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Kaalpa | 6722

The Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery is honored to present the first solo exhibition of one of the most popular prize winners from the 2018 Hedland Art Awards, Corban Clause William’s, in conjunction with Martumili Artists.

Corbans family is from Jigalong, but he has grown up in Newman, and lives there today.

Corban paints about his Nyamu (Grandfather’s) Country, Kaalpa (Well 23 on the Canning Stock Route).

His exquisite paintings, which are already highly-sought after internationally.depict important landmarks of Country, and demonstrate Corban as an exciting new voice in the contemporary tradition of Martu art.  

Showing alongside Corban’s Kaalpa exhibition a group show by the Spinifex Hill Artists.

6722 celebrates the unique identity of South Hedland. The centrepiece of the show will be an experimental all-inclusive map of the suburb the SHA artists call home, proving an opportunity for the Studios’ young and emerging artists to collaborate with its senior makers.

Please join us at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery on Friday, May 17 at 6-8pm for the official opening of these two exhibitions.

Members and Friends of The Gallery please join us for a preview of the exhibition at 5:30pm.

Visitants: Close Encounters with Remote Western Australia


Visitants brings together acclaimed Australian artists, Consuelo Cavaniglia (NSW) and Penny Coss (WA),  showcasing outcomes from their residencies in the Pilbara during 2016.

Both artists seek to capture moments of experience, particularly of the natural world, that inspire wonder, or a sense of personal revelation. At the heart of Cavaniglia and Coss’ practices is the use of colour and light to create optical illusions, or evoke sensual and transformative experiences.

The resulting exhibition translated the artists’ experiences in Karijini National Park into large-scale abstract compositions and immersive installations that loom over or surround their viewers, or stain the gallery walls with colour and light.



To complement Visitants, FORM is delighted to present a group show by Pilbara-based artists depicting the region’s unique and diverse fauna.

Inspired by the Fremantle Arts Centre’s wildly popular Animaze exhibition(November 2018), Menagerie invites Port Hedland’s young people and their families on safari, to discover a world of animals and art.

National Trust

Renowned Melbourne-based painter Gian Manik spent a month in the Pilbara in early 2017, developing new works at FORM’s Spinifex Hill Studios in South Hedland. The centrepiece of Manik’s residency was an experimental collaboration with 53 Hedland Senior High School students (ranging from years 8-12) over three days while he was a guest artist at the School. Manik mentored the students in painting technique, and encouraged them to sketch and paint details of the South Hedland landscape on to a 10-meter long canvas. This was then over-painted by the artist with his own impressions of the town. The resulting monumental collaborative artwork signified an exciting new direction in Manik’s practice: a chaotic, layered aesthetic combining diverse mark-making and humorous juxtaposition.

Spirit of the Pen

The Courthouse Gallery is honoured to present Howard Holder’s first solo exhibition, Spirit of the Pen. Born and raised in Port Hedland, Holder attended Hedland Senior High School during the 2000s and has since become well-known as a frequent prize winner in the annual Cossack Art Award and Hedland Art Awards. Working predominantly in acrylic paint, fine-liner pen, and pencil, Holder is inspired by the Pilbara’s natural and industrial landscapes, as well as sci-fi movies, video games, social media, books, music, and subconscious thoughts. His exhibition presents two bodies of work, a collection of abstract drawings showcasing his skilled use of ink pen, and a series of surreal interpretations of Hedland icons including the Port and South Hedland water towers, ore trains, and ore ships.

Somewhere, Here, Now.

Somewhere Here Now premieres new work by South Hedland’s Michelle Siciliano in her first solo exhibition since moving to the Pilbara four years ago. Siciliano is an art teacher at Hedland Senior High School and was one of the teachers involved in Manik’s collaboration during early 2017. Her own exhibition works have been informed by road trips across the Pilbara, and utilise found objects from her travels that the artist has embellished with a range of textiles techniques. Ranging from the whimsical and quirky to the insightful and somber, collectively these objects present an insight into the complexities of ‘being’ in the Pilbara, expressed with a high level of technical skill, wit, and charm.


Smilde’s practice explores the artificial creation of natural phenomena such as clouds and rainbows, and in BUILDED REMNANTS, he has turned his eye to the Pilbara. The outcomes are the first of his iconic Nimbus series set outdoors, resulting in a surreal take on the Romantic tradition of sublime landscape painting. These photographs are complemented by other works created in industrial sites in Perth and the South West, during Smilde’s first Australian residency in 2016.

Blue Town: The idea of Wittenoom

Blue Town: The idea of Wittenoom sees accomplished landscape photographer Craig Rowles engaging with one of the most contentious sites in the Pilbara, the former asbestos mining town of Wittenoom, degazetted in 2007. Expecting to find a boarded up and ruined town, Rowles instead found both evidence of a deadly history and a surprising beauty. The photographs that resulted reference this confounding of expectations, putting the viewer in a state of pleasurable undecidability.


Konversation represents the first time two Port Hedland artists, Nicole Leuchter and Janelle McCaffrey, have collaborated in single works. McCaffrey, known for her refined landscapes in ink, and Leuchter, known for her expressive abstract compositions, passed canvases and sheets of paper back and forth until both artists were satisfied that the work had found a harmony. The outcomes are works that marry the broad expressive gestures of Leuchter’s work with the detailed finery of McCaffrey’s landscapes.


