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2017 As We Are Art Awards The annual Art Awards are drawing near! We’ve had a change of date; more details inside this issue.


Side by Side by Steven Sked from the Cata Group, Steven was an entrant into the 2016 As We Are Awards. Artwork details: 41 x 29.5cm Pastels on Paper



Lucinda Lizard, Fired, Glazed Clay, 64x23x17cm, Mathew Clark’s entry into the 2016 AWA Art Award.


Welcome / page 3 As We Are Exhibtion 2017 / page 4 A message from Nulsen Disability Services / page 6 Artist Profile / page 8 Creativity in the workplace / page 11 Off Centre / page 14 Creative Opportunities / page 16 ARTIST PROFILE We chat with Perth artist, Mathew Clark about his inspirations and colourful arts practice. Pages 8 - 9



New Faces In 2017 we say thank you and goodbye to the wonderful and generous AWA coordinator from 2011 - 2017; Susie Waller, and welcome to new cooridnator; Melanie Henderson.

Kaya! Mel Henderson here, the new coordinator for As We Are. I am incredibly excited to be part of the fabulous initiatives of AWA and, looking forward to putting my skills to use strengthening and forging new creative pathways for artists in 2017 and beyond. A little bit about me; I have worked in the community arts and indigenous arts sector for over seven years and as a passionate people-person, my career focuses on strengthening and celebrating other people’s abilities. From 2010 to 2013 I ran a fine art studio in Alice Springs for adults with disabilities. Here I cemented my passion for using art as a medium for creative expression opening dialogues, and uniting age, race and gender. I am obsessed with all things bright and bold, a philosophy that spills into my professional work life. I am at my happiest covered in paint,

Melanie Henderson | Coordinator E M 0416 975 304 W

sipping tea and having a laugh with artists. It is with colourful energy that I strive to create opportunities in cross-cultural and community orientated dialogues. I look forward to meeting you all, please stop by and introduce yourself when you get a chance. Mel. AS WE ARE


2016 AS WE ARE ART AWARD & EXHIBITION ENTRY FORM Entry forms must be received by As We Are by 5pm Friday 31 August 2016 and must be accompanied by a $10 entry fee. Please note incomplete or late entries will not be accepted. Please email or post completed entry forms with your entry fee payment to: Email: Address: As We Are PO Box 1135 Fremantle WA 6959


Organisation First name Last name Title/role Postal address

Please note actual delivery of artworks is 10am-12pm Friday 16 September 2016 at Victoria Park Centre for the Arts, 12 Kent Street, East Victoria Park.


Delivery outside this time and date unfortunately is unable to be accepted.



State Postcode

Mobile Email


First name

Title of artwork

Last name Postal address


Dimensions (framed)





cm wide x

cm high

cm deep (if three dimensional work)

Phone Mobile Email Are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage? (please tick as appropriate) Yes


Do you live in regional Western Australia? Yes




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The 2016 Art Awards saw over 140 entrants, gearing up for the 15th anniversary of As We Are

FRIDAY 28TH OF JULY 9am to 4pm Artwork delivery! All artworks must be delivered to Victoria Park Centre for the Arts. Ready for photographing and cataloguing.

Art Awards we are very excited to see what this year has in stall. A few dates to remember! Start to keep your eyes peeled on your mailbox / As We Are Facebook and social media for entry forms in Mid-May. Completed entry forms are due on the 7th of July. Please make sure these are completed in full. Artworks, ready to hang are to be delivered on Friday the 28th of July, from 9am to 4pm at Victoria Park Centre for the Arts. Then it’s time to celebrate!! Exhibition opening and awards night will be held on Saturday the 5th of August, from 6-8pm at the Central Park Building Foyer, St Georges Street. Exhibition runs from 5th August - 18th of August, share the news, spread the word, tell all your family and friends, an exhibition not to miss! Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 0416 975 304

Clive Collender, Detail; Queenstown, New Zealand, 2016, Pen on Paper, 40 x 40cm AS WE ARE


Creative & Cultural Development Hello to all As We Are (AWA)

tural Development department

art world and its important,

artists and their supporters!

of Nulsen Disability Services.

actually, essential, contribution

From the emerging artist and art

Our area provides creative spa-

to society. My perception of art

appreciator to the award win-

ces and opportunities for people

has been deepened and I feel

ners and significant donors, this

with complex disabilities to explo-

so lucky to be able to see the

program would not be the same

re their talents, knowledge and

beginnings of some pieces and


how different artists in-

every one of you. All

teract with their medium.

