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Western Australia’s largest annual Aboriginal art exhibition and market returns to Fremantle Arts Centre

Phoebe Blogg -

Returning to Fremantle Art Centre this week, Western Australia's largest annual Aboriginal art exhibition and art market, Revealed, is showcasing and celebrating the work of both new and emerging First Nations artists.

Despite launching in 2008, this will be the event's first year organised by an Indigenous arts collective, as the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA) takes the reins for 2024.

The state-wide Aboriginal art showcase began Thursday May 9 and will run until Saturday August 4, with the Revealed exhibition featuring a diversity of practice and mediums spanning across painting, drawing, silk print, textiles, photography, animation, glass sculpture and linocut.

Each work included in the exhibition shares unique narratives of connection to Country, culture and regional life.

AACHWA chief executive Chad Creighton shared that the organisation's leadership ushers in a new era of self-determination for Revealed.

"As an Aboriginal-led and governed body, AACHWA provides a genuine and deeply rooted perspective on the Aboriginal art scene across Western Australia," he said.

"We work all year round with Aboriginal art centres across the State, and by working closely with artists to reflect their aspirations and needs, we hope this year's Revealed can increase its impact for the sector. AACHWA's approach to Revealed reflects our unwavering commitment to art creation, cultural strength, best practice, and the wellbeing of Aboriginal artists."

Behind the scenes at Revealed 2023. (Image: Sophie Minissale)

When it comes to the artists participating in Revealed, creatives were selected from a panel of industry experts including Zali Morgan, a Wilman, Ballardong and Whadjuk Noongar artist and AGWA Assistant Curator; Stephen Gilchrist, a Yamatji writer, curator and Senior UWA Lecturer of Indigenous Studies; JD Penangke, a Whadjuk, Ballardong and Eastern Arrente mural artist; and Michael Bonner, a Yanyuwa and Jingili curator and researcher.

The judging panel paid particular attention to the techniques being applied by artists and the relevance of these techniques to the local area.

Darryl Dempster, an independent artist who has previously exhibited work as part of Revealed, has been selected to present a spotlight exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre. An emerging, non-verbal artist hailing from Esperance, Dempster uses a raw, joyful, and free-spirited style of painting to express his thoughts. His first solo exhibition will present a range of mediums including textile and painting and will sit alongside the wider Revealed exhibition.

2023 Revealed art exhibition. (Image: Jess Wyld)

Featuring more than 150 artworks, with almost 70 artists representing 27 WA Aboriginal art centres, plus 12 independent artists, this year 42 artists will feature in Revealed, the highest number of emerging artists that have featured in the exhibition since its inception.

The exhibition and popular Revealed art market are the best place for art-goers to discover and invest in works by the rising stars of the Aboriginal art scene, with the 2024 market returning to the Fremantle Arts Centre's front lawn on Saturday May 11.

This year there are 30 stalls selling original First Nations artworks including paintings, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, carved artefacts and merchandise at a range of price points. With 100 per cent of sales returned to artists and art centres, the market also provides an ethical, direct avenue for purchasing art by WA Aboriginal artists.

Art goers attending the 2023 Revealed Art Market. (Image: Sophie Minissale)

City of Fremantle director of Creative Arts and Community, Pete Stone, said Revealed was a highlight in the Western Australian arts calendar, and has been a been pivotal event that champions new and emerging Aboriginal artists from across Western Australia.

"Revealed is an opportunity for the community to immerse themselves in a rich and layered showcase of Indigenous art and listen to the many First Nations stories that shape Western Australia," he said.

"Since its establishment, Revealed has been pivotal in championing new and emerging Aboriginal artists from across Western Australia. The Fremantle Arts Centre is proud to have been involved in this development for many years and looks forward to celebrating another extraordinary collection of First Nations art in 2024 as the exhibition partner."

2023 Revealed art exhibition. (Image: Jess Wyld)

The opening night for Revealed 2024 will take place on Thursday the 9th of May with Revealed Art Market returning to the front lawn of the Fremantle Arts Centre on Saturday the 11th of May from 10am – 5pm.

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