Showcasing the pre-eminent art collection in Western Australia

Extraordinary Canning Stock Route exhibition comes to Perth for CHOGM

23 Aug 2011
Nola Campbell, from Kayili Artists, with her painting, Tika Tika, photo by Tim Acker, 2008. FORM Canning Stock Route Project.

A uniquely Western Australian story will serve as a major cultural backdrop when the world focuses on Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October.

 Culture and Arts Minister John Day today announced that Yiwarra Kuju: Canning Stock Route exhibition will be part of CHOGM.  The State Government, through the Department of Culture and the Arts, contributed more than $850,000 to the development of Yiwarra Kuju.

“The exhibition is an extraordinary blend of paintings, cultural artefacts, photography, oral history and film created by Aboriginal artists and an intercultural team of emerging Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal curators and filmmakers,” Mr Day said.

“Yiwarra Kuju, or ‘one road’ tells a unique and previously unrecorded story from the remote desert lands of WA from an Aboriginal perspective.

“The project began as a partnership between Perth-based cultural organisation FORM and 10 remote Aboriginal art and culture centres in the north of the State.  It depicts the history of the century-old, 2,000km stock route that runs from Wiluna to Halls Creek in WA, crossing three deserts along the way.”

The exhibition that resulted from this project is a joint initiative of the National Museum of Australia and FORM.

The Minister said Yiwarra Kuju would be on display at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre during CHOGM (October 24-30) before being opened to the public for a free, four-week season between November 2-27.

“Yiwarra Kuju went on show at the National Museum of Australia for six months and when it closed in January this year, it had been the most successful exhibition in the history of the Museum, attracting more than 120,000 visitors,” he said.

“The exhibition will give not only CHOGM visitors, but also the local community the chance to learn about an important, but little known, part of the State’s history.”

 The exhibition’s CHOGM presentation is funded by the Australian Government.  Lotterywest has provided funding for Aboriginal people from the 10 remote art and culture centres to visit Perth and share their stories of the Canning Stock Route directly with visitors to the exhibition.

 The State Government is supporting a series of cultural events alongside CHOGM, including an eight-day $2.45million Commonwealth Festival from October 23-30.

Image Credit: Nola Campbell, from Kayili Artists, with her painting, Tika Tika, photo by Tim Acker, 2008. FORM Canning Stock Route Project.