“The diversity of the artists really shows in interest, facilitation, their works and I can’t wait to see this years funds, volunteering, collection for the exhibition”

The diversity of the ar-

criticism, kind words,

see this years collection

pat on the back are

for the exhibition.



contributions of art,

tists really shows in their works and I can’t wait to

welcome and important in their

practice of art, music, gardening

own perfect timing and space.

and woodwork. I am still pretty

Patti Ferber, who most of you

new in my role however I have

will know, is my predecessor in

As one of the contributors to the

been quite involved in the last 3

this current role. Her dedicated

workings of AWA, I would like

As We Are exhibitions and can

service to Nulsen over 36 years

to introduce myself. My name is

attest to their growing success. I

has led the way for artists with

Jane Davis and I am lucky enough

am not from an arts background

disabilities to be taken seriously

to oversee the Creative and Cul-

so I have learnt much about the

and for us all to consider what it means to create and bravely expose one’s self as an artist in the face of numerous barriers. Not least of all those barriers; our own mind’s limiting nature.

Contact Jane, Jane Davis Creative and Cultural Development Senior Coordinator T: 08 6253 4700 M: 04 296 055 43



Patti has now retired but she

her along) to ensure the integri-

continues to work on a grass

ty of this event is honoured and

roots level to provide even more

the future holds new and exciting

opportunities to artists with in-

ways to create opportunities for

tellectual disabilities.

artists, and present their work to the wider public. We have had

Patti was also responsible for

brilliant people step before us,

the AWA creation in its early

who no doubt have made it easier

years. I think the years following

for us than it was for them. What

surpassed her expectations but

stays is the intent to continue to

without the idea and commitment

tear down the barriers and limi-

to push through the barriers,

tations people sometimes to hold

AWA would not be around today.

in their minds about what people

We thank you Patti.

with intellectual disabilities can and can’t do. AWA will expose

Nulsen also thanks Suzie Waller

a collection of amazing art from

for her amazing contribution to

amazing people. Prepare to be

AWA. As coordinator for nearly


6 years, she really brought the Exhibition into the limelight, se-

And please remember the simple

cured valuable funding and fos-

words of Henri Matisse:

tered strong relationships that meant the exhibition grew and

“ Creativity takes courage.�

solidified as a popular event in the WA Arts calendar and the disability sector alike. The calibre of art has also improved as AWA artists grow more talented, confident, versatile and serious about their practice. And more people are coming to see this happen each passing year. We thank you artists! This year, the new AWA coordi-

Writter_ Jane Davis

nator; Melanie; and I are working together (or more accurately,

Ph_ Mel Henderson

Mel is working and I am cheering




Mathew Clark’s art practice references and recreates his passions and daily intrigue, from video games to dreams in vibrant, detailed canvases.

Tell us a bit about yourself My family moved to Perth 20 years ago, I work part time at Guilford farm and have two vending machines that I manage with my mum.

When and how did you first become interested in art?



I have been creating art since the 6th grade, in the early days it was mostly drawing, sketches. Because of my interset in art we contacted the Cannington Art Centre to help find an art teacher, that’s when I started working with Paula. I worked with Paula for 15 years and recently

I began to work with Peta. (Mathew worked with artist Paula Wiegmink from 1999 – 2014 and currently paints with Peta Zellar 2014 - present)

What mediums do you work with?

Painting is my favourite but I would like to do more sculpture. I attended a 1 year course at Leederville Tafe, learning the different medium.

me a few weeks to create each work. I do a drawing first, then paint an undercoat, then I put the drawing onto the canvas, finally I add the detail.

