Current & Upcoming Exhibitions
SPOWERS & SYME
26th February - 29th May
Celebrating the artistic friendship of Melbourne artists Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme, the National Gallery Touring Exhibition Spowers & Syme will present the changing face of Inter-war Australia through the perspective of two pioneering, modern women artists.
The exhibition offers rare insight into the unlikely collaboration between the daughters of rival media families. Studying together in Paris and later with avant-garde printmaker Claude Flight in London, Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme returned to the conservative art world of Australia – where they became enthusiastic exponents of modern art in Melbourne during the 1930s and ‘40s.
Spowers & Syme is a National Gallery of Australia Touring Exhibition supported by Visions of Australia, Major Patron David Thomas AM and the Gordon Darling Foundation. Spowers & Syme is a Know My Name project.
EVENT OPENING FRIDAY 25 FEBRUARY 6PM
Image Credit: Eveline Syme, The Factory, 1933, Colour linocut, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1979, © Estate of Eveline Syme.
THE QUEEN'S ALBUM
12th February - 29th May
Curated by senior curator, Dr Penny Stannard and curator, Bonnie Wildie, The Queen’s Album explores the unique story of an album of photographs gifted to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1882 on behalf of the people of NSW. The album contained 64 photographic images of sites and scenes in Sydney and regional NSW that were constructed to promote NSW as a progressive and desirable place, and to consolidate its position within the British Empire. At the time, the album was described as a ‘graceful tribute of loyalty’ to Queen Victoria. Today, its whereabouts are unknown.
In 2018 NSW State Archives rediscovered most of the original photographic glass plate negatives in the State Archives Collection which were conserved, digitised and reproduced for the exhibition project.
Image Credit: Photographer unknown. Picton Viaduct over Stonequarry Creek 1870 Digital reproduction from glass plate negative [detail] NSW State Archives, NRS 4481 SH1117
FLOOD TO DUST
7th May - 3rd July
Flood to Dust is an exhibition by Wagga Wagga based artist, Tayla Martin featuring a series of photographic and video works documenting the ever changing landscapes across regional NSW. Martin adopts a documentary style approach highlighting the major environmental challenges that have swept across the region over the past several years, and the social impacts that these brought with them. Martin’s body of work focuses on embodying the true essence of human resilience and spirit within communities affected by these events.
ARTIST TALK SATURDAY 7 MAY 2PM
Curated by Mariam Abboud
Image Credit: Tayla Martin, Checking the Dam Level, 2020, photographic print. Image © the artist.
This is a HomeGround exhibition, produced by WPCC and supported by Orana Arts.
WASTE TO ART
7th May - 26th June
Waste to Art is an annual competition that features artworks created by community members using recycled and unwanted materials. The results are highly imaginative and thought-provoking with the collected artworks celebrating recycling and sustainable living. This year’s theme is Soft Plastics.
Curated by Phil Aitken, WPCC.
OFFICIAL OPENING AND PRIZE: SATURDAY 21 MAY 2PM
Image Credit: William Munro, The Motorbike, 2021, found metal. Image © WPCC.
FROM THE VAULT
THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY IS REQUESTED: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BALL
14 March - 3 July
Attending a Ball was the epitome of social interaction in the 19th and early twentieth centuries. More than just a pleasurable activity, it had an important social function. Held to celebrate important local events, to raise funds for charities and to showcase the latest debutantes, they provided one of the few public spaces where young men and women could interact, and dancing offered an opportunity to flirt, admire and attract. This exhibition at the Western Plains Cultural Centre will explore the world of the Ball, and its importance to the social fabric of the region.
Image Credit: Hospital Ball at Empire Hall, Macquarie Street, Dubbo, 9 August 1912, Local Studies Collection, Dubbo Regional Council, D0000510
PREDATOR BECOMES PREY
9 July - 18th September
When the word Predator comes to mind, we may naturally think of animals that hunt, or prey on other animals. We perhaps overlook that the smallest of insects can become predators to the most fearsome of creatures in the animal kingdom. Predator becomes Prey is an exhibition that explores the delicate balance of nature and the complex relationship between animals and humans that interconnects us both from birth until death. This continual connection is expressed through our interaction and intrigue with the animal world, ensuring our place within the cycle of life.
Curated by Mariam Abboud
Image Credit: Petrina Hicks, Bird Fingers, 2013, pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Pearl paper 320gsm. Collection Western Plains Cultural Centre, Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
PEOPLE PLACES POSSESSIONS
The history of Dubbo told through the people who lived here. Stories of hardship, perseverance, ingenuity, tragedy and joy – Dubbo’s past is at once surprising and enlightening.
Telling the story of a place and its people is made easier by examining the myriad of ways we document, express and articulate our experiences. For a museum, the photographs, books, objects and official records help us to record history. The archives held by the WPCC allow community members to access this material for research or general interest. From diaries and ledgers to photographs that transport us back in time, the WPCC Collection provides a unique portal to our past.
Image Credit: Maker unknown, Shoe – Female – Chinese, date unknown. Red satin. Braid edging continues down to the toe. Calico sole with embroidery under the heel. Bird and flower embroidery. Orange tie embroidered in shades of blue. Designed for the custom of bound feet. Collection WPCC.
4th June - 23rd October
In Capturing Nature, we travel back to a time when photography was revolutionising science, art and society.
These never-before-seen images dating from 1857 to 1893 have been printed from the Australian Museum’s collection of glass plate negatives and are some of Australia’s earliest natural history photographs. Sitting at the nexus of science and art, they tell both the story of pioneering research as well as the advent of photography in the young colony less than 20 years after the birth of photography in Europe.
A touring exhibition created by the Australian Museum.
Image Credit: Gerard Kreft with the newly discovered manta ray, Manta alfredi, in the Museum’s courtyard in 1869. Photos © Australian Museum.
THE FOLLY, THE TRIUMPH & THE LAMENT
4th June - 26th June
Arlo Mountford is one of Australia's most interesting contemporary artists. His diverse practice mines art history, mass media, screen culture and the internet; working with large-scale interactive installations that integrate sound, video and animation. From 2009-2011, Mountford produced animations based on paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c1525-1569) and Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), in which he meticulously reproduced the original works with the addition of sound and movement. These works reinvigorate these iconic paintings, becoming new works that explore the act of making, the history of western art and its relationship to contemporary art practice, and how we engage with the past, narrative and myth. The Folly (2009), The Triumph (2010) and The Lament (2011) are presented together for the very first time.
Curated by Kent Buchanan
Image Credit Arlo Mountford, The Folly [still], 2008, 3-channel digital animation and 4-channel audio, 9 mins. Collection Western Plains Cultural Centre. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of Western Plains Cultural Centre, 2009