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.

Campus Collaborations

Photograph by UWA student of a mannequin, with missing limbs, in a tree

2020 Visions (This Too Shall Pass)

Digital exhibition open 19 June 2020

Presented with the School of Biological Sciences, the Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum and the Cultural Precinct.

2020 Visions details the experiences of SCOM3319 students (Exhibitions and Interpretation, Science Communication) during the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020.

It includes objects identified by the students as being significant on an individual, personal level during this time. The exhibition shows how perceptions of, and relationships with, material objects changed with the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘social distancing’. The individual stories weave together to create a broader narrative of the UWA student community, and demonstrate resilience, perseverance, and hope.

Visit the 2020 Visions exhibition website

Image: We Will Survive This, photograph by Loki, SCOM3319 student, for 2020 Visions.

Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Two boomerangs made from wood with natural pigments, displayed to mirror each other in length

Boomerang – A National Symbol

8 February - 5 December 2020

Presented by the Berndt Museum of Anthropology

Australia as a nation is recognised around the world by symbols of Aboriginal culture.

In this exhibition, the Berndt Museum explores the idea of the boomerang - beyond a symbol of 'Australia' - to highlight its many uses and meanings. This exhibition asks audiences: 'How much do you know about boomerangs?'

Image: (top) Watty, Mowanjum, Western Australia. Wood with natural pigments, 61.8 x 16.1 x 1.2 cm. Gifted by P Lucich, Berndt Museum of Anthropology Collection [1976/0517]; (bottom) Ancestor from Western Australia. Incised wood with natural pigments, 57.4 x 15.5 x 1.9 cm. Gifted by O Mirmikidis, Berndt Museum of Anthropology Collection [2005/0010].

Visit the Boomerang – A National Symbol exhibition website

A detailed landscape painting, with a red border, indicating various human, animal and other-worldly figures fighting.

Expressions of India: From the Ronald M. and Catherine H. Berndt Collection

Digital exhibition open 11 July 2020

Presented by the Berndt Museum of Anthropology

Expressions of India brings together a selection of Indian paintings from the Ronald and Catherine Berndt Bequest Collection.

This selection of works cuts across social circumstance, place and time to provide a glimpse into pockets of everyday life from across India and from varying contexts. By sharing these works with the public, we hope to celebrate our connections to the Indo-Pacific region.

Image: Rama & Lakshamana, in the fight against Ravana, just outside Lanka, Indian 16th - 18th century. Opaque watercolour on paper, 28.4 x 20.2 cm. Gifted by RM & CH Berndt, Berndt Museum of Anthropology Collection [1994/0868].

Photograph of the ocean with an island off in the distance

Drew Pettifer
A Sorrowful Act: The Wreck of the Zeewijk

29 August - 5 December 2020

A Sorrowful Act: The Wreck of the Zeewijk derives from a broader investigation within Drew Pettifer's work to unearth hidden queer histories through archival art practices.

This exhibition focuses on the first recorded moment in (European) queer history in Australia: a sodomy trial following the wreck of the Dutch ship the Zeewijk in 1727 where two young men were sentenced to death by marooning. Through photographs, video, audio and installation, this exhibition recontextualises social histories to help us rethink our present.

This project has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Image: Drew Pettifer, Maroon island study, 2019, courtesy of the artist.

Highly detailed drawing of male human figures with various animal parts

HERE&NOW20: Perfectly Queer

29 August - 5 December 2020

HERE&NOW20 focuses on the practice of queer artists in Western Australia. The annual HERE&NOW exhibition showcases some of the most exciting and innovative work in WA, curated each year by an emerging curator appointed to offer fresh perspective and insight on contemporary art practice.

This year Brent Harrison examines how artists draw on histories and their own lived experiences to create artworks that reflect on what it means to be queer. The artists in HERE&NOW20 use their work as a means to problematise binaries, to explore sites of desire and to provide safe spaces for communities. The exhibition aims to dismantle dominant heteronormative narratives by encouraging intergenerational dialogues that highlight the continued resistance of queer culture.

Image: Andrew Nicholls, The Last Judgement (detail), 2016-2018, archival ink pen on watercolour paper, 12 panels, each 76 x 57 cm. Artbank collection, commissioned 2016.

Painting of an artist's studio depicting 4 figures, each different solid colour.

Unladylike Acts: Recent Acquisitions from the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art

29 August - 5 December 2020

Taking its title from Madison Bycroft's 2013 video work, (Un)ladylike acts for every lady lacking (Gift of the King), this exhibition features a suite of recent donations and acquisitions from the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art.

'Women artists' frequently wrestle with the conundrum of being defined as such, as patriarchal expectations associated with that position can be reinforced by attempts at both celebration and critique. This selection of artworks – including works by Bycroft, Sarah Contos, Kate Just and Maria Kozic – variously reject, embrace and wield gendered perspectives, offering a provocative survey of attitudes toward art practice and its politics.

Devised by former CCWA curator Gemma Weston and curated by current CCWA curator Lee Kinsella.

Image: Madison Bycroft, (Un)Ladylike acts for every lady lacking (Gift to the Kind) (detail), 2013, still from single-channel digital video, colour, sound, 3:58 loop, Cruthers Collection of Women's Art, the University of Western Australia. (c) Courtesy of the artist.

Black and White acrylic on plastic.

Ross Seaton - Master of Nedlands

Digital exhibition open December 2020

Ross Seaton has been making extraordinary paintings and drawings in his front garden in Nedlands for the past 30 years.  A well-known figure in the area, renowned for his long walks along Stirling Highway to the ocean, Seaton has documented his complex and interdisciplinary view of the world in paintings and drawings. The first large-scale exhibition devoted to his work, The Master of Nedlands brings together a selection of Seaton's compelling works to document the artist's unique vision.

Image: Ross Seaton, Untitled, 2017-2018, acrylic on plastic, 400 x 1000 cm, courtesy the artist.

figure holding a doll.

Papercut: Works on paper from the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art

2 February - 5 June 2021

Nearly half of the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art consists of works on paper, including a substantial holding of editioned prints and screenprinted political posters. Works on paper have traditionally been considered secondary to media such as sculpture or painting, thought of as visual research, preliminary material or in the case of printmaking, a more affordable entry point to the art market. 

Papercut challenges two 'canons', offering an alternative view on art history via a dynamic and eclectic survey of paper-based practice by Australian women artists, including Mary MacQueen, Barbara Brash, Lesbia Thorpe, Joy Hester, Rosella Namok, Arelene Textaqueen, Joan Stokes, Julia Church and many more. 

Image: Joy Hester, Untitled [Figure with doll], c. 1948, watercolour, 48 x 38.5 cm, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, the University of Western Australia, CCWA 406, © Joy Hester/Copyright Agency, 2019.