The department is responsible for developing and promoting culture and the arts in Western Australia.
We distribute grants and funding to support vibrant and sustainable arts, culture and creative industry sectors.
Funding provides artists, creatives, arts groups and organisations to undertake a range of projects and activities across multiple artforms, including events and festivals.
Artforms include performing arts, visual arts, community arts, design, literature and writing, interactive arts, multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary.
Investment in arts and culture is essential to ensure Western Australians have ongoing access to arts and culture activities.
The department is promoting its successful grant and funding recipients through an ongoing promotional campaign called ‘Showcase’.
‘Showcase’ will profile the creativity, skill and talent of artists and arts organisations in Western Australia through media, social media platforms and outdoor screens across the city.
Western Australians are proud of their culture and the arts sector and through Showcase we hope they can continue to marvel at the creations made in WA.
Penhale & Winter
Penhale & Winter have a strong interest in exploring the intersection of architecture and art and regularly participate in competitions. The Fremantle-based architectural studio recently won a national competition to design the Architectural Commission at the Powerhouse Museum. Thanks to an Arts U-15k grant they are currently working on a new proposal for the upcoming 2021 Fremantle Biennale.
Photo: Limestone Circle, by Penhale & Winter (in collaboration with Kieran Murnan), at UNIT – Fremantle Biennale; Fremantle; November, 2019. Photo by Julian Croudace.
Merrick Belyea recently received funding to present a new body of work at the WA Art Collective gallery in Perth. Certain works from this collection can still be viewed and purchased at the gallery.
This project follows Merrick’s solo exhibition at May Space gallery, Sydney, that was only open to the public for one day before it was closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Photo: Merrick Belyea, at studio; Fremantle; August, 2020. Photo by Art Collective WA.
Australian Baroque presented an imaginative and captivating program of instrumental and vocal works by Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Telemann at the Government House Ballroom in November 2020.
‘Baroque in the Ballroom’ will be available for streaming on the Australian Baroque website in January 2021.
Photo: Baroque in the Ballroom, by Australian Baroque, Perth, October, 2020, Photographer: David Vincent Smith
Audioplay Australia Pty Ltd
The dynamic team at Audioplay create immersive digital experiences that allow kids to step into a story and physically play as a character.
Audioplay recently received an Arts U-15K grant to share what they’ve learned about this emerging digital artform with leading WA theatre artists Tim Watts and Arielle Gray. Watts and Gray are the creative team behind the internationally successful, family-friendly theatre production, ‘New Owner’.
The creative exploration between Audioplay and Gray and Watts will push the creative limits of the form, build the skills of the artists and lay the groundwork for a new series of immersive experiences for kids.
Photo: The Turners by Audioplay, 2020. Photo by Renee Zaffino-Little.
Contemporary Music Fund
Yabu Band’s Delson (Delly) and Boyd Stokes return to the studio after 8 years to record their latest five-song EP with the working title ‘Campfires’.
Delly says of their new music, "In our culture, the job of a Songman is to make sense of everyday struggles and relate them to the Thoorgoorba - Law of Country and Mind or Law of Nature and what makes us human.
“I want to activate that job in present day Australia. At this moment we are picking up the threads of our joint histories and beginning to stitch a healing blanket – for us all.
“My lyrics and Boyd’s music, Yabu Band songs, are the songs to be sung while we make that blanket.”
The band head back to Soundbaker Studio with Rob Agostini and will be releasing the recording later this year.
Photo: Delson Stokes at Soundbaker Recording Studio for the new Yabu Band EP, August 2020. Photo by Rob Agostini, Soundbaker Studios.
'Alluvial Gold’ is an extraordinary multi-media project currently being developed by well-known visual artist Erin Coates.
Erin takes aspects of the ecology of the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan) as her starting point.
“The transference of matter into and out of the river and subsequent impact on estuarine ecology informs my new artwork.
“A key component of this project has been my collaboration with composer Stuart James and percussionist Louise Devenish, who are using my sculptural works as musical instruments to devise a new song cycle.”
The solo exhibition by Erin is a part of her Tilt residency at Heathcote Cultural Precinct in late 2020.
