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‘Representing Differents’ Art Exhibition


On Thursday February 23 2023 we welcomed Janet Holmes à Court to WA Parliament to launch the inaugural exhibition of ‘Representing Differents’ in the Edith Cowan Foyer and Gallery. The exhibition features artworks by Penelope Forlano and Eva Fernández from the Parliament House Art Collection with works on loan from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection.

Penelope's and Eva's artworks are the culmination of their residencies at Parliament. Penelope developed the ‘Shield of Voices’ in 2018 to commemorate women elected to Parliament. In 2021, Eva produced seven photographic artworks that reflect narrative elements of Edith Cowan’s experiences as Australia’s first female Member of Parliament.

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The works borrowed from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection complement the themes in the Artist-in-Residence pieces. All of the artists in this exhibition are Western Australian women, united in their use of local flora as a subject or motif.

The exhibition includes works from May Creeth (1854-1947), Florence Hildegard Bassett (1888-1948) and Annie Dorrington (1866-1926). During their time, local wildflowers were a common subject for women artists allowing them to explore and document their environments, defying the constraints of their time. The determination of three artists: Margaret Forrest (1844-1929), Marianne North (1830-1890) and Marion Ellis Rowan (1848-1922), led them to remote parts of Western Australia in search of new specimens.

The artistic traditions of wildflower painting and botanical illustration have been deployed by contemporary artists Helen Seiver and Sujora Conrad to alert us to current environmental issues.

The exhibition also features contemporary work from Clare McFarlane, Jan Mullen and Holly Story.

We extend a warm welcome to view this exhibition during our Art Tours.

Guests at the art exhibition launch

President and Speaker with Janet Holmes a Court