What inspires your art practice?

Can you tell me about any exhibitions you have shown works in?

Inspiration comes sometimes from dreams, sometimes television, video games or real life.

Where do you create your artwork? And what is your process? I paint once a week at an artist’s studio, I generally paint around 15 works per year and it takes

Left; Mathew Clark in his Perth home. A bright, welcoming family home, where walls are adorned with Mathew’s vibrant artworks. Diptych Seven Tribes of Flying Islands, Acrylic on Canvas. This detailed artwork hangs alongside Roman Head, a sculpture completed at Leederville Tafe. Right; Detail, Bower Snow, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas.

I have exhibited with As We Are, DADAA, Sir Charles Gairdner hospital and the Fremantle Town Hall. I would like to do more shows, sometimes it is hard with the constraints of how many works you can enter (into AWA). I would like to do an exhibition to sell some of my works so I have room to create more!

QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS What’s the best thing about being an artist? For me it’s seeing my imagination being brought to life

How would you describe your artwork? Colourful, speak for themselves

What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Do what you want and plan ahead.

'Finding an art teacher was the best thing ever '

Ph_ Mel Henderson



Above; White City, 2006, Acrylic on Canvas. Below; Australian Swamp, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas.

Sea Beast, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas. Artwork inspired by characters from Star Wars.



“Mathew has an internal imaginative picture of everything he portrays on canvas, which until sketched out in draft form is purely his alone... he has developed his own unique identifiable style, which is every artists dream!� Peta Zellar, Art Tutor, 2017.

Josh’s recycling project started several years ago with our desire for him to have a more valued role in his local community. What began as a weekly (used and unsold) newspaper pickup from our local cafe, has grown into an innovative enterprise with Josh’s friend and business partner, Courtney Smith, called The Really Useful Recyclers (TRUR). Each week a variety of paper briquettes and uniquely handcrafted PaperArt products are created out of newspapers collected on their weekly community runs.

Really Useful Recyclers Josh Flintoff refers to his artwork as recycling and not art, galleries in Broome and Melbourne might be to differ! Here, Deb Flintoff reflects on creative opportunities in the workplace. Writter_ Deb Flintoff

Ph_ Mel Henderson

Recycling cardboard and paper waste had been a regular environmentally-conscious activity both at home and at school for several years before extending into the community. The recycled artwork came a little later when I decided it was time to explore further recycling ideas to broaden Josh’s skillset, ensure he remained engaged and productive, as well as build on his growing valued role in the community. It was around this time, we asked Courtney and Del Smith to join us. Embracing Josh’s mindset was pivotal as it allowed me to be completely guided by his two great passions: Wall-e the Recycling Robot and Thomas the ‘Really’ Useful Tank Engine. Luckily, these were also two of Courtney’s huge passions! The briquette and PaperArt designs develop quite naturally. Each idea is broken down into the various tasks required for both Josh and Courtney to bring to life with the support of their very dedicated support teams. With time, the community recycling collections have evolved into an exciting (and really useful) recycled art enterprise. The ideas for the artwork stem

Works in prgoress; upside down cups, recycled paper and adhesive, 2017.



from a variety of sources: Del (Courtney’s mum) and I, customers and friends via the Facebook page, cultural themes and natural phenomenon (such as the framed ‘Staircase to the Moon’ requested by our new stockist in Broome), community markets and the festive times of the year such as Easter and Christmas. As long as we are able to break down a creation into practical tasks for Josh and Courtney, the ideas are limitless! Josh and Courtney are both focused, productive and happy if they are engaged and the work is planned and prepared into manageable tasks. Having said that, Josh does really enjoy making the ‘donuts’ (paper briquettes) whilst Courtney prefers creating the ‘Biscuits’ (flat PaperArt rounds).

Right: Clam, clam with pearl, recycled paper, jewel and adhesive, paper bowl, 2017. Below: Hand, recycled paper, mati jewel and adhesive on card, 2017. Below right: Circles, recycled paper and adhesive on belgian linen, 2016.



