Colours of our Country returns to Perth

Aboriginal Art Directory | 05.10.10

Accomplished and emerging artists, traditional stories and stunning Pilbara imagery was once again on show at this year’s ‘Colours of our Country’ Aboriginal art exhibition in Perth on the 22nd September.

For the fifth consecutive year, Rio Tinto transformed the walls of the Central Park foyer to house a gallery of diverse Aboriginal art work from the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The exhibition, initially launched to coincide with Rio Tinto’s 40th anniversary in 2006, has received tremendous broad support both locally in the Pilbara and in Perth and is now a showcase event.

Chief executive Iron Ore and Australia, Sam Walsh said prior to the event that the company was proud to bring the exhibition back for its fifth year and was an important showcase for traditional culture and arts.

This year 57 Pilbara Aboriginal artists showcased 232 paintings, artefacts and textiles at the exhibition.

All work was for sale, with all proceeds returning free of commission back to artists and art groups in the Pilbara.

Several of the artists have become well-established, exhibiting work both interstate and internationally.

Three of the artists, Aileen Sandy, Pansy Hicks and Justina Willis, were category winners at the recent Cossack Art Awards in July.

Chairperson of Yinjaa-Barni artists group, Allery Sandy (who has a cameo in the recently- filmed Red Dog movie), said events such as Colours of our Country present opportunities for both the artists and Perth audiences.

“Many of the artists featured in the exhibition have family members in Perth, who rarely have the opportunity to see our paintings,” Ms Sandy said.

“Art is a wonderful way for us to speak about our country.

The stories behind many of the paintings provide people outside the Pilbara with a small insight in to our heritage and our culture.”

Doreen James from Tom Price/ Paraburdoo tribal country, for example, has been encouraged to pick up the paint brush again; reinvigorating a passion that previously saw her win the first Indigenous art category in the 2000 Cossack Art Award and have one of her paintings donated to the National Gallery in Canberra.

Doreen was joined by two other artists from the east Pilbara; who provided an additional perspective for the exhibition, which previously featured predominantly coastal artists.
The exhibition ran from the 22nd September to the 2nd October in the foyer of Central Park, Perth.


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