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Artists in Residence

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The Artist in Residence program provides a dedicated studio space at BRAG and time for creative exploration. The program allows artists to connect with new audiences and networks, enriching their creative practice and the opportunity to engage with gallery visitors.

Seamus Hughes

Artist in Residence (South West Art Now)

Seamus Hughes joins the BRAG family as an Artist in Residence from 16 March to 21 July as part of the South West Art Now (SWAN) 2024 exhibition.

Most Saturdays, Seamus can be found in the upstairs studio, located off the Ron Middleton Gallery. Seamus Hughes is a versatile artist with a career spanning over 30 years. Originally trained as a dancer while studying visual art, he found his primary medium in collage. Hughes delights in crafting new narratives from found images, emphasizing recycling and repurposing to comment on environmental issues. His deep appreciation for paper fuels his creation of visual poetry, continuously exploring the endless possibilities and flexibility of collage.

“I’m Seamus Hughes a multidisciplinary artist. I began my artistic life as a dancer. This evolved into Choreography, Performance Art, video, and installation. Throughout my life I have been a constant traveler, visiting museums and galleries to learn about art and its many iterations. My interest in collage developed as I processed the experiences of my fragmented life-style. For the last few nomadic years I didn’t have a studio. I could make collage on a kitchen table. As a technique it’s an ideal travelling companion.

I think of collage as a process of re-composition in which found images are orchestrated into new synthesis -a new story. Because its content is personal and open it can stimulate memory. A collective memory. Much like music and other contemporary art forms, collage uses quotations and references. I see it as a form of visual poetry, a choreography on paper.
The reason most of my works are Untitled is related to the nature of collage. For example what I set out to achieve and what you experience is often different. My aim is to engage the viewer in finishing the work. I think of art as a process an exchange, and you are part of this exchange. Art can’t exist without people. I am more interested in  the questions than the answers.
As artist-in-residence during this exhibition I will present a project called ART- BARTER. You are invited to my studio. In exchange for your visit I will offer a free collaged postcard.
I look forward to meeting you.”

Troy Bennell

Artist in Residence (Noongar Arts Program)

Troy Bennell returns to BRAG as the Artist in Residence from 27 March to 2 October under the Noongar Arts Program, supported by the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) program.

Troy Bennell has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia as an artist, cultural performer, gallery curator, and tourism ambassador for Australia. Renowned for his gouache landscapes and abstract acrylic paintings, Bennell employs an earthy palette and sometimes incorporates sand and dirt into his works. His art reflects Noongar journeys, song cycles, and the six unique Noongar seasons, celebrating his heritage and the land where he grew up.

Bennell joined the BRAG family in 1999 before transitioning to the  Indigenous Arts Development Officer role in 2001. In this role, he collaborated with the Western Australian Department of Education and Training to facilitate art workshops in regional primary schools. Over the past 23 years Bennell has been instrumental in promoting and supporting Indigenous artists from southwest Western Australia, contributing significantly to their visibility and recognition.

“My first trip out of BRAG was to Malaysia, exhibiting at the Petronis Tower. Then to Sydney at the Oceanic Art Fair – Noongars on Koorie Country!

My first solo exhibition was in Milano, Italy, walking up the café strip in thongs! From there to the Australian wine fare in France, playing Didgeridoo in Paris.

I was on a Gondola in Venice handing out City of Bunbury hats to tourists. All the time talking Art and Culture, Noongar Culture. Educating about the landscape style, talking about Carrolup style. Putting Noongar Art on the map.

I was offered then to go to New York City, what an amazing trip, showing Athol Farmer and Uncle Swag Taylor and my work, representing Noongar Culture and Noongar Art!

Here I am talking Noongar story on Country – this place gave us opportunity; can you imagine the next 22 years!”

Please note; Troy also works on his practice outside of this space and isn’t guaranteed to be in the studio every day. Keep an eye out on his socials for specific dates: Facebook and Instagram