If you are engaged, happy and productive, it is meaningful and beautiful

Looking forward, anything is possible’ at TRUR, so future opportunities for the guys really are endless. It really is amazing just how far a passion, inspiration and a little recycled newspaper can take you!

Josh Flintoff and Courtney Smith, The Really Useful Recyclers. image Del Flintoff.

In the immediate we are exploring using a variety of recycled materials for themed pieces such as the recent ‘Pyramids and Slaves’ (images on TRUR Facebook page). In addition, we are working on learning new photography skills to start capturing hi-res images of Josh and Courtney’s original artwork (or as they say ‘Recycling’), for marketing and promotion, both online and at our market stalls. Our biggest piece of advice for those interested in starting a creative practice would be to try an activity you are interested in and be realistic – plan practical tasks, be open to exploring new ideas, ask questions. We fell into this medium via a pretty unconventional route – through Josh and Courtney’s passions. Embracing the guys’ mindset was pivotal as it connected them to the activity. If you are connected, anything is possible. Whether recycled or not, art is in the eye of the beholder. There is no right or wrong. If you are engaged, happy and productive, it is meaningful and beautiful. Or as Josh would say, “awesome”!!! Want to learn more about TRUR or purchase recycled art made by Josh and Courtney, make sure you follow their FB page. /thereallyusefulrecyclersWA or Visit their monthly market stall at the Vic Park Market! (info on FB) Contact Del (Courtney’s mum) or Deb (Josh’s mum) via FB. AS WE ARE


OFF CENTRE The abstract vision of Conway Ginger. In our new feature we head out of Western Australia to learn, explore and be inspired by the creative practices of artists and studios throughout Australia, here we find ourselves in the red centre. There’s no mistaking the distinct work of Conway Ginger from Bindi Artists in Alice Springs. The sincerity and individuality of his practice, always endearingly drenched in humour and personality is infectious. His love of football, animals and cowboys are continually depicted through bold pen lines with a playful use of watercolour. A 32-year-old pitjantjatjara man, Conway Ginger originally hails from Docker River, 670km South West of Alice Springs. After moving to town in 2004, he has been a regular fixture at Bindi since 2012. Bindi Artists or Mwerre Anthurre Artists as it is officially



known, is an Artists Collective that promotes culturally relevant work options and art skills development. The environment is a nurturing one for artists that wish to pursue an interest in art. The studio itself is a long rectangle shaped room dotted with paint-splattered workstations. There is between three and six painters using the studio at any one time and is an obvious hive of activity. The room is intimate and homely and certainly feels like a nurturing space. It’s the kind of room you’d want to sit and drink a cup of tea while observing the beautiful chaos around you. Sandra Brown, the coordinator, is positioned at the end of the room, very much part of all the

action. The walls above her hub are fondly adorned with the work of Conway and other Bindi Artists, badges of honour, or perhaps more appropriately, pride. Conway paints at the studio three days a week, always preferring to work on smaller pieces, though they are slowly increasing in size. At the risk of being presumptuous, looking at Conway’s work is an invitation to see the world as he see’s it. Conway works as if he perceives his surroundings in elements rather than whole products. There is an honest lack of judgement in the way he portrays his characters, as if he is oblivious to flaws in his subjects. “He will look at you and he will

see everything,” said Sandra. Everything from pimples to a stream of light falling on someone’s face, Conway feels an importance in portraying all of the elements. The result often lends itself to an abstract Picasso-esque finish as the different components are constructed on paper, always with an element of cheek. A constant fixture in the Bindi studio since the beginning of his career, there is no surprising that his practice has grown from strength to strength. As an artist, there has been a natural progression and evolution of Conway’s work, an element that Sandra puts down to his continual practice. “He has just naturally improved and evolved over time, she said”. Sandra supports Conway by assisting the selection of his subject matter and the general logistics that comes with materials and mediums. Using pictures as a visual inspiration, he often references photographs in magazines and pictures in books to menta-

lly build his image. A die- hard West Coast Eagles fan, he consequently draws a lot of football players. “I love working with Conway, he’s great. I think we have a really good relationship,” Sandra said. “He calls me his Bindi mum”. The process is fluid, light hearted and most importantly not too precious, and is the exact recipe that results in the often abstract and always whimsical works of Conway Ginger. His naive yet sophisticated style has won him a lot of attention since the beginning of his career, with his work represented in a number of group and solo exhibitions. Since 2012, Conway has been included in over 20 group shows across the country. He has also had a solo show in 2013 at the Tali Gallery in Bondi, NSW.