Pujiman | opening Friday 16 February, 6pm

View the online catalogue here

Unique collaboration project between Spinifex Hill Artists and Martumili Artists

Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery is thrilled to present Pujiman, the major collaboration between the Spinifex Hill Artists and Martumili Artists. The art centres, both located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, united to bring the last pujiman (desert born) generation together with their younger artists. Including animation, film and drawing, as well as the painting practice that has been the foundation of both art centres, Pujiman showcases the powerful contemporary indigenous arts practice of the Pilbara. Pujiman was possible with the support of our Principal Partner BHP Billiton.

Read the media release here.

Watch the Pujiman teaser video here.

Learn Me

Learn Me | opening Friday 16 February, 6pm

View the online catalogue

Solo exhibition by Pilbara artist Ruth Leigh, running alongside Pujiman

In her time living and working in the Pilbara. Leigh has worked closely with Kariyarra, Mangala, Warnman, Manyjillyjarra, Nyangumarta and Kartujarra artists at Spinifex Hill Studios and now Martumili Artists. This exhibition is a tribute to her gratitude for the experiences of Country, story, and friendship in the Pilbara.

2017 Hedland Art Awards

View or download the 2017 Hedland Art Awards catalogue here.

FORM and the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery is proud to present the 2017 Hedland Art Awards in partnership with principal partners BHP, and supporting partners Town of Port Hedland, Pilbara Development Commission, Pilbara Ports Authority and the Port Hedland International Airport. Artists from the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance regions are in the running for over $100,000 in prizes.

The Hedland Art Awards is one of the most prestigious awards in Western Australia, providing regional artists exposure to a national audience and giving new and upcoming artists opportunities to develop their work.

See the full list of finalists here.

The online catalogue will be available for viewing from 5pm, Friday 6 October 2017.

Flight: Aboriginal perspectives from the sky

FLIGHT: Aboriginal perspectives from the sky | 12 August to 23 September

This exhibition brings together artworks from Western Australian Aboriginal artists exploring understandings of landscape and history as they have been informed by spiritual or literal flight across Country.

Perspectives from the sky have a significant and ongoing impact for Aboriginal people. Over the past 40,000 years, stories of birds, Dreaming spirits, and men and women flying across Country, have mapped the landscape that we know today.

View the online catalogue from Saturday 12 August.

A Year in the Making

Twelve months, twelve local artist jewellers and twelve different themes have combined to create this unique jewellery exhibition. Developed over the course of a year, ART ON THE MOVE touring exhibition A Year in the Makingexposes audiences to a diverse range of dynamic, conceptual and contemporary jewellery, raising awareness of the delicate art form and the enduring relevance of work made by hand.

Accompanying this exhibition is also a short film giving an insight into a number of the artists and their techniques, you can view this short film on the ART ON THE MOVE website at

View the online catalogue from Saturday 12 August.

Trace Elements

TRACE ELEMENTS | 12 May to 23 July

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

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.

FEED - Kelvin Allen

FEED | Kelvin Allen

Friday 12 May to Saturday 23 July

The Port Hedland 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 TraceElements, FEED portrays a rich relationship with land through a collection of hunting and gathering stories retold in paint.

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.’

– Allen, 2017

Obscura | Karijini through an abstract lens

OBSCURA | Karijini through an abstract lens

Michelle Siciliano | Janelle Cockayne | Samantha Bell | Shirley Riley | Amber Hooke | Seren Edwards | Zoe Kickett | Alice King | Nils Freidrich | Danielle Briggs | Sonia Vine | Elly Lukale | Katie Evans

Friday 10 February – end of April 2017

Over three days, 13 photographers turned an abstract lens on their Pilbara backyard. OBSCURA brings you Karijini National Park’s 100-metre gorges, prehistoric mountains, and hidden swimming holes as you’ve not seen them before.

View the complete catalogue of works here.


Worn Land

WORN LAND | Four contemporary jewellers in the Pilbara

Yuko Fujita | Nicky Hepburn | Pennie Jagiello | Natalia Milosz-Piekarska

Friday 10 February | end of April 2017

Worn Land explores the disorientating intersection of desire and displacement that can accompany our experience of place. Yuko Fujita, Nicky Hepburn, Pennie Jagiello and Natalia Milosz-Pietarska have created works in response to their residencies in the Pilbara, and the results engage with an ungraspable and resistant landscape through explorations of materiality and scale.

Since early colonisation, Australian landscapes have frequently been conceived of as actively resistant to Western knowledge and the non-Indigenous body, a trope that persists even in contemporary explorations into remote and regional Western Australia.

Throughout their residencies in the Pilbara, Fujita, Hepburn, Jagiello, and Milosz-Piekarska ventured into some of the most isolated parts of northern Western Australia. Working both with and in response to materials found within these places, the resident jewellers are developing immersive works that explore the relationship between the body and these remote environments.


Biggest Mob


Biggest Mob showcases the diverse artistic styles of the Spinifex Hill Artists. Working from the Spinifex Hill Studios in South Hedland, the Spinifex Hill Artists are Port Hedland’s only professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist collective. The group includes Kariyarra, Martu, Banyjima, Nyiyaparli, Yindjibarndi, Noongar, and Ngarla artists, stretching across generations, language and family groups.

The exhibition features 106 new artworks by 36 artists; 11 of which have never exhibited before.  The exhibition includes an interactive ‘Live Wall’, an eclectic collection of 30x30cm canvases, where visitors can watch as the exhibition changes throughout the night. A playful animation hangs alongside, bringing the works to ‘life’ and highlighting the variety of styles represented in the artist group.

