The brand new Collie Art Gallery will be officially opened on 17th July with an exclusive exhibition of works by iconic Australian artist, the late Arthur Boyd.
The opening is a double first. The new Collie Art Gallery is the first purpose-built gallery to be opened in WA since the Art Gallery of Western Australia was built in the 1970s.
It is also the first time this collection, titled Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness will be seen in WA.
“The opening of our beautiful new Gallery and this wonderful exhibition is a very exciting and important event in the cultural life of all of us living in the South West,” said Elizabeth Lindsay, Chairman of the Collie Gallery Group. “It is the culmination of years of working towards this moment by a really passionate group of local people dedicated to creating a cultural centre in the Collie region.”
The exhibition Act-Belong-Commit presents Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness, honours the work of one of Australia’s most famous 20th century artists, and the potential of the artist to influence society through their role as an active witness. It is the first major exhibition to consider the social and political consciousness that influenced Arthur Boyd’s art and contains a rich collection of significant artworks by Boyd and his dynastic Australian artist family members.
Alongside the Boyd collection will be a small archive of photographs, letters and other documents that provide insight into Boyd’s historical, cultural and social milieu. Also included are selected works by his significant modern Australian contemporaries, such as Sidney Nolan and Charles Blackman.
Paintings, prints, ceramics and other materials from the Bundanon collection offer insights into how one of Australia’s greatest artists dealt with the social responsibility that defines humanity. The exhibition includes works by Boyd’s contemporaries and is supported by loans from public and private collections, photographs and other documents.
Arthur Boyd wrestled with the burden of the artists’ role as an active witness in his work, but ultimately triumphed in his generous act of philanthropy – gifting his collection and Bundanon properties to the Australian people, saying:
‘I want it to be accessible to any Australian whose life can be enriched by the beauty, the history, the landscape, the environment and by the energy and stimulation from social interaction with Australian creative artists.’
Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness is proudly sponsored by Healthway, promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message. The tour of this exhibition is made possible with support from the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, the Bundanon Trust, the Collie & Districts Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, the Coal Miners’ Welfare Board of Western Australia, the South West Development Commission and the Shire of Collie.
Deborah Ely, Chief Executive Officer of the Bundanon Trust, will be attending the gala opening to talk about the exhibition which will run until 30th August. Tickets the gala opening on 17th July are available by contacting Collie Art Gallery on 9734 2921 or visiting www.collieartgallery.org.au/product/gala-event.