In 2016 the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation initiated the Indigenous Artist Support Program though Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe. Since that time Sharyn Egan and Janine McAullay Bott from Western Australia have exhibited in our exhibitions at Cottesloe and Bondi. Both artists shared the experience of exhibiting in Sydney for the first time in their careers. With the ongoing support of the Foundation, at Cottesloe next month Egan and McAullay Bott will exhibit once more, and will be joined by a third artist, Tereasa Trevor from NSW who is exhibiting in WA for the first time.
Egan began creating art at the age of 37, after enrolling at the Claremont School of Art in Perth and then Curtin University, to complete an Associate Degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art followed by a Bachelor of Arts. The themes of her work are informed by the experiences of her life as a Nyoongar woman and she works in a variety of mediums including woven sculptural forms, often based on floral and fauna with totemic significance for Nyoongar people.
Sharyn has exhibited extensively throughout Western Australia and works are held in prestigious collections including The Berndt Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum. More recently, following her participation in the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation Invited Indigenous Artist Program, an installation featured at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and she accepted an invitation with the Nyoongar Doll Makers to participate in the 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial at the Tamworth Regional Gallery. Congratulations Sharyn!
The work produced by McAullay Bott, born in Perth in 1951, reflects her Noogar heritage including the animals and country of her ancestors, with much of her artwork dedicated to her Noongar mother. After developing her skills in fibre-weaving in the USA, the artist is now one of Australia’s foremost exponents of weaving and bush sculpture.
Janine exhibits regularly in Perth and was a 2009 Winner and five times a Finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Awards. Her work is held in many private and public collections including the Art Gallery of WA, the WA Museum Indigenous Art Collection, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Musee de la Civilisation in Quebec. We look forward to seeing her work, Great Southern Noongar, made from palm fronds, palm branch and kurrajong seed pods on display next month.
Tereasa Trevor is a Yuin woman living and working in Awabakal and Worimi land in Lake Macquarie in NSW. Her work reflects on the notion of the modern day tribe, and as such is highly collaborative. She brings together diverse Aboriginal community members to bring to life themes that impact indigenous lives in contemporary Australia. She is particularly interested in maintaining the strength and beauty of culture, art and knowledge.
Tereasa is influenced by historical documents and stories of the time in post colonial Australian history, but also the reflection on how these histories shape the lives of modern indigenous lives.
Her sculptural work is collaborative in nature and involves extensive community consultation to ensure that the message, design and implementation is created in such a way that a diverse range of community members find it inspiring to participate. The themes are generally uplifting and celebratory, so that the time spent collaborating is one of pride – even when the underlying message may be a serious one reflecting on the challenges indigenous Australians face.
Traditional crafts are employed to showcase the talents within the community – from painting, to weaving or shell hook making. Skills are shared, used, and taught to other community members as part of the creation process. The act of creating the shared vision in the sculpture itself helps to keep culture alive and vibrant.
As part of this, community members are selected to represent diverse cross sections of the population. Children, elders, artists, those incarcerated, people living with different levels of ability, as well as the Artist and her family all participate to create the final work.
2017 Newcastle Art School – Identity – sculpture, painting, prints
2017 Sculpture at Barangaroo – 11 Ships
2016 Sculpture at Barangaroo – Barangaroo Dreaming