The former Minister for Arts, The Hon. Peter Foss QC MLC, initiated the State Living Treasures Awards to honour
those artists whose lifetime work has enhanced the artistic and cultural life of Western Australia, providing inspiration for other artists and enriching the community.
This book commemorates the occasion of the inaugural State Living Treasures Awards and is a record and tribute to the artists, their lives, work and achievements. This book also pays tribute to two artists whose work inspired the Awards. Joan Campbell and Rover Thomas are therefore featured as distinguished artists of inspiration.
The criteria for the awards specifically consisted of three parts:
- the Awards of the State Living Treasures will honour people whose lifetime work has developed their artform in a creative way or altered the perception of that artform
- the Awards will honour artists who have influenced numbers of people or who have played a major role in encouraging the development of other artists
- the Awards will acknowledge those whose careers have demonstrated long-term involvement and contribution to the arts in Western Australia.
A panel of distinguished members of the arts community was set up to select the artists from a broad range of disciplines and fields. They were:
- Alan Dodge - Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia
- Duncan Ord - Then Acting Director, Academy of Performing Arts. General Manager of Black Swan Theatre
- Chrissie Parrott - Choreographer, teacher
- Margaret Seares - Chair, Australia Council
- Andrew Taylor - Writer and Professor of English at Edith Cowan University (Panel Chair)
- Richard Walley - Aboriginal artist
Once the onerous task of selection was complete, The Minister presented the State Living Treasures Awards to eleven Western Australian artists at a special ceremony at Kings Park on Proclamation Day, 21 October 1998.
- Madame Kira Bousloff - dance
- Madame Alice Carrard - music
- Peter Cowan - literature
- Jack Davis - literature
- Margaret Ford - theatre
- Vaughan Hanly - music
- Elizabeth Jolley - literature
- Robert Juniper - visual arts
- Queenie McKenzie - visual arts
- Paul Sampi - multi-arts
- Howard Taylor - visual arts