Contemporary art provides a creative platform for audiences to interpret and debate the diversity of life and culture.
Murdoch University's Art Gallery showcases the most exciting developments in Australian contemporary art to our community through its exhibition program. Exhibitions are held throughout the year and highlight various themes and features of the collection.
First look: new acquisitions
Opening 11 November 2023
This exhibition celebrates new artworks acquired by Murdoch University Art Collection through the GOLD HORIZON campaign. Launched in 2021, the GOLD HORIZON campaign aims to acquire exceptional artworks by purchase, commission and donation to commemorate the Collection’s 50th anniversary in 2024. First look showcases exciting recent acquisitions by contemporary Australian artists including Abdul Abdullah, Atong Atem, Jimmy Baker, Maringka Baker, Jacobus Capone, Naomi Hobson, The Huxleys, Beryl Jimmy, Sonia Kurarra, David Miller, Christopher Pease, Lance Peck, Reko Rennie, Brad Rimmer, Khashayar Salmanzadeh, Bernard Tjalkuri and Nyankulya Walyampari Watson.
October 2022 - September 2023
Murdoch University Art Gallery’s current exhibition is titled CHROMA. It takes its name from the Greek word chrôma, which refers to the purity, intensity or saturation of a colour. The exhibition features a selection of vibrant contemporary artworks from the Murdoch University Art Collection, which all explore colour in very different ways. From hard-edged abstract paintings to kaleidoscopic acrylic sculptures, lusciously painted Indigenous artworks to reflective mirror constructions, CHROMA celebrates the power of colour. Selected artists include Bob Brighton, Brian McKay, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Gemma Smith, Hilarie Mais, John Nixon, John Young, Jukuja Dolly Snell, Lesley Dumbrell, Paji Honeychild Yankarr, Robert Owen, Sonia Kurarra and Wakartu Cory Surprise.
November 2021 – October 2022
Murdoch University Art Collection and our inaugural Patron Alan R. Dodge AM CitWA are embarking on an ambitious and exciting campaign titled GOLD HORIZON, which aims to acquire exceptional artworks by purchase and donation as we head towards the Collection’s 50th anniversary in 2024.
This exhibition presents the inaugural artworks acquired to commemorate the 50th anniversary, including significant works by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Amos Gebhardt, Bill Henson, Brendan van Hek, Brian McKay, Carol Rudyard, Jacobus Capone, Fred Grant, Ned Grant and Roy Underwood.
These works reflect the inspiring and transformative power of art, as well as the possibilities that can be achieved through acts of generosity and philanthropy.
Purnaya Ninganni Pangarri (yesterday – today – tomorrow)
November 2019 – October 2021
Purnaya Ninganni Pangarri: yesterday - today - tomorrow is an exhibition of Tiwi art featured in the Murdoch University Art Collection. This exhibition brings together a cross-generation of Tiwi artists, showcasing the evolution of Tiwi art from traditional to contemporary works over several decades.
Tiwi art and culture is unique to Bathurst and Melville Islands. Tiwi Islanders have practiced Jilimara (the art of body painting), Pukumani (funeral) and Kulama (initiation/yam) ceremonies for thousands of years with traditional forms of mark-making originally derived from creation stories.
A selection of exhibited artists includes: Kitty Kantilla, Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, Declan Apuatimi, Linus Warlapinni, Conrad Tipungwuti, Freda Warlapinni, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Marie Josette Orsto, Mary Magdalkene Tipungwuti and Timothy Cook.
PEEK: A Partial View of Murdoch University Art Collection
February 2020 – February 2021 (Parliament House, Harvest Terrace, West Perth)
Presented in partnership between Murdoch University and the Parliament of Western Australia.
The 56 works on display reveal the very essence of the Murdoch collection which serves as a reflection of contemporary Australian culture. One that celebrates multi-cultural, modern-day Australia, while acknowledging our history, our first peoples, our colonial past and the ongoing journey to define who we are, what we stand for, our spirit and national values. Many of the pieces challenge conventional thinking and invite conversation and discussion of our place as a nation. A narrative that mirrors the Murdoch mindset, with its rich history and tradition of encouraging the young to think differently, to challenge convention and established ways of thinking.
November 2018 – October 2019
This exhibition features selected contemporary artworks from Murdoch University's Art Collection by artists: Consuelo Cavaniglia, Jurek Wybraniec, Brian Robinson, Caspar Fairhall, Gemma Smith, Brook Andrew, Bob Brighton, Mathew Allen, Dan McCabe, Coen Young, Hoda Afshar, Brent Harris and Karl Wiebke.
Contemporary Australian Photo Media
April – October 2018
A selection of compelling images, reflecting the diverse practices of some of Australia’s most notable emerging and established photo media artists. Contemporary photo media art is a significant theme within the collection. This exhibition provides a small glimpse of a substantial body of work acquired since 2006.
The exhibition features works by artists: Marian Drew, Brook Andrew, Petrina Hicks, Pat Brassington, Thea Costantino, Michael Riley, Jane Burton, David Rosetzky, Toni Wilkinson, Abdul Abdullah, Nathan Beard, Coen Young, Christian Thompson, Polixeni Papapetrou, Rosemary Lang.
A Place for Art
November 2017 – March 2018
This exhibition marked the official launch of the new Murdoch University's Art Gallery. Showcasing significant recent acquisitions to the Collection, it heralds the beginning of an exciting new era for the Art Collection.
Featuring purchased and donated works by artists: Andrew Browne, Lena Nyadbi, Nathan Beard, Andrew Nicholls, Susanna Castleden, Brian Blanchflower, Coen Young, Christian Thompson.
July – October 2017
Bullargar Katitjin (learning together) celebrates the rich diversity of contemporary Australian Indigenous culture through a selection of artworks from Murdoch University's Art Collection. The exhibition encourages discussion and promotes cross-cultural awareness by showcasing indigenous urban-based and remote community-based artists of National significance.
Featuring work by artists: Maryanne Purlta Downs, Freddie Timms, Mabel Juli, Lena Nyadbi, Rammey Ramsey, Julie Dowling, Darren Siwes, Roma Nyutjangka Butler, Ryan Presley, Sandra Hill, Meeyakba Shane Pickett, Laurel Nannup, Christopher Pease, Ben Pushman, Lydia Balbal.