After a breakthrough year for the Spinifex Hill Artists, Biggest Mob celebrates how far the group have come, and the spectrum of styles they represent. A big mob of paintings from Hedland’ biggest mob!

Exhibition runs: OCTOBER 2016 – JANUARY 2017



Photography and animation by Nils Friedrich

Opened by Chris Dark, General Manager Port, BHP Billiton. Photos from the exhibition opening can be found here.



Western Australia’s iconic gold mining towns are the inspiration for FORM’s latest exhibition Bedazzle – Photographing Western Australia’s Gold Towns, a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of the regional gothic. Bedazzle takes the State’s gold rush as a point of departure for new contemporary art by three leading Western Australian artists, developed through residencies in the Pilbara and Goldfields-Esperance regions during 2015 and 2016.

After a successful launch in Perth, Bedazzle returns to the Pilbara as part of the exhibition’s regional tour.



Exhibition runs : OCTOBER 2016 – JANUARY 2017

Opened by Chris Dark, General Manager Port, BHP Billiton. Photos from the exhibition opening can be found here.

2016 Hedland Art Awards

The annual Hedland Art Awards showcases the creative talents of artists based in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West, and as of 2015, Goldfields regions of Western Australia. Nine prestigious awards offer a prize pool of over $100,000. This year’s exhibition features 70 artworks in mediums of painting, drawing sculpture and prints.

Exhibition runs AUGUST | OCTOBER 2016

2016 winners can be viewed here.

Full exhibition catalogue can be viewed here.

My Town | Amanda Firenze Pentney

My Town is a solo exhibition of hand painted Lino prints from local artist Amanda Firenze Pentney, inspired by the last ten years spent living in Port Hedland. The artist combines familiar scenes of Hedland life with personal stories from her time as a resident; giving visitors a glimpse into community life and locals the opportunity to connect over shared experience.

Exhibition runs: JUNE | AUGUST 2016

View the exhibition catalogue here, prints are available in editions of 3.

Image: ‘Audacity (Courthouse Gallery)’, Amanda Firenze Pentney, 2016. Hand coloured lino print, 59 x 38 cm. Photograph by Bewley Shaylor.



K U R L K A Y I M A   N G A T H A :
Join us for the opening event on:

Friday June 24th | 6pm. Exhibition runs until August
Opened by Tony McRae, CEO, IBN Corporation

Exploring links between botany, land, and cultural identity, Kurlkayima Ngatha—Remember Me is an exhibition examining Pilbara Aboriginal societies’ methodology of plant use and knowledge systems. Kurlkayima Ngatha—Remember Me encompasses a range of art forms resulting from a project developed in partnership with IBN Corporation and the Yinhawangka, Banyjima, and Nyiyaparli people. Participating artists include Fiona Foley, Eunice Napanangka Jack and Philippa Nikulinsky AM.

More information can be found here.


Tales from the Desert | Tjanpi Desert Weavers

The Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery proudly presents Tales from the Desert, a series of new fibre sculptures from the women of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. These artworks bring the artists’ vibrant stories of Country to life and celebrate the unique narratives explored in their arts practice.

The exhibition was opened on May 6th by MLA Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan

Exhibition runs: MAY | JUNE 2016

View the full exhibition catalogue here.

Image: Feathered basket, Nellie Coulthard, raffia and emu feathers, 49 x 27 x 17 cm. Photograph courtesy of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

Textures | Janelle McCaffrey

Janelle McCaffrey’s Textures amasses work from several years of artistic exploration, resulting in a refined collection of charcoal, graphite and ink studies of Pilbara scenes, emphasising the contrasting textures of the region’s landscapes.

Exhibition runs: MAY | JUNE 2016

View the full exhibition catalogue here.

Image: Windswept, Janelle McCaffrey, archival ink and graphite on watercolour paper, 29 x 21 cm. Photograph by Bewley Shaylor, 2016.

The Pilgrim | Helen Komene

Pastel artist Helen Komene’s debut solo exhibition The Pilgrim showcases the artists’ reverence for the spectacular landscapes of Western Australia, particularly the stunning sunsets and coastal scenes.

Exhibition runs: MAY | JUNE 2016

View the full exhibition catalogue here.

Image: Solitude, Helen Komene, pastels on paper, 108.5 X 74 cm.

A Dot on the Run 2016

Following a successful inaugural exhibition, A Dot on the Run returns in February 2016, showcasing drawings on paper from artists all across Western Australia. The exhibition remains the only survey exhibition of drawing in the state, serving as a platform for emerging, mid-career, and established artists throughout regional and metropolitan WA.

The 2016 exhibition opened on February 5th alongside Light Angles by Douglas Kirsop. The exhibition was opened by Melissa Price MP, Federal Member for Durack and Chris Cottier, Manager Pilbara Communities BHP Billiton.

This years exhibition includes 68 Western Australian artists, 14 of which are working locally in Port Hedland.

Exhibition runs: February | April 2016

Exhibition price catalogue available here.

Light Angles

The first exhibition of the year Light Angles opened on Friday 5th February, by  Melissa Price MP, Federal Member for Durack and Chris Cottier, Manager Pilbara Communities BHP Billiton. Light Angles showcases a series of landscape paintings from Western Australian painter Douglas Kirsop. After travelling frequently to Australia’s North West over the past 30 years, Kirsop brings a mature eye to the Pilbara landscapes we know so well. His oil and gouache paintings capture the hidden subtleties of this remarkable region through their depiction of light and reflection.

