Founded in 2008, the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards is a national award to celebrate the diversity and excellence of art from Indigenous societies in Australia. The awards recognize the significant contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to Australian art, culture and society.
The awards consists of a group exhibition of outstanding art, three non-acquisitive awards, the Western Australia Indigenous Art Award, the Western Australian Artist Award and the People’s Choice Award.
The Western Australian Indigenous Art Award prizes for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist, the winner this year being Brian Robinson of Waiben. Robinson is a multi-skilled artist whose practice includes printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work combines customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people and narratives from global cultures.
The recipient of the Western Australian Artist Award, the award for the exceptional achievement of a Western Australian Indigenous artist, is Churchill Cann of Warmun. He transfers the Ngarranggami (Dreaming) stories with his own personal experiences of working as a stockman and station hand through multi-layered of his ochre artwork. As the Art Gallery of Western Australia stated, ‘ultimately, it is his ability to inspire wonder at what lies beyond the human experience that makes him a worthy winner’.
The works of sixteen finalists are presented in the exhibition of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2013 at Art Gallery of Western Australia from 23 August 2013 to 27 January 2014.