Photo: Detail of Zoonoisis, Erin Coates, 2020, sculptural prop made of silicon and oystershell. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Indian Ocean Craft Triennial
Planned to be launched in Perth in September 2021, the inaugural Indian Ocean Craft Triennial is a multi-venue contemporary craft event across Western Australia.
The theme ‘Curiosity and Rituals of the Everyday’ promotes contemporary craft practice from artists/makers from the Indian Ocean rim (including Australia).
The event is curated by Carola Akindele-Obe, Maggie Baxter, Chad Creighton, Jude van der Merwe, Qassim Saad.
Top: Under the Shadow of the Banyan Tree, Jason Lim; Performance-Installation ICA Singapore, 2018. Day 4 of 5 days durational performance. Each day 6 hours non stop working with terracotta clay. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Bottom: Botanist and Ship, Susie Vickery, at Peregrinations of a Citizen Botanist; Mundaring; September 2019. Photo by Susie Vickery.
Prominent trumpeter and composer, Adrian Kelly, has been in the studio recording with his e-Quartet, AK4.
Adrian has developed an innovative approach for this album which involves live interactions between musicians and an artificial intelligence ‘improviser’, developed by Hong Kong composer Wing Sang Wong.
The project is set for release this month.
Photo: Adrian Kelly, recording ‘Cry, Wolf!’ by Adrian Kelly at Crank Recording, Perth, WA; August 2020. Photo by Nik Babic.
WA dancer and choreographer, Scott Elstermann continues to excite and inspire us with the development of a new contemporary dance work.
Elstermann is the youngest international artist to receive the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography.
His new work 'Petrushka', to be presented in 2021, will reimagine the traditional ballet narrative by Sergei Diaghilev and be performed by Katherine Gurr, David Mack, Tyrone Robinson and Zoe Wozniak.
Photo: Lilly King and Scott Elstermann in Colossus by Stephanie Lake Company at Perth Festival, Perth; February, 2020. Photo by Jessica Wyld.
Ian de Souza
Ian de Souza is developing new online instructional video content, Beyond the Line #1 (Interpreting the Human Figure) and Beyond the Line #2 (Watercolour in Isolation) in his Fremantle studio.
Another set of mini-tutorials entitled Plus 5, emphasizing the five fundamental points of drawing, will also be developed and freely available on the artist’s YouTube channel.
Photo: Ian de Souza demonstrating to workshop participants, Beyond the Line online video workshop series, Fremantle August 2020. Photo by Brenden Hutchens VAMMEDIA.
Felicity Peters, renown Western Australian jeweller, artist and craftsperson was awarded funding to continue the research, development and exploration of designing and producing a collection of works utilising new processes and materials.
Felicity will showcase this new body of works at a solo show “The Sadness of the Chairs” at Gallows Gallery in November 2020.
In early 2021, the collection will also contribute to an exhibition being planned for April 2021 at the Stanley Street gallery, Sydney.
Photo: Walnuts from Majdanek Poland, by Felicity Peters, for solo show The sadness of the chairs, at Gallows Gallery Mosman Park Perth 5 November 2020. Photo by Yasmin Eghtesadi.
Dr Kelsey Ashe
Dr Kelsey Ashe, curator and artist was awarded funding to nurture and support the creative development of new artworks for an upcoming exhibition, 'Imaginary Territories'.
The group exhibition, to be held later in 2020 will showcase the work of critically engaged women chosen for their vanguard contributions in film, sound, installation, performance and print media influenced by Surrealism.
Artists are asked to explore the concept of a ‘territory’ as a domain of the inner world; an ‘internal truth’ that reflects imaginings of the real world in an apocalyptic era.
Photo: Kelsey Ashe, Belle Diver. Archival Photographic print.
Contemporary Music Fund
Producer/singer-songwriter, Angus Dawson is currently in the studio working on his debut album ‘Looking Over The Red Lights’, due out January 2021.
Combining ambient electronic production with intricate song writing, the album examines escaping life’s repetitive stresses and concerns in simple, everyday moments.
The lead single from the album features a music video from Korean animator/director Lokyu, set for release in December 2020.
Photo: Angus Dawson, 2020 promo photo, Looking Over The Red Lights, Perth, August 2020, Photo by James Killian.