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Bunbury Regional Art Gallery


SWAN 2024 Winners Crowned at Opening Event

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Talented South West artists and art enthusiasts came together under the creative cosmos of the South West Art Now (SWAN) exhibition at BRAG on Friday 15 March.

The opening and awards night of South West Art Now 2024 (SWAN) | A New Constellation celebrated the incredible artworks and their creators in the latest iteration of the longest-running review of contemporary art practices in the South West.

Using the gallery as a space to align cultural producers in a method akin to creating form out of burning points of light in space, this year’s SWAN aims to present an array of contemporary practices that underscore the rich creative constellation here in the South West

This year’s South West Art Now took strategic new directions, and the gallery enjoyed a large turnout of community members at the opening to celebrate all the artists involved.
Everyone is quite excited by the ambitious catalogue produced in conjunction with the exhibition, and I know everyone is looking forward to participating in the engaging education program that has been designed to support the show.

SWAN 2024 curator Dr. Michael Bianco

From the 27 exhibiting artists, the following artists were awarded:

  • 𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 Amanda Bell 𝑈𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑑, 2023, 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑚𝑖𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑟𝑠, 𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑦𝑙, 𝑎𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑜
  • 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐞 Jenni Doherty 𝑅𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑑𝑒, 2023, 𝑆𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠, 𝐸𝑔𝑔 𝑇𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑤𝑎𝑥 𝑜𝑛 𝑏𝑜𝑎𝑟𝑑
  • 𝐇𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 Sandra Hill, Helen Seiver, and Chester Nealie
SWAN 2024 Overall Winner Amanda Bell
SWAN 2024 Second Prize Jenni Doherty

Congratulations to Amanda and Jenni for their incredible work.

The art work is, in part, a response to the hurt, anger and dismay the Aboriginal community felt after the lead up to, and outcome of the Referendum last year. However, when people visit Bunbury Regional Art Gallery and spend time in the space, they can make their own interpretations and meaning.

I am very grateful to the staff at BRAG who did an amazing job in the lead up to the exhibition, culminating in an awesome team effort on opening night. The work is also a collaborative effort; whether it be artist/curator Katelyn who assisted with install and made pivotal suggestions, Karen from the Noongar Art Program, a moorditj supporter of artists in that Program, the many people who loaned or donated the mirrors or Jim, who sent in a 44 gallon drum from his farm so that it could take centre stage in the work. SWAN Curator was also helpful in that he urged me to make room to experiment when creating the work. 

I never thought I would be in the position to tell stories as a visual artist. I feel privelaged to be part of SWAN and be amongst an incredible array of artists.

Come and see. Come and hear. Come and feel. 

Amanda Bell , Overall Winner

It was a wonderful surprise and honour to be awarded second place in the BRAG SWAN Art Prize.

To be recognised by peers is at anytime a great thing, to be recognised amongst such an accomplished and respected list of artists is amazing.

I would like to thank BRAG for their support both in running the show, that gives artists an opportunity to show new work, and for the support given during the hanging and production of the show.

There is so much experience in that building that we are very lucky to have in Bunbury.

I had the added support of being Artist in Residence leading up to the SWAN, so had extra space and critical support in making these pieces. More big thanks there.

The public has now many months to have a wander and take in what is currently happening in the in the arts in the region.

Beautiful show, and a great experience.

Jenni Doherty, Second Prize

South West Art Now - A New Constellation is now on until Sunday 21 July.

Along with the exhibition, there is a collection of events, workshops and education programs open to artists and the community. Discover the full line up here.