and Adrian Robertson, Conway is in good company as a Bindi artist. On a whole, there is a certain honesty that lives in the work of the Bindi artists, as Sandra says, “they are not contrived”. “They do not paint because they are producing something for the art world,” she said. “They are painting their country and what’s dear to them because that’s what they enjoy doing.” It’s safe to assume, with her experience in the industry as both an artist and a coordinator, Sandra is in a great position to offer advice. When asked what she would suggest for anyone looking to evolve his or her professional practice, she kept it simple. “Be honest,” she said. “It sounds corny but be true to yourself.”

With established artists such as Billy Kenda, Kukula Mcdonald

Left, Conway Ginger and Sandra Brown in the Bindi Studio. Selected artwork examples from Conway’s portrait series and above right, Conway strikes a pose with his exhibited artworks.

Writter_ Hannah Muir

Ph_ Sandra Brown



OPPORTUNITY MAY 14 25 UNDER 25 There are two main prizes for the 25 under 25 Art Award; a first prize of $1500 cash with a Fremantle Arts Centre artist residency, and a $500 judges’ commendation prize with a portfolio mentorship session with Fremantle Arts Centre’s curator Ric Spencer. Entries close Midnight 14th May. Contact Tom Freeman on 0407 814 507 or au or Fremantle Art Centre to enter. OPPORTUNITY MAY 19 FREMANTLE PRINT AWARD. The award and exhibition, which have been running for more than 40 years, boast a national judging panel and $22,000 in prize money. The FAC Print Award presents the best works from established, emerging and cross-disciplinary artists. Entries close 5pm 19th May. Contact Fremantle Art Centre to enter.

WORKSHOP MAY 29 & 30 ZOETROPES WITH STEVEN AITON MUNDARING ARTS CENTRE. Over two sessions Steven will teach stop motion animation skills including 12 frame Zoetropes (a pre-film form of animation). Participants will learn about the historical significance of the zoetrope and will use a series of materials to craft their own. Free for People with Disability & Support. Contact Mundaring Arts Centre to make a booking.

EXHIBITIONS OPPORTUNITIES & WORKSHOPS OPPORTUNITY JUNE 2 Entries are now open for the 2017 Castaway Sculpture Awards, which will be held along the Rockingham Foreshore from 28 October to 5 November 2017. $20,000 in prizes are available across eight categories. This year’s Cas-

taways Sculpture Awards also included community and educational workshops, a Poetry Prize and a Photography Competition. For more information on the Castaways Sculpture Awards, contact the Community Development Officer (Arts and Culture) on 9528 0333 or EXHBITION JUNE 16 GREG BARR, THE KING OF THE HEARTS. Exhibition Opening night, 6-8pm Friday 16th June. Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, 42 Henry Street Fremantle. Exhibition is open daily from 10am - 4pm, Saturday 17th June until Sunday 2nd July. WORKSHOP ONGOING UPPER LEVEL VISUAL ARTS WORKSHOPS Monday’s 11am - 2pm, Fremantle. Beach Street, Fremantle. Contact DADAA for more information and booking.

Greg Barr and Susie Wallar, Coordinator for AWA from 2011 - 2017, holding one of Greg’s artworks. Be sure to check out Greg’s exhibition in June!

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS Simply put, if it wasn’t for faithful supporters like you, we could not provide the opportunities we do for Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability. So thank you for your generosity!

If you are interested in supporting AWA; whether to sponsor an art award or creative opportunities we’d love to hear from you.




As We Are April 2017 Newsletter  

As We Are: Artists Who Have An Intellectual Disability, quarterly newsletter.