Australiyaniality: exploring Australian identity and wellbeing

By Holmes a Court Gallery

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Australia's Untold History

Many Australians today know little about the history of their nation. This lack of knowledge contributes to discord and unsettled relationships within our country. It is time to address the past in order to create a better future, not only for our ourselves but for generations to come. The interest and urgency in this conversation is apparent. For instance the date we celebrate Australia Day is being challenged and discussed, and there is a proposal for a Makarata regarding the lack of an Australian treaty. It is time for discussion and debate about where we are at as a nation now and where we want to be.

A Better Aussie Community

Australiyaniality aims to explore Australia's wellbeing. The key word liyan is a Yawuru word that relates to Aboriginal peoples' view of their wellbeing. It is about the way they feel about themselves and relationship with their community. Permission and approval for the use of this word has been obtained from the Yawuru PBC.

25 artists have come together from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds to interrogate their own Australian identity and explore what a better Australian identity would look like. Can it be re-shaped? What is good? What needs to change? What is our collective liyan? How do we materialise all of this into real action?

We intend to create an ambitious discourse that doesn't avoid the difficult conversations. The intention is to have this conversation amongst the broader public, not simply to have it sit within the confines of a gallery. We hope to move the discussion beyond the gallery space to influence and challenge a broader demographic.

Artists for Change

Art in the past has been a successful bridge between cultures and backgrounds. Successful partnerships are founded upon mutual respect. We wish to use art as a way to create a language that embraces an inclusive society that, however, also redefines our nation’s consciousness: truly acknowledging Aboriginal Australia and its vastly untold history. Art has the power to create discourse that leads to change and influence of lasting effect.

We have invited incredible artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, already working in this space, to make new artworks that address Australia's past, present and future.

We see this exhibition and associated events as an opportunity to bring this discussion and debate about Australia amongst the wider public. The aim is to influence and challenge a broader demographic, to potentially change views and beliefs about our Australian spirit and our collective liyan.

Our group of 25 artists have been working together for the past 12 months, including participating in two creative development workshops. They are committed to producing works that capture public attention, inform about our history, highlight current issues and stimulate discussion and action.

Our Australiyan iality team

Curator: Sharon Tassicker

Lead Artists: Matthew McVeigh and Curtis Taylor

Aboriginal Cultural Guidance from: Dr Richard Walley, and Yawuru elders Jimmy Edgar and Suzie Gilbert, with Rosemary Coffin

Australiyaniality Artists: Brook Andrew, Beni Bjah, Tim Burns, Paul Caporn, Olga Cironis, Matt Crock, Peter Docker, Karen Hethey, Sandra Hill, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Jacob Lehrer, Michael Leslie, Wes Maselli, Matthew McAlpine, Kyle J Morrison, Martine Perret, Matt Pitcher, Ben Pushman, Benjamin Rogan, Mei Saraswati, Roly Skender, Michael Torres, Poppy Van Oorde-Grainger, Ian Wilkes, Katie Wularni West, Jason Wing, Anne Zahalka

Holmes à Court Gallery staff: Megan Schlipalius and Elsie Metcalf

For more information please see

Exhibition and Events

We are planning to stage the exhibition Australiyaniality and associated events at the new Holmes à Court Gallery space in West Perth.

Exhibition 3rd November - 25th November 2018.

Australiyaniality Speakers Mornings 3rd and 10th November 2018

Australiyaniality Day of Ideas 17 November 2018

A Supporting Film Program will be presented by The Backlot Perth and Revelation Perth International Film Festival during the first two weekends of the exhibition at The Backlot, West Perth.

Make Australiyan iality happen

We are looking to you to make this exhibition and events possible.

Artists are well into the production phase. Donors have already supported the project to the tune of $13,375 which we have been distributing to the artist group to support the production of new works e.g. making short films, live performances, photomedia, soundscapes, sculpture, multimedia and textile works.

We were aiming to raise $50,000 to assist with production costs. At this stage our new target is to double what we have raised so far. We will then be able to make everything we 've imagined possible.

"Lets have a yarn about liyan" Curtis Taylor

We also want you to become part of our exhibition. Come to our events and be part of the discussion. Your voice matters.

Rewards for your support

We haven't gone crazy on rewards simply because we want to put the funds towards the artists making works rather than making merchandise. But we do want to thank you for your help in making Australiyaniality happen.

$50 Mate of Australiyaniality

We will acknowledge your support on our project website. This will let the world know how super you are for supporting this exhibition and associated events.

$100 Bronzed Aussie

We will acknowledge your support on our project website and in our catalogue. This will act as a lasting legacy of your support for our project.

$250 Silver Supporter

Acknowledgement on our website and catalogue, a signed copy of the catalogue with our curator and lead artists' signatures and a movie ticket for a session at The Backlot.

$500 Gold Supporter

Acknowledgement on our website and catalogue, a signed copy of the catalogue (with our curator and lead artists' signatures) and a ticket to the Australiyaniality Speakers' Days.

$1000 Platinum Supporter

Acknowledgement on our website and catalogue, a signed copy of the catalogue (with our curator and lead artists' signatures). A ticket to the Australiyaniality Speakers' Days and our Opening event, with artists in attendance and live performances. We'd love to have you there!

This reward will also include a limited edition artwork created by our lead artists Matt McVeigh and Curtis Taylor. This is the first time these artists have worked collaboratively on a work together. It will be a significant symbol of the project and a valuable and worthwhile addition to any collection of Australian art.


We look forward to you being part of our project and thank you for your support. Please share this campaign and get it out there. Every little bit counts!

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Team Members

Megan Schlipalius

Curtis Taylor

Holmes à Court Gallery

Matt McVeigh

Sharon Tassicker