Exhibiting alongside Light Angles is A Dot on the Run, Western Australia’s only survey exhibition of drawings on paper. After a successful inaugural exhibition in 2016, A Dot on the Run returns to showcase works from emerging, mid-career and established artists from across the state, including local Port Hedland artists.

Exhibition runs: FEBRUARY | APRIL 2016

Exhibition Price Catalogue here.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

Featured Image: Douglas Kirsop, East of Marble Bar, oils on linen, 2015. Photograph by Bewley Shaylor.


Summer Stock

Summer Stock is a curated selection of artworks from the Courthouse Gallery Stockroom Collection, including previously unseen works from regional Aboriginal art centres, local and national artists. The exhibition celebrates the diversity of work that has been shown through the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, and allow visitors the opportunity to view the incredible artworks that the gallery has available in stock, as a result of 7 years of creative programming in and around Port Hedland.

The full Stockroom Collection catalogue can be found here, please contact the gallery on 08 9173 1064 or with any queries.


Hedland Art Awards

Hedland Art Awards open on Thursday 20th August, 2015.

The Hedland Art Awards draws together emerging and established artists from across regional Australia, offering an important opportunity for regional artists to showcase their talent. Presented by FORM and the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery with the support of Principal Partner BHP Billiton and Major Partner the Town of Port Hedland, the awards attract an audience of more than 4,000 people each year.

For 2015, the Hedland Art Awards prize pool has increased to more than $100,000, rendering it a rival to the richest regional art awards in Australia. The awards, which are hosted annually at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, will this year kick off the town’s busiest weekend, the North West Festival on Thursday, August 20th.

Goldfields artists can now join their Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid-West and Kimberly contemporaries in the running for the prize pool of more than $100,000, up from $60,000 last year.


‘We Call it Home’ is an exhibition by Port Hedland’s only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collective, and showcases the best new work to emerge from their inaugural year in the Spinifex Hill Studios.

With Banjima, Innawongka, Karriyara, Martu, Noongar and Yamatji artists represented, this show reveals a spectacular range of styles and a richness of stories from all over the Pilbara and beyond. We Call it Home is the first group exhibition from the Spinifex Hill Artists since 2010.

‘We Call it Home’ includes new work from Maggie Green, Winnie Sampi, William Nyaparu Gardiner, Biddy Thomas, Selena Brown, Ngarnjapayi Nancy Chapman, Minyawe Miller, Doreen Chapman, May Chapman and many more emerging artists. The online catalogue is available here, a full exhbition catalogue is availbe for purchase for $15 through the gallery,, 08 9173 1064.
The Spinifex Hill Studios are managed and operated by FORM, a not-for-profit arts organisation committed to fostering and developing creativity in the Pilbara.

For more information about the artists of Spinifex Hill Studio, visit their website


The inspiring photographs and videos in ‘This is the Pilbara’ are made by ordinary people who have discovered the joys of picking up a camera and recording the magic of the Pilbara.

“One of the best things I find about the Snapped projects is looking at all of the contributions that other subscribers send in. You can glean a lot of inspiration and ideas from looking at other people’s work, there are some really talented photographers around Australia.“ – Brett Lewis

“The combination of vast ancient landscapes and local characters make for a rich source of imagery.” said local ABC Open producer Susan Standen. “I hope that people from Port Hedland and districts will come and see the exhibition and recognise the wealth of creative people in the area.”

ABC Open: real stories made by real people from all across Australia and published on the ABC. Since its launch in 2010 ABC Open has collected more than 75,000 contributions from regional Australians and shared them with a wider audience.

Converge 2015

13 March 2015 to 16 May 2015

Presented as part of PUBLIC 2015, CONVERGE is the first collaborative exhibition by Beastman (NSW) and Vans the Omega (SA). After completing numerous large scale murals throughout Australia and New Zealand, these internationally recognised artists have come together once again to create new works for the gallery inspired by aerial views of the Pilbara’s unique topographies.

CONVERGE is now OPEN and is supported by A Dot on the Run.

Exhibition artworks are available for purchase, online catalogue available here. For more information please phone the gallery on 08 9173 1064 or email us at

Image: Given to the Rising, by Beastman & Vans The Omega, 2015, image courtesy of the artists

A Dot on the Run 2015

13 March 2015 to 29 May 2015

A Dot on the Run is a survey exhibition of drawings on paper by emerging, mid-career, and established artists throughout regional and metropolitan Western Australia. Works exhibited demonstrate the great talent and variety of our State’s artists. The title of the exhibition is inspired by Paul Klee’s quote, ‘A line is a dot that went for a walk’.

Launching on Friday 13 March 2015, A Dot on the Run will be held in all three of the small gallery rooms, and will support feature exhibition from Vans Omega and Beastman entitled, Converge.

Exhibition artworks are available for purchase, online catalogue available here. For more information please phone the gallery on 08 9173 1064 or email us at

Image: ‘Salty Business’ by Janelle Mcaffrey

It’s What You See 2014

24 October 2014 to 27 February 2015

It’s What You See is a collaborative exhibition of works by local artists Diana Boyd, Melissa North, and Naomi Stanitzki, responding to the unique environment and their lives in Port Hedland. While each artist takes inspiration from the unique Pilbara landscape, what emerges through It’s What You See is how the choice of medium and individual perspective affects the ways in which we see and experience the same environments. Visiting the exhibition will provide views of the Pilbara through three highly distinctive lenses.

“Pilbara ideas and subjects are common ground amongst us. The tides, the moon, the open land, feral animals, the sea etc, are something we have all experienced. By depicting these ideas and interpreting them our way, we shed new light from different perspectives” – Melissa North.

