Artists get a big boost

Headshot of Kellie Balaam
Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Award-winning Narrogin artist Casey Thornton.
Camera IconAward-winning Narrogin artist Casey Thornton. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Two Narrogin artists will have the opportunity to showcase their work in The Alternative Archive exhibition set to be held in Perth next year.

Casey Thornton and Chan Dalgarno are among the 40 regional artists announced by The John Curtin Gallery to be involved with the exhibition.

The Alternative Archive, co-curated by John Curtin Gallery director Chris Malcolm and Anna Louise Richardson, will be the culmination of an ambitious project that presented a series of 13 regional exhibitions around WA.

The exhibitions were held between February and October this year and artists were invited to create a contemporary visual archive of an aspect from their community inspired from relationships with people, places or stories in their lives.

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Narrogin Exhibition Space held its exhibition The Alternative Archive: Common Ground during March and April this year.

Narrogin artist Casey Thornton said it was exciting to be chosen.

“It was a big project, there were a lot of artists involved through the whole State and will be a great opportunity to showcase work to a bigger audience in a metro gallery,” she said.

“It can be really hard to find those opportunities living out in the country, so I think its a fantastic platform for regional artists to get involved and promote themselves.”

One of the lithophanes from Recollections by Casey Thornton.
Camera IconOne of the lithophanes from Recollections by Casey Thornton. Credit: Supplied

Thornton’s 3D printed installation Recollections, which explores the history of her grandparents who migrated to WA from the Netherlands in 1952, has been selected for the showcase.

Thornton sourced images from family photo collections and online archives of migration documents and transposed them into a series of 3D printed lithophanes.

A lithophane is a 3D model that appears blank until backlit.

Dalgarno, the other selected Narrogin artist, said she felt extremely humbled to have her work featured.

“Narrogin may be a small town but we have a lot of talented artists here,” she said.

“We have incredible stories in regional WA and incredible artists are telling them bc tourism in a lot of regional WA can be such a quiet industry we don't necessarily get the chance to show every one.”

Dalgarno’s piece, The Truth of the Mokine Gully Ghost, depicted the facts behind a ghost story from Highbury about a man who was murdered for his horse and watch.

“It shows the scene as it is today but is made up of words from the court case regarding the inquest into the death and murder charge,” she said.

Curator Anna Louise Richardson said The Alternative Archive was a celebration of the diversity and expertise of regional artists and a great opportunity for those involved to present within a metropolitan context.

The Alternative Archive will show at The John Curtin Gallery from May 15 to July 5 next year.

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