The City of Fremantle Art Collection presents Panacea, a major exhibition of works at Fremantle Arts Centre. Opening 6:30pm Friday 31 July, Panacea brings together significant historical and contemporary artworks offering a personal experience of solace as we experience the worldwide shock and disruption of COVID19.

Through thoughtful curation Panacea, from the Greek word meaning ‘a universal remedy’, is FAC’s invitation to the community to reflect and find restorative and optimistic human moments at this time of uncertainty.

FAC curators André Lipscombe and Ric Spencer present Panacea as a journey; from the old normal homelife to lockdown and isolation, and re-emerging with an appreciation of our deep need for empathy and shared personal experience which helps create an understanding of our own place in the world.

The exhibition includes 148 works by 70 artists drawn from the City of Fremantle Art Collection and includes paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, prints, and video.

Through Panacea it’s also evident how valuable an art collection is to its community, telling interconnecting stories and creating empowering perspectives upon the time in which we live.

Panacea demonstrates that preservation of the art of the contemporary past can be harnessed to reflect the extraordinary circumstances all of us face in an active and emerging crisis,” said City of Fremantle Art Collection Curator André Lipscombe.

Panacea includes artworks by WA artists including Marcus Beilby, Penny Bovell, Sharyn Egan, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward, Eveline Kotai, Jane Martin, Brian McKay, Kathleen O’Connor and Ken Wadrop.

There’s also important works by WA photographers Christine Gosfield and Graham Miller, and a series of artist portraits by Brad Rimmer and Tom Gibbons. Several winning works from the prestigious Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award by national artists such as Mike Parr and Keith Cowlam are showcased, along with works by WA ceramicists Sandra Black, Maria Phillips and Gary Zeck.

Jim Cathcart, Fremantle Arts Centre Director says, “During this weird, unsettling time we wanted to provide a quiet moment of reflection and refuge for our audience, and reveal the depth and quality of the City of Fremantle Art Collection.”

The City of Fremantle Art Collection is grounded in the story of Fremantle, where artists have always chosen to work and live. It is the largest municipal collection in the state. Over five decades the collection has grown to over 1,500 pieces including paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs and WA ceramics.

The majority of the artworks both reflect and reveal Fremantle life – its people, relationships, work, culture, politics, social rituals, conflict, and leisure time.

Panacea opens 6:30pm Friday 31 July. The exhibition runs until Sunday 20 September. Find out more and view the artist list in full here.