Accompanying It’s What You See are two exhibitions by Spinifex Hill Artists, Port Hedland’s only Aboriginal Arts Group. Mollycamp is body of work by a family of artists who paint together in South Hedland. Their beautiful, bright canvases tell of their connection to their Country around Warralong.

Landscapes showcases the remarkable talents of Spinifex Hill Artist Winnie Sampi, whose carefully rendered acrylic landscapes depict the colours and textures of the Pilbara and Kimberley.

For more information about the exhibition or artwork sales, please email or call (08) 9173 1064.

Image: artwork by Melissa North
Photography: Bill Shaylor

Mollycamp & Landscapes 2014

24 October 2014 to 30 January 2015

An exhibition by Spinifex Hill Artists, Port Hedland’s only Aboriginal Arts Group. Mollycamp is body of work by a family of artists who paint together in South Hedland. Their beautiful, bright canvases tell of their connection to their Country around Warralong.

Landscapes showcases the remarkable talents of another Spinifex Hill Artist Winnie Sampi, whose carefully rendered acrylic landscapes depict the colours and textures of the Pilbara and Kimberley.

Image: artwork by Selena Brown

Martumili Marlakurrinpa 2014

30 May 2014 to 31 July 2014

Martumili returns to Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

Martumili Artists was established by Martu people living in the communities of Parnpajinya (Newman), Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Irrungadji and Warralong. The art centre held their first exhibition at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery in 2007, and since that time Martumili Artists have been highly regarded for the quality and character of their bright desert paintings.

Join us as we celebrate the great success of this art centre, from their first exhibition in Port Hedland, to where they stand today, as one of the most significant art centres in Western Australia.

Exhibition opening alongside Inhabit, an exhibition of charcoal and ink drawings and sketches by local Port Hedland artist and designer Renee Hay.

Image: artwork ‘Yirajarra’ by Mabel Wakarta

Floribundus & Karntimarta Brush Artists 2014

Floribundus – Helen Ansell & Karntimarta Brush Artists
28 March 2014 to 11 May 2014

Floribundus – Helen Ansell

To be opened by Australian actress, Claudia Karvan.

A celebration of Western Australian pattern and design, regional artist Helen Ansell exhibits her latest collection of artworks featuring original paintings based on local flora and fauna as well as her debut collection of limited edition custom printed fabric.

With her fine use of colour, pattern and shape, Ansell’s original take on both iconic and lesser known native plants and animals provides a window into the intricate beauty of the Western Australian landscape and it’s experience. Bringing a fresh modern style that is both sparse and meticulous she evokes new ways of seeing the landscape.

Karntimarta Brush Artists

Warralong, a small community about 160 kilometres south east of Port Hedland, has an unusual cluster of exceptional Aboriginal painters and this exhibition will showcase their talents.

This exhibition includes work from established artists May Chapman, Nancy Chapman, Biddy Bunwarrie, Mulyatingki Marney, Jakayu Biljabu and Elizabeth Toby. Many of these artists also paint with Martumili, an art centre that has been instrumental in developing and giving exposure to Aboriginal artists in the eastern Pilbara.

The artists have said that what unites their work is connections between their skin groups and the retelling of their oral stories. When they paint the artists revisit their experiences and the brush and colours provide a new way to tell their stories.

Image: artwork textile print by Helen Ansell

People's Choice Award 2014

People’s Choice Award 2014 – Hedland Art Awards

FORM and The Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery are excited to announce the winner of the 2014 Hedland Art Awards People’s Choice.

Hundreds of visitors passed through the gallery doors to cast their vote for this year’s prestigious Awards show The Exhibition showcased the very best of the Pilbara, Gascoyne, Kimberly and Mid-West’s artists, but there could only be one winner – Congratulations Melissa North

3km for Inspiration – Acrylic, sand, modelling compound, tin can, goats jaw, cows tooth, fish, bolt, nut, mud crab claw on Canvas.

1m x 1m $3200.00

Caught on the Wind & Growing up in Port Hedland 2014

Caught on the Wind & Growing up in Port Hedland
07 February 2014 to 17 March 2014

You and your friends and family are invited to the opening of these two captivating exhibitions, celebrating the work of three Pilbara based artists, Sharon Jack from Tom Price, Leonie Cannon from Karratha and David Hooper from South Hedland. Opening Friday, 7th February, 6-8pm.

Opened by:
Hon Jacqui Boydell MLC: Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett.

Caught on the Wind: Landscape paintings by Leonie Cannon & Sharon Jack

Caught on the Wind is a multi-faceted exhibition exploring the separate journeys of two dynamic Western Australian artists as they travelled through the vast Pilbara landscape.

Both Sharon and Leonie’s art portrays a detailed and often whimsical exploration of rock forms, local textures and the striking colours of the Australian landscape.

Travelling like seeds caught on the wind, they are inspired by a sense of space and place. Through an exploration of colour and form both artists have developed a shared inspiration; the landscape.

Growing up in Port Hedland: Painting by David Hooper

David Hooper will show alongside Sharon and Leonie with a solo show that focuses on growing up in Port Hedland – this exhibition results from a long-running engagement by the artist with the community of Port Hedland.

Image: ‘The Pilbara Featuring Hamersley Gorge’ by Sharon Jack


30 August 2013 to 19 December 2013

The Hedland Art Awards opening night was on August 30, congratulations to all artists who entered and huge congratulations to the awarded winners for 2013.

The awards attracted more than 500 people from the Port Hedland community who together, celebrated and supported the stunning talent from artists in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West and Gascoyne regions, at the Courthouse Gallery.

