Online reveal for renowned Aboriginal art exhibition

Despite many galleries being closed due to coronavirus, the Fremantle Arts Centre is determined to still allow people to view and purchase works from the 2020 Revealed Exhibition.

Revealed is an annual exhibit funded by the state government to showcase and support WA’s Aboriginal artists and arts centres through exhibition and sales opportunities.

The exhibition features more than 100 new and emerging Aboriginal artists from remote and regional art centres, as well as independent artists.

Fremantle Arts Centre has compiled the full exhibition into a catalogue for the public to view online. The catalogue includes artwork images, information about each of the artists and art centres, and details on how to purchase the artwork.

Exhibitions in the city allow Aboriginal artists such as Lucy Loomoo to express her culture.  Photo: Warlayirti Artists.

Fremantle Arts Centre Revealed coordinator Katherine Wilkinson says purchasing works from the Revealed Exhibition is a great way to support WA’s Aboriginal art centres and artists who have already been severely impacted by COVID-19.

“A huge part of Revealed is generating income for Aboriginal art centres through the art market,” she says.

She says Revealed supports new and emerging Aboriginal artists in particular.

“They show their work, develop an audience and followings for their practice, and it is often their first professional exhibition,” she says.

Ms Wilkinson says the Fremantle Arts Centre has waived all gallery commission on Revealed sales.

She says it was a small thing the centre could do to ensure all the profits go directly to the artists and art centres.

If artwork is sold out on the catalogue Ms Wilkinson says all art centres involved are taking direct inquiries.

Studio Coordinator for Warlayirti Artists Poppy Lever says the cancellation of the physical Revealed exhibition is a significant loss of income for Aboriginal art centres and the independent artists.

“It’s essential income for artists. It’s also important income because it’s their own culture, it’s their own business, it’s Aboriginal-led.” she says.

She says despite the hardship of the coronavirus it’s taught people in the media industry to be savvier about going online.

“If successful it will be a gamechanger for a lot of galleries and art centres to be able to go not just locally, with what would have been Fremantle visitors, it’s now international as well,” she says.

This year Warlayirti Artists, who are based in the community of Balgo 260-kilometres south of Halls Creek, has three artists featured in the Revealed exhibition and it is the first time for each of them.

Vincent Nanala is one of the Warlayirti artists represented in this year’s online Revealed exhibition. Photo: Warlayirti Artists.

As the coronavirus restrictions were put in place in March, the City of Fremantle decided to close the art centre until further notice. 

Ms Wilkinson says the exhibition will be available online until the Fremantle Arts Centre is able to reopen and the exhibition will then be physically open for people to come and see for at least two to four weeks.

People can also purchase other Warlayirti artwork, like these by Miriam Baadjo from the Warlayirti Artists’ online shop.  Photo: Warlayirti Artists.