FOUNDATION ARTISTS 6 YEARS ON
Inspiration Wild: Foundation Artists 6 Years showcases a broad selection of nationally and internationally recognised artists from Australia who are deeply inspired in their artwork by the natural environment.
These Foundation Artists have come together for this virtual exhibition, reminding the viewer of not only the importance, but beauty of nature, Australia’s natural environment and its inhabitants. Nature is a strong theme, throughout the exhibition, with both realism and interpretative art offset by more contemporary works in a variety of mediums and conceptual frameworks of our Australian landscape.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege once again to gather artworks from this eminent and highly regarded group of artists and to curate a virtual exhibition of these through the WAMA Foundation.
These Foundation Artists originally came together to support the development of the WAMA project at the outset. Their involvement was evidenced in the production of the inaugural publication – Inspiration Wild: an Artistic Celebration of Nature and Environment released to coincide with the prestigious launch of the vision called WAMA at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, by Robert Purves AM and Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM FAHA.
In addition to these artists I also have pleasure – and it is my privilege – to introduce two acclaimed guest artists, Paul Bong from the Yidingy tribe and Daniel O’Shane from the Meuram People of Darnley Erub Island, Torres Strait. Both Paul and Daniel are passionately driven to explore and record their cultural heritage through their art practice for future generations.
Paul specializes in works in glass and on paper, weaving the stories of his native land in designs on images of the shields that are an integral part of his culture. His work hangs in both Parliament House and the National Museum in Canberra, where he held an Artist Residency studying glasswork to create his layered glass shields with such inherent beauty and precision.
Daniel uses his extraordinary talent in carving “warr” (symbolic patterning) to create a rich moving tapestry – a backdrop for the characters in his stories. His works hang in The Art Gallery of NSW and The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
The reputations and achievements of all these artists speak for themselves with exhibitions, awards, displays, publications, judging appointments and art education workshops both in Australia and in international destinations around the world. Their artwork is highly sought after, prized by collectors and new works are eagerly awaited.
Nature inspires!! To demonstrate its beauty, to encourage conservation, and to bring awareness of environmental issues: all this and more is at the forefront of the artists’ minds and hands as they weave such intricate paths in their art practice for us to all appreciate and enjoy. WAMA is extremely grateful for their generosity and support through their inspirational artistic talents.
I sincerely encourage you all to take this opportunity to delve into these diverse, digital displays and realize the opportunity to collect such masterworks to hang and enjoy on your own walls long into the future.
Senior Art Advisor and Curator on behalf of WAMA
Tony Pridham “Quill”
Sophie Cape “Flying From Thunder, Roaring to Rapture”
Daniel O’Shane “Ii ra mer ene Gawei (the sound of tears and Gawei)”
WAMA is honoured to be able to do what we love within an ancient, diverse and unique cultural landscape that we call home. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future, for they hold the knowledge, wisdom, traditions and culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.