Image: The Bush Women artists at Fremantle Arts Centre, 1994. L-R: Daisy Andrews, Paji Honeychild Yankarr, Queenie McKenzie (Gara-Gara), Tjingapa Davies, Kanytjuri Bates, Mary McLean (Pantjiti). Photography by Nalda Searles

25 years after the original exhibition, FAC restages the ground-breaking show Bush Women: Fresh Art from Remote WA. Bush Women was the first exhibition to focus on the practices of key Aboriginal artists in the Kimberley and Western Desert. The exhibition presented paintings by Paji Honeychild Yankkarr, Daisy Andrews, Queenie McKenzie, Kanytjuri Bates, Tjingapa Davies and Mary McLean.

Living in diverse remote communities in WA these artists painted their culture and the narratives of their lives with authority and vigour, in strikingly individual styles. At the time of the original exhibition in 1994, the work of Aboriginal women from WA was in the nascent stages of its critical recognition, and the work of these six artists had never been exhibited before. The original Bush Women was curated by John Kean, and helped to generate broader appreciation of these fine artists.

25 years on, their work is held in public and private collections across the country and is appreciated as a testament to the strength and diversity of Aboriginal women’s artistic practice in WA. Bush Women reassembles the original paintings from around Australia to restage this extraordinary exhibition.

Bush Women is curated by FAC’s Erin Coates and the exhibition’s original curator John Kean.

Bush Women Book

In conjunction with restaging this pivotal exhibition, FAC is publishing a commemorative book. Written by the exhibition’s original curator John Kean and senior academic Dr Darren Jorgensen, with a foreword by FAC’s Erin Coates and Dr Sheridan Coleman, this book is the perfect companion to Bush Women: 25 Years On and will be launched and available for sale at the exhibition opening event.

The book has been published with support from the Gordon Darling Foundation.

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