Images of the Kimberley
By Jon Lamb
Fremantle — Home Country is an exhibition of paintings and photographic prints of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It brings together works by Aboriginal artists and a European Australian artist who were all born and raised in the area.
The two mediums offer complementary views of the landscape and draw upon each artist's impressions and feelings for their country. Some express this in terms of Dreaming stories that go back to antiquity, others in terms of how they see it now.
The Aboriginal artists have painted the country with acrylic paint on canvas, representing it symbolically or in a combination of symbolic and figurative images. All have painted for many years, yet this is only their second major exhibition — following one earlier this year at Hogarth Galleries in Sydney.
Photographer Joel Smoker has presented a collection of cibachrome prints which bring out the varied colour and contrasts of the natural environment. This technique is more colour durable than other photographic forms and hence the quality of work is retained.
Smoker has also been responsible for collecting the paintings and presenting them in this exhibition, as a step towards facilitating more exhibitions of art from the Kimberley. Funding and resources for are extremely limited and any assistance, financial or otherwise, would be gratefully accepted. Interested persons can contact Joel Smoker care of the Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle.
Home Country is at Birukmarri Gallery, 47 High St, Fremantle (phone 09 335 4741) and closes on September 20. (Birukmarri Gallery is collectively run by Aboriginal people from the local community.)