Jarrad Seng Hazel Winmar , 2012
- Image Credit
- Image courtesy of Jarrad Seng
Wes Gliddon Looking After the Past , 2014
- Image Credit
- image courtesy of Graham Smith
About the exhibition
Bush Babies presents the work of a mix of professional and student artists who have painted portraits honouring Noongar Elders from their Western Australian rural communities. The 16 Elders who have been immortalised on canvas were painted as part of the Community Art Network's (CAN) Bush Babies community arts project, which records and preserves the unique stories of the Elders who were born in the bush, reserves, missions or fringes of towns. The paintings, and the short stories that accompany them, open a window on a sorry part of Western Australia's history. The Elders featured in this exhibition all lived under harsh government policies that denied them basic human rights, including the privilege of being born at the local hospital. Many of them were born in tents, makeshift shelters or under the stars, with senior women in their families serving as midwives. All the painters volunteered their time to honour the Noongar Elders. Many of the non-indigenous artists who took part lived alongside the Elders in their town, but knew little or nothing about them or the hardship and oppression they endured. Over the last thirty years CAN has been inspiring and mobilising WA communities who experience social disadvantage, to creatively express their unique stories through a diversity of art mediums. CAN works towards positive social change through community arts and cultural development practice.
About the artists
Artists: Mike Beckwith, Joan Crosby, Ned Crossley, Sharyn Egan, Margaret Fleay, Tash Gillespie, Karen Keeley, Erica McQueen, Sue Riley, Jarrad Seng, Graham Smith, Ross Storey, Curtis Taylor, Helen Warrilow, Jay West and Michelle White.