Trace Elements and FEED

Friday 12 May – Saturday 22 July | Courthouse Gallery

Trace Elements sees an exciting coming together of celebrated emerging and established Australian art practices at the Courthouse Gallery.

With a focus on site-specific innovations of traditional media, Trace Elements encompasses light installation, video, performance, 3D drawing, photography, silk painting and etching on aluminium.

These eclectic new bodies of works offer unique meditations on the nature of journey and organic, cyclical process – timeless and universal themes reinvigorated by these artists’ contemporary approaches to media. Each one articulates an intimate communion with time and place; namely, with the raw and beguiling Australian landscape.

Whether seeking to map the layered history of place, the motion of sunlight, span of a wave or one’s own life cycle, this exhibition sees new media configured in ways that relay distinctly Australian experiences of journey, and suspend the transient beyond a traceless moment.

David BROPHY (Perth WA)
Elle CAMPBELL (Perth WA)
Ishmael MARIKA (Arnhem Land NT)
Tommy MAY (Fitzroy Crossing WA)
Illiam NARGOODAH (Fitzroy Crossing WA)
Michele THEUNISSEN (Perth WA)



For the Courthouse Gallery Perth-based David Brophy will reimagine his epic light installation Other side of the moon. Inspired by the phenomenology of surfing, his sculpture sees fluorescent light and metallic vinyl conspire to prolong the fleeting sensation of riding a wave.

Derby based artist Breckon will travel to Port Hedland to develop a three-dimensional drawing in-situ at the Courthouse Gallery. Alongside this will show a new series of prints incorporating found Kimberley ochres and digital photography.

Leading Western Australian artist Michele Theunissen will unveil an ambitious new four-channel film collaboration with four leading Australian dancers and performance artists. Disappearance will project these poignant choreographed movements in an immersive new media installation.

On the back of a flurry of sell out shows, Elle Campbell has produced a bold and expressive series of paintings on her iconic stretched silk surfaces. This latest output by Campbell responds to her personal connection to the rural North West country she grew up on and includes a large-scale diptych made especially for the Courthouse Gallery’s foyer.

Arnhem Land rising star Ishmael Marika will show his stunning, award winning video work from last year, Sunlight energy II. This will be the film’s second showing after it took home the prestigious Telstra Youth Award in 2016’s Telstra NATSIAA Art Awards in Darwin.

Trace Elements will also include new series of work by two significant Kimberley artists, both based in Fitzroy Crossing: Elder and renowned artist Ngarralja Tommy May and emerging young talent Illiam Nargoodah. May’s idiosyncratic etched paintings on aluminium sheets will hang alongside a collection of Nargoodah’s highly sought after hand-made tools, forged from found materials in his movements through home country.

Trace Elements will open alongside FEED: New Works by Kelvin Allen.



FEED: New Works by Kelvin Allen

Courthouse Gallery is proud to present a new body of paintings by one of Spinifex Hill Studios’ youngest artists, Kelvin Allen, in his debut solo exhibition FEED. Alongside Trace Elements, FEED portrays a rich relationship with land through a collection of hunting and gathering stories retold in paint.

Kelvin recently won NAIDOC Artist of the Year at the 2017 Hedland NAIDOC Awards.

Port Hedland local, Allen began painting seriously soon after Spinifex Hill Studios became established in 2014. Coming from a family of artists, Allen took naturally to the medium, using it with confident, fluid marks to record personal stories from hunting and life on country.

While his work bears a fusion of influences from the artists surrounding his upbringing, Allen’s style is very much his own. The artist’s bold and intuitive brushwork was recognised in 2016 when selected for the Revealed: New & Emerging WA Aboriginal Artists retrospective at Fremantle Arts Centre.

‘I was born in Port Hedland in 1982. My Mum was from Warralong and my Father come from Jigalong. I been watching my family paint for years. I was thinking about pictures a long time and now I started to put ‘em down. These paintings are hunting stories for animals that we do with family. I only paint animals I’ve seen with my eyes.’

– Kelvin Allen 2017