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Image – Pantjiti Mary McLean, Yultukunpa tjikini (drinking honey Grevillea), 1990, felt pen on paper, 60 x 84cm, Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

Revisiting History With 'Bush Women: 25 Years On'

Sally Tabart
26th July, 2018

Fremantle Arts Centre restages a historic art exhibition by pioneering Aboriginal women.

In 1994, a ground-breaking exhibition took place at Fremantle Arts CentreBush Women: Fresh Art from Remote WA was the first showcase of works by Aboriginal artists from the Kimberley region and the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of the Western Desert, and it’s currently being restaged in its original location!

To acknowledge the ongoing significance of this historic exhibition, the Western Australian gallery has reassembled important works from Paji Honeychild Yankkarr, Daisy Andrews, Queenie McKenzi (Gara-Gara), Tjapartji Kanytjuri Bates, Tjingapa Davies and Pantjiti Mary McLean in Bush Women: 25 Years OnThese pioneering artists all went on to have pieces acquired by highly-regarded institutions and collectors, including the National Gallery of Australia. 

Bush Women: 25 years On celebrates an important part of WA’s art history’, says Fremantle Arts Centre special projects curator, Erin Coates, ‘a moment in the early 1990s dominated by Aboriginal women artists from remote Australia’.

It was only 10 years ago that then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was the first politician to publicly apologise to the stolen generation of Aboriginal people, and Australia remains the only Commonwealth country that still does not have a treaty agreement with its Aboriginal people. It’s important to understand how far there is to go with acknowledging this country’s history, which is why the 1994 exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre, Bush Women: Fresh Art from Remote WA, remains so significant today.

Bush Women: 25 Years On group exhibition
July 21st to September 8th

Fremantle Arts Centre
1 Finnerty Street
Fremantle, Western Australia

The Design Files acknowledges that we work on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.

Sally Tabart
26th July, 2018

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.