Mr Mal Osborne Chief Executive Officer Town of Port Hedland, captivated the audience as he led the proceedings and the Hon. Brendon Grylls MLA Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting on State Development; Leader of the National Party of Australia (WA), officially opened the show.

The annual Hedland Art Awards create a platform for emerging and established artists for Australia and the world. The awards attract more than 4,000 people to the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery each year. The Courthouse Gallery offers a unique experience for visitors from interstate and overseas to see the quality of artwork produced from artists in the regions.

The Winners of the Hedland Art Awards are:

– Marianne Penberthy won the Most Outstanding Work $20,000 for her work Ferrous Solutions
– Nora Nungabar, of Martumili Artists won Best Work by an Indigenous Artist $15,000, for her work Kunawarritsi
– Claire Beausein won the Best Work by a Non-Indigenous Artist $15,000, for her work Mantle
– Andrew and David Wood won the Kathy Donnelly Judges Award $5,000 for their instalation Wet Mess
– Greg Taylor won Best Work in a Medium other than Painting $1,500, for his work A Yandy Is A Cry For Your Mother Or Lost Lover
– Di Boyd won Best 3D Work $1,500, for her piece Relatum
– Howard Holder won the Best Work by an Artist Under 25 $1,000, for his work Krackens Treasure
– Taylor Nowers won the Encouragement Award $500, for her work Splash of Salt

The People’s Choice $500 is still open, to vote on your favourite artwork pop in to the Courthouse Gallery. The People’s Choice will be announced at the end of the exhibition.

The Hedland Art Awards exhibition is open to the public from August 31 through till the 19th of December 2013.

FORM and the Courthouse Gallery invited an experienced panel to judge the 2013 Hedland Art Awards. To read more about the Judges and their extensive experience click HERE

The Judges also hosted the annual Judges Walk Through on Saturday morning August 31 for one hour. They invited artists and the public to return as they walked through the exhibition and provided feedback on the winning selections.

To find out more about our upcoming exhibitions and workshops join our mailing list! Contact us with your details (08) 9173 1064 or

The Hedland Art Awards are supported by Principal Partner BHP Billiton and a host of other generous sponsors and designed by FORM.

Image: artwork by artist Marianne Penberthy, Most Outstanding Award Winner 2013 HEDLAND ART AWARDS

Jimmy Poland and Hayley Welsh 2013

28 June 2013 to 11 August 2013

The Courthouse Gallery welcomes senior Malgana maker Jimmy Poland and artist Hayley Welsh to showcase their individual flair.

Jimmy Poland grew up in Shark Bay and this exhibition tells his story through artwork and objects. Inspired by his culture and environment. Whilst the exhibition focuses on the artistic practice and personal life journey of this well known community member the exhibition also traces the broader social, cultural, economic and historical events that have shaped Shark Bay and Denham through the inclusion of historical objects; photographs and archival material.

With guidance from Jewellery designer Helena Bogucki, Jimmy Poland has been on a journey of discovery incorporating new three dimensional materials, such as silver, bone and metals to interpret his life and experiences.

Showcased alongside Jimmy, is emerging artist and published children’s book writer Hayley Welsh. The Courthouse Gallery proudly welcomes Hayley’s return to exhibit her popular whimsical creatures, painted on recycled objects sourced from around Port Hedland. Following her exhibition in Port Hedland last year, Hayley will be delighting the public with her fairy-tale creatures to brighten the walls of the gallery. With each animated character comes a short story told within Hayley’s exhibition catalogue.

Please join the Courthouse Gallery for an Artists Walk Through following the exhibition opening, from 10am till 10:30am Saturday June 29. Hayley Welsh will be talking about her artwork, answering questions and telling her creatures tales, whilst signing her catalogues.

The Artists Walk Through continues at 10:30am till 11am, with Jeweller Helena Bogucki touring the Gallery to share Jimmy Poland’s story and discussing her experiences during their time together creating this collection.

The community is invited to opening night Friday, June 28 from 6pm to 8pm at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

For more information or to R.S.V.P please contact the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery by phone (08) 9173 1064 or via email:

Image: ‘This Bird Han’t A Clue…’ by Hayley Welsh (acrylic on found print)

Rising Dust: Photographs from the Robe River Rodeo 2013

19 April 2013 to 19 June 2013

In 2012 local photographers took part in FORM and BHP Billiton’s P.H.otography Workshop program. Under the guidance of mentor photographers John Elliott, Bewley Shaylor and videographer Michael Fletcher, the group travelled to Pannawonica to capture the iconic 18th Robe River Rodeo.

The collection of photographs is a celebration of the cowboys and cowgirls, bucking broncs and giant buckles, near misses and heart-stopping crashes, red dust and raw emotions that draw thousands of people to this event each year.

Showing alongside Rising Dust is Pastel Beauty In A Harsh Landscape by David Freedman, a pastel artist who has experienced life in Hedland through fly-in, fly-out work as a surgeon at the Hedland Health Campus. David has produced a series of delicate and considered artworks depicting local landscapes.

The community is invited to opening night Friday, April 19 from 6pm to 8pm at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

Image: Lillian Frost – ‘Brothers’


Everyone loves a party and the people of Pannawonica sure know how to party. The town’s population of about 1,000 doubles in size in September each year when people and competitors converge on the small mining town for the annual rodeo. The Rodeo is held on the first weekend in September and 2012 saw the rodeo celebrate its 17th anniversary. The town eagerly looks forward to the event and competitors flock to the rodeo to test their skills against the bucking stock. People in the nearby towns of Karratha and Port Hedland treat the Pannawonica Rodeo like the Melbourne Cup – a great time to party.

