The University of Western Australia’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery presents a new art exhibition featuring a selection of works from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.
The free exhibition Scratching the Surface: A selection of works from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection runs between 22 July and 23 September 2017 and reveals insights into the life of Janet Holmes à Court.
The works trace how one of most acclaimed private collections of Australian art was built - from 1968 when Janet and Robert Holmes à Court purchased their first works from the Darlington Arts and Crafts Gallery in the Perth Hills, until today.
Curated by Sharon Tassicker, the exhibition features 70 works, which include paintings, ceramics, sculptures, drawings and textiles. They will be launched on Friday 28 July 6pm at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in conjunction with a book, MUSE: A Journey through an Art Collection, written by Holmes à Court and published by UWA Publishing. MUSE is also available for purchase online.
The book and the exhibition are tangible expressions of Janet Holmes à Court’s extensive passion for the arts. Her commitment to engaging with the visual expression of Aboriginal artists and maintaining ongoing relationships with women from the Utopia community in central Australia resulted in several acquisitions including those of well-recognised Anmatyerre artists.
An ongoing relationship with artists from Darlington saw a focus on works by Guy Grey-Smith, Brian McKay and Robert Juniper. More recent acquisitions of work by Matt McVeigh, Sandra Hill, Christopher Pease, Angela McHarrie and Rachael Coad continue to represent contemporary Western Australian artists, expanding the collection to more than 5000 works.
Speaking of the challenge of curating the exhibition and selecting works for inclusion in the book Ms Tassicker said there were 143 works in the book, being some of Janet’s favourite works; and from that, 70 in the exhibition.
“We knew we could only ever scratch the surface with this exhibition,” Ms Tassicker said. “Perhaps just enough to give a sense of what the collection is made of and what its abiding interests are - Australian landscape and culture, Australian history and people, and Australian artists.”
“The exhibition provides a snapshot of place, people, history, culture and concerns - a small window into the heart and mind of the collector, Janet Holmes à Court.”
Caine Chennatt (Manager, Audience Development, UWA Cultural Precinct) (+61 8) 6488 7477 / (+61 4) 31 229 479
Lee Kinsella (Project Coordinator, UWA Cultural Precinct) / (+61 4) 14 416 934
Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Advisor) (+61 8) 6488 6876