Cultural Precinct

Exhibitions at The University of Western Australia

Further Information

  • Artist talks and events
  • Cultural Precinct Arts and Culture on campus

Exhibitions are held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Berndt Museum, Cullity Gallery, and SymbioticA.

Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Ceramic triangular sculpture by Stewart Scambler

Stewart Scambler: Fragment

5 May - 18 August 2018

Arriving in Perth from England as a young boy, Stewart Scambler was struck by the natural environment and, in particular, the intense light of Western Australia. Both the material and aesthetic qualities of the local landscape remain central to Scambler’s practice as a potter. On his property at York in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, the artist grows trees to stoke his wood-fired kiln and collects materials to make his own clay body. His glazes take on the earthy, muted colours of the Australian bush, enlivened by tonal variation and surface markings that emerge during the firing process.

Though Scambler continues to produce the vessels and domestic ware that he is well-known for, this exhibition presents a new body of work - a striking assembly of large-scale sculptural forms and murals, inspired by the artist’s journey through the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. The installation seeks to convey something of the experience of being in these places: The sculptures do not imitate natural phenomena, but rather capture key features of the landscape, such as the sharp-edged profiles of gorges and rock formations, and the rich, red earth of the North.

Image: Stewart Scambler, Fragment II (detail), 2017-2018, oxidised stoneware, dimensions variable. © Stewart Scambler. Photograph: Kevin Gordon


jarrah sculpture by howard taylor

Modern Australian Landscapes, 1940s-1960s: Works from the University of Western Australia Art Collection

5 May - 18 August 2018

This exhibition explores the modern landscape tradition in Australian art, through works in the University of Western Australia Art Collection. It features paintings by Elise Blumann, Sam Fullbrook, Audrey Greenhalgh, Guy Grey-Smith, Godfrey Miller, Sidney Nolan, John Passmore, Howard Taylor and Fred Williams.

During the post-war period, many Australian artists were attracted to landscape painting as a means of exploring the ideas and technical innovations associated with modern art. Formal experimentation can be seen in the use of bold bands of colour which compress the compositional space, or in the repetition of quasi-abstract brush marks which create an impression of the land, full of vitality and energy.

Many paintings emphasise the underlying structures of the bush – distilling the essential elements of nature. Working beyond conventional definitions of the genre, and conveying something of the experience of being in the land, artists such as Howard Taylor integrated the materials of nature into their artworks, as in Bush Structure, 1963, made of sheoak and jarrah.

Image: Howard Taylor, Bush structure, 1963, sheoak and jarrah, burnt and painted, 111 x 50 cm. The University of Western Australia Art Collection, Presented by Pola and Bronek Stein in gratitude for the life they have enjoyed in Australia since their arrival in 1939, 1995, © Howard Taylor Estate

Berndt Museum


In Light of Shadows

10 February - 7 July 2018

Notions of light and shadow occupy a space within different socio-cultural imaginings and understandings of particular realities – including ideas of knowledge, mortality, morality, power and memory.

The human response to light and shadow - both as metaphor and as practice – is intertwined with different perceptions of luminosity (or lack thereof) that reveal and conceal various experiences of the world. This exhibition explores cross-cultural understandings and material expressions to present light and shadow as existing in harmony with one another rather than in opposition.

Focusing on the Berndt Museum’s Asian Collection, In Light of Shadows encourages audiences to question the meaning of light and/or darkness in relation to other cultures and within themselves.

Image: Kalighat, Hari-Hara (detail), 1880-1890, Calcutta, India, watercolour and silver pigment on paper. RM & CH Berndt Estate, Berndt Museum [1963/0055].

Cruthers Collection of Women's Art

oil painting of three figures with bright auras in a room

Authentic Determination

5 May - 18 August 2018

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Brigid Noone has expanded her painting practice into an experimental hybrid of artistic and curatorial processes, often incorporating the work of other artists into her wall paintings and installations or working collaboratively to produce co- authored exhibitions. As co-director of Fontanelle, a gallery and studio complex now located in the heritage precinct of Port Adelaide, Noone has been instrumental in recent discussions about feminism and community in contemporary Australian art.

Authentic Determination sees Noone apply her unique methodology to the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, considering the artist as ‘whole being’. Noone will open a conversation between the collection, her own work and the work of her peers, exploring how the complex lives of artists are embodied in their work.

Exhibitions from the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art are supported by SHEILA A foundation for women in visual art. 

Image: Brigid Noone, Lucky Bitches, 2017, oil on canvas, 75x100cm. © Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Grant Hancock