The drive into the town from the main north south highway surprises me. I was expecting flat and featureless country but am delighted to drive through fascinating ridge and mesa country that makes me want to go back to school and concentrate on the geography lessons so that I can have some understanding of how this peculiar country was formed. The natural beauty of the area is overwhelming but a site along the road jolts me back to the present. The Shoe Tree looks like some sort of culturally significant monument; a beautiful gum tree on the side of the road adorned with hundreds of work boots hanging from the branches. After checking with the locals I find two explanations – when you leave Pannawonica you throw your work boots up into the tree so that they will be there on your return or you throw them into the tree because you will never need them again. Either way the Shoe Tree causes lots of people to stop and accounts for millions of photos being taken every year.

For most of the year Pannawonica is small, closed mining town run by Rio Tinto the rodeo’s main sponsor but on rodeo weekend everyone is welcome. By showtime Friday night the rodeo grounds are completely surrounded by thousands of campers who have turned up from all over the state. Flash camper vans, caravans, mobile homes, tents and authentic swags dot the landscape. The event continues to grow in popularity over the years and more visitors turn up every year. The rodeo runs for three days and the Sunny Cowgirls provide musical entertainment on two nights. Their rocky brand of country music with lyrics about the life people out here win the locals over instantly. Camping on site means visitors can party and not have the worry about driving home under the influence.

There is an increased police presence in town for the weekend. We know because we towed some of the visiting police who were stuck in the sand of a dry creek beds. We promised not to tell the local police.

Our party of twenty-five enthusiastic photographers from Karratha, Port Hedland and Newman were in town to use our photo skills to document the weekend’s activities. While none of us actually got on a bucking bull many got close to the action. I had the embarrassment of being chased by a bull, well actually a not very big calf. Although I don’t move as quickly as I did in the past I managed to escape to the safety on the other side of the arena fence. There are lots of photos to remind me of my misadventure.

Most of our photographers are excellent landscape photographers. The weekend at the rodeo gave them the opportunity to become more comfortable with photographing people. By the end of the weekend they came away with great photographers and lots of new friends.

The locals and visitors didn’t seem to mind the visiting paparazzi and I’m proud to say that our team has produced a world-class collection of photographs of the Pannawonica Rodeo.

Our congratulations and thanks to Don Inall, President of the Robe River Rodeo and his committee members for running a great event and their hospitality over the weekend. Don said the biggest problem they had, “We ran out of beer in the end!”

John Elliott is a photographer, writer and editor who has held solo exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery. His work is connected with Australian culture, the bush and Australian music. He has compiled Australia’s most extensive country music photo library and had produced over 14 books including the best selling On The Road With Slim Dusty and Where Country Is.

Pilbara Stories 2013

15 February 2013 to 07 April 2013

You and your friends and family are invited to the opening night of Pilbara Stories at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, Friday February 15 from 6pm to 8pm.

Pilbara Stories turns a lens on the Pilbara’s people and community, through a photographic and social documentary project that aims to capture stories of people living in Port Hedland and surrounds. Pilbara Stories features portraits that celebrate the diverse heritage, individuality and experiences of everyday life in the Pilbara with a focus on Port Hedland and surrounds. Over two years FORM has supported leading international photographers Martin Parr, Bharat Sikka, Ketaki Sheth, Annet van der Voort and John Elliott to a develop a multi-perspective and globalising encounter with the region.

Before I arrived into Port Hedland, I was given many warnings. It’s dirty; it’s ugly and all covered in red dust. The reputation of Port Hedland is not good, to say the least. So you can imagine my very pleasant surprise when I arrived and found it to be one of the most interesting, engaging and surreal towns I had ever experienced. Martin Parr, (UK) Pilbara Stories Magnum Photographer

Landscape has been a persistent theme in the history of representing the Pilbara. In Australia’s cities we often see the Northwest as a wilderness; distant and remote. Through artistic and creative engagement, Pilbara Stories creates a special intimacy between a place like Port Hedland and the rest of the country, cutting across the divide between the regions and metropolis.

FORM undertook interviews and recordings with the subjects that were photographed, lending another dimension; one that tells the personal stories of people living and working in this region. Pilbara Stories unveils a new way of seeing and knowing the Pilbara, through its people, their hopes, dreams and desires as they make Port Hedland and the wider region their home.

The short experience of photographing the people and the landscape of the Pilbara is etched in my memory. I can vividly recall the faces, the conversations, the landscape. Flashes of unmarked territory, a stark and staggering landscape, a people so compelling and generous with their time in a light so harsh. Ketaki Sheth, (Indian) Pilbara Stories Photographer

More than 52 different nationalities live in Port Hedland, which owes its unique identity to its rich heritage and culture. For many residents, this cosmopolitanism is Port Hedland’s appeal; a place they feel is built on strong foundations of community, and friendship, where diversity is embraced.

The photographs concentrate on the simplicities of the human interactions: the nourishment of family, the camaraderie of friends, the initial suspicion of strangers that can be turned into trust. Most of the portraits are shot in homes or places of work, so the familiarity with place enhances a feeling of comfort and an atmosphere of honesty. The photographers record the nuances of body language and the pride conveyed in daily labour and peaceful coexistence. In this way, the project is about globalization, but one that has nothing to do with telecommunications and the circulation of capital but instead, everything to do with the commonality of human experience. The photographs, like stanzas of a poem are fragments that form a visual narrative, shaping a new awareness of place, lending a sense of heritage and a deeper understanding of the people who live in the Pilbara. Each photograph represents a piece of the story constantly unfolding in the Pilbara, as well as an insight into the regions past.

