PARTICIPATING VENUES/ORGANISATIONS

PERTH
  • John Curtin Gallery Survey Exhibition (15 May – 12 july 2020)
KIMBERLEY
PILBARA
  • city of karratha, red earth arts precinct, details to follow
MID-WEST
GOLDFIELDS
WHEATBELT
PEEL
  • City of Mandurah, Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM) (16 Feb – 24 March 2019)
  • LOST EDEN CREATIVE, DWELLINGUP (14 SEPT – 27 OCT 2019)
SOUTH WEST
GREAT SOUTHERN
EXPLORE the alternative archive…

Regional artists and curators from Kunnunurra to Esperance are coming together to create their community’s unique interpretation of a unifying central brief, The Alternative Archive (created by Lead Curator, Anna Louise Richardson)

This ground breaking series of thirteen inter-connected, regionally generated, group exhibitions and one survey exhibition (at John Curtin Gallery) delivered by the Creative Grid collective, has been initiated through the Regional Arts Partnership Program (RAPP). It is a project of ambitious scope, linked by shared vision and common purpose. It is the first of its kind in WA, and represents the first survey of contemporary visual arts practice in the State for two decades.

‘The Alternative Archive’ exhibition series re-frames the way local communities perceive their social contexts: unearthing stories that have been lost or kept hidden; retelling stories that have been forgotten or need to be told in a new way; and unveiling stories that have just been born. Through this process of exploration and transformation the project enhances community curiosity, vibrancy, and well-being. It simultaneously builds the profile, capacity and sustainability of individuals and organisations within the regional arts sector as a whole.

“The Alternative Archive is helping instill a new sense of optimism within the regional visual arts sector and a healthy sector means healthier communities for regional WA. It’s a win win all round.” says Project Coordinator, Fiona Sinclair (of Southern Forest Arts).

 


OVERVIEW

The Alternative Archive will bring together contemporary artists living in communities throughout regional Western Australia to participate in a statewide exhibition network that engages with their local social contexts. Artists and artist groups have been invited to create a contemporary visual archive of an aspect of their community drawn from personal relationships with the people, places and stories around them that they feel should be highlighted for their implicit personal, cultural or social value.

The project seeks to construct a dynamic new anthology of artworks and outcomes in any medium that examine how regional artists relate to the people, homes, towns or regions that they know so well. Encompassing the full diversity of artistic voices from around the state The Alternative Archive provides a platform for artists to engage with history, storytelling and local mythology, as well as personal and communal memory in a contemporary format.

Pictured above: Lake Grace artists visited the historic Australian Inland Mission Hospital in Lake Grace as part of their research into concepts for their Alternative Archive exhibition ‘The Only Hospital For Miles’


“Artists are recorders of social history, the creators of cultural capital in any community and their creative output is central to understanding our sense of identity, place and community.” (Anna Louise Richardson, 2017)

“The records they create are a nexus of images, objects, stories and memories through which we recall and revisit individual and shared memories and histories.” (Merewether, 2006).

“This particular impulse of the artist to archive our time seeks to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present. “(Foster, 2004)


Engaging with local archives provided the starting point for artists to look at different approaches to the idea of a public record. Artists were invited to interpret existing archives in new ways, create new archives that document untold histories or explore personal, oral or intangible records.

The interpretations and interactions with archives could be very broad and relate to people, places, events and actions from within a community. The opportunity exists for artists to engage with archives in any number of ways, however they are encouraged to seek personal connections with their community in the realisation of projects.

The resulting series of projects developed as part of The Alternative Archive will first be supported by professionally staged exhibitions in their local communities; subsequently a curated selection of works from around the state will be proposed as a large scale group exhibition held at leading contemporary art institute John Curtin Gallery, Perth in 2020


 

PARTICIPATING VENUES/ORGANISATIONS

For more detailed information about each of the individual exhibitions (including participating curators, artists and photographers) photos of works in progress and/or artists meeting to develop initial concepts, plus unique thematic/structural elements for each community please visit the following pages:

KIMBERLEY
PILBARA
  • Roebourne arts group, red earth arts precinct, karratha
MID-WEST
GOLDFIELDS
WHEATBELT
PEEL
SOUTH WEST
GREAT SOUTHERN
PERTH
  • John Curtin Gallery Survey Exhibition, perth

OUTCOMES

The Alternative Archive will:

  • Support the creation of significant new bodies of artwork across the state representing a considered period of research and development grounded in regional Western Australian social narratives.
  • Activate a wide range of exhibition venues and organisations across the state and provide peer support and mentorship in the delivery of projects.
  • Create a space for artists to expand their usual modes of practice, work responsively to their local communities and pursue critical dialogue and feedback from a broad network of West Australian artists.
  • Enable regional artists to access a broad audience, providing comprehensive exposure to regional practices and access to local memories and stories through the peer reviewed survey at John Curtin Gallery (15 May – 12 July 2020).
  • Foster an environment for artists to meaningfully and personally engage with their local communities and vice versa.
  • Engage regional audiences in meaningful, diverse and inclusive art experiences.
  • Activate local spaces and records.
  • Record, create, update and collate new or existing archives in regional Western Australia.
  • Projects for The Alternative Archive will be documented in a catalogue including critical writing and review for use as a showcase and permanent archive of regional Western Australian artistic practice and communities.

FUNDING PARTNERS

Southern Forest Arts and GalleriesWest acknowledge the generous support of the State Government of Western Australia and Country Arts WA in this project through the Regional Arts Partnership Program.

The Commonwealth Government of Australia has supported this project through the Regional Arts Fund.

John Curtin Gallery are partnering with The Creative Grid to develop and deliver a survey exhibition drawn from across The Alternative Archive series for May 2020.

GalleriesWest are providing this website for promotion, celebration and documentation of the project in its entirety.

Cockatoo Co-Lab are our national media partners.

Fiona Sinclair, of Southern Forest Arts, is the Project Coordinator.