Black Sky (2023).

KANANGOOR/Shimmer will be launched on Friday 12 May at 5.30pm in the Sunken Garden at UWA with a Welcome to Country by Dr Richard Walley and musical performances.

The exhibition runs from May 12 to August 19. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 5pm, and admission is free. For more information, visit the LWAG website

Image at top of page: Joseph Williams Jungarrayi, Wangarri Warinyi VI–X, 2022 acrylic on acetate (found mining map), 122 x 82cm, installation view of Wirringkirri, in Black Sky, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2023, photograph by Rebecca Mansel.

Media references

Lee Kinsella (Curator, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery) 08 6488 3709

Clare McFarlane (Visual Design and Communications Officer) 08 6488 7809

Annelies Gartner (UWA Media & PR Manager) 08 6488 3229

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