Port Hedland means to me, home, more than home, everything. This country has given us so much. The freedom we were expecting was small, but now, the country has given us much more than what we were expecting. Erzabest Katai, Hungarian Refugee and Port Hedland resident for 24 years.

You meet a lot of hardworking people; they weren’t here to impress anybody, they were just here to work, to make a better life for their families or themselves. They were from everywhere, all around Australia; you meet people from places you’ve never heard of. Danielle Aggis owner ‘Dig, Feast, Laugh’ South Hedland.

The longer I stayed in Port Hedland the more I came to realise that entire town, was an imaginative space for its residents —restless, dreamy, perpetually reinventing themselves. Only outsiders romanticised Port Hedland as a brutal frontier or a rugged, timeless heartland. Piers Kelly, writer and former Port Hedland resident.

Photographer Biographies:

Annet van der Voort was born in The Netherlands; she currently lives and works in Drensteinfurt, Germany. She has been represented in the Rencontres d’ Arles, France; National Museum of Photography, Bradford, England; Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; Mois de la Photo, Montréal Canada; Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark; NGBK, Germany; and Getxo Photo Bilbao, Spain. Her work can be found in numerous books, international publications, public and private

Bharat Sikka has a rare mercurial creativity; he photographs landscapes and portraits; moves between the studio and the street; from high-end commercial photography on assignments for magazines such as, Wallpaper, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, I.D, Vogue, Vogue Homme International, Details and Time Magazine to directing advertisements in a cinematic style as a Creative Director. Sikka’s distinct mode of visual storytelling lures the viewer into an illusory world that collapses boundaries between art and life. Bharat Sikka studied at the Parson’s School of Design; he has exhibited in the USA, Europe, India and

Ketaki Sheth was born in Mumbai, 1957. She began taking pictures on the streets of Mumbai, almost twenty years ago, under the guidance of renowned Indian photographer, Raghubir Singh, and influenced by the work of photographers André Kertész, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, and Helen Levitt. She has received the Sanskriti Award for Indian photography (1992) and the Higashikawa Award, Japan (2006) for Best Foreign Photographer. Her works have been exhibited in India, UK, France and Japan.

Martin Parr is a Magnum photographer who has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery and social documentary style. The Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum initiated a large retrospective of Parr’s work (2002), Parr was Guest Artistic Director for the Recontres D’Arles (2004) and curated the Brighton Photo Biennial (2010) he was awarded the Erich Salomon Prize (2006) and Parrworld opened at the Haus de Kunst, Munich (2008).

John Elliott is an Australian photographer, writer, creative producer and social documentary maker. His work has focused mostly on Australian culture, the bush and music. He has compiled Australia’s most extensive country music photo library and has authored a definitive pictorial history of Australian Country Music. John has been regularly exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery Queensland Art Gallery Canberra, and has been accessioned into major national collections.

Pilbara Stories will run at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery from February 15 to April 11 and at FORM Gallery, Perth February 8 to April 20 2013.

Image: Chelsea Churnside, Wickham


15 February 2013 to 07 April 2013

We Will Know When We Are Home is a collection of original paintings by Perth-based artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers which explore the notion of journey, search and discovery.

In 2012 Hughes-Odgers travelled to Port Hedland to create two large-scale murals in the West End of Port Hedland. The murals draw on surrounding industrial-scapes to explore the connection between place, history and industry – notions of permanence, reminders of past, present and constant.

By contrast, the works in We Will Know When We Are Home are based around ideas of transportation and destination, transient life and acknowledging and reacting to constant change. Figures stand and rest, alone and in pairs, settled in neat fragments of home, built forms that protect and create a sense of belonging. They converse with each other and travel by land and by sea, seeking destination and creating new paths.

Accompanying the artworks is a short film by filmmaker Chad Peacock, developed during Hughes-Odgers’ residency in Port Hedland and mapping the creation of his large-scale public artworks and his journey into the wider Pilbara region.

Image: Kyle Hughes-Odgers ‘We Will Know When We Are Home’ (acrylic on wood)


Have you discovered Kyle’s artworks hidden in the West End? These murals on the Port Hedland Police Station and on Wedge Street and an art workshop program with Hedland Senior High School specialist art students were proudly supported through BHP Billiton’s Community Grants Program and by FORM.

The murals aim to enhance and activate formerly blank spaces into vibrant works of art reflecting the industry surrounding the area and historical significance of the West End. The two walls were kindly donated by Port Hedland Police Station, Westpac Bank and Richard Noble with support from Boom Sherrin.

A compelling journey into the outback of Western Australia as artist Kyle Hughes Odgers interacts with the environment to create a series of unique artworks inspired and shaped by the harsh yet beautiful landscape of the Pilbara region.

Filmed in Port Hedland Western Australia 2012:

In Bloom & Nest Making 2012

22 June 2012 to 10 August 2012

In Bloom:

Thai-born artist Warayute Bannatee transforms the Gallery into an ethereal garden with his collection of paintings. The artists’ talents lie in painting intricate forms with impossible detail and for this exhibition he has created a series of delicate, lush roses. His stunning paintings have featured in the Hedland Art Awards over the past few years.

Nest Making:

Karratha-based artist Hayley Welsh creates imaginative and whimsical illