Presented in association with Perth Festival.
Curated by guest curator Glenn Iseger-Pilkington.
the gathering is a reflection upon the act of gathering – of bringing together of peoples, words, politics, objects, images, identities, histories, dreams and concerns. In the here and now, First Peoples and People of Colour find themselves simultaneously navigating a global health crisis and a historic moment of global awareness of systemic racism and the continued oppression of communities based on race and colour. For many, this is the moment to gather, to make collective voices heard, to be highly visible, to show resilience and resistance. It is also however a moment where those actions come with unprecedented risk to our communities.
For First Peoples, the act of coming together is integral to individual and collective selfhood. In gathering, the very fabric of our identities is formed, our place in the world is determined and decisions around our futures are forged. Recent times have reminded us how important contact with each other is to our wellbeing while asking us to rethink the ways that we gather and share time and space.
While ‘the gathering’ does not seek to document the pandemic, or the uprising of the anti-racism movement globally, it is a response to these events. Bringing together the voices of First Nations artists from Australia, Māori artists from Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australian South Sea Islander artists, the exhibition explores historic journeys to faraway places during the colonial adventure, the complexities of written and unwritten histories, relationships to and custodianship of cultural and physical homelands and the politics of race and belonging, historically and in the present.
Showcasing existing and newly commissioned sculpture, video, photography, painting and installation from artists Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Dean Cross, Sharyn Egan, Peggy Griffiths Madij, Yabini Kickett, Bridget Reweti, Damien Shen, and James Tylor. ‘the gathering’ is an invitation for audiences to reconsider histories, our new realities and our shared humanity, at a time when the world is united in so many ways, but increasingly divided by others.
Throughout the exhibition, there will be a number of opportunities to hear from special guests, to participate in challenging, but necessary conversations and to learn more about the histories and cultures which inform the artists’ works.
ABOUT THE GUEST CURATOR
Glenn Iseger-Pilkington is from the Nhanda and Nyoongar peoples of mid-west and south-west of Western Australia and is also a member of a Dutch and Scottish migrant family. Glenn trained as an artist and currently runs an arts consultancy where he works closely with First Nations artists and arts workers on projects and exhibitions. Prior to this Iseger-Pilkington was the inaugural Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art at the South Australian Museum, where he curated ‘NGURRA: Home in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands’, a significant exhibition of art and culture from the Western Desert and also held the roles of Curator of Content Development, New Museum Project, Western Australian Museum (2014-2016) and Associate Curator of Indigenous Objects and Photographs at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (2007-2014).