3-22 April, 2021
WA Museum of the Great Southern, Residency Rd, Albany, Western Australia.
Refugium (plural=refugia), Latin for "refuge" or "hideaway". Refuge is a sanctuary, safehold, ark- also in Latin a sacrarium, sanctum sanctorum. For us as humans, the planet is our refugium – our home – the place where we can flourish as a species.
In this exhibition, twenty artists from the Great Southern investigate themes related to global and local environmental issues.
The concept of refugium in this exhibition, applies to the resilience of both the natural and human environment. The combined forces of a viral pandemic and overwhelming climate disasters have tested our ability to adapt and survive on many levels. Our attention has been drawn increasingly towards the devastating loss of species and habitat occurring on a planetary scale.
There are many different ideas expressed in this thought-provoking exhibition. A visit to the Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve, hosted by the Friends of the Porongurup Range, was the catalyst for several artworks in the exhibition. Some artists have been inspired by the resilience of nature following the fires in the Stirling Ranges last year. While some artists have focussed on their own neighbourhood, others have looked globally for their inspiration.
The participating artists are Susan Angwin, Kerrie Argent, Christine Baker, Kate Campbell-Pope, Ann Copeman, Jenny Crisp, Annette Davis, Phoebe Duff, Nikki Green, Anne Grotian, Catherine Higham, Robyn Lees, Barbara Madden, Rachel Mordy, Jill O’Meehan, Nat Rad, Lizzie Riley, Margaret Sanders, Renee Tan and Jo Wassell. The artists work in a wide range of media including installations, photography, painting, textiles, drawing and sculpture.
Local poet, Yann Toussaint, wrote poetry in response to the exhibition and the artworks, and his contribution is available in the exhibition.
The artists have appreciated the input of ideas and information from the nature restoration groups Gondwana Link and Friends of the Porongurup Range, and the support of the Museum of the Great Southern.
Ann Copeman curated the exhibition, assisted by Lizzie Riley, Barbara Madden, Kate Campbell-Pope and Annette Davis.
In February 2020, MIX members viewed the Gondwana Link film Breathing Life into Boodja.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 put a hold on visits to different sites of interest in March - June.
In September 2020, MIX Artists visited the Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve which is owned and cared for by the Friends of the Porongorups. Further to this, individual MIX members are undertaking their own research pertinent to their artwork concept.
In the process of developing artworks for an exhibition, MIX Artists find it useful to meet to share ideas, discuss possibilities and provide feedback. The Refugium artists had two discussion/feedback sessions on November 7, 2020 and January 30, 2021.
Photos: Top, middle: Visit to Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve, hosted by Friends of the Porongorup. Photos: A. Keesing. Bottom: At the Refugium idea sharing workshop, November 7, 2020. Photo: A. Davis.
This project is supported through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program
as part of the Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program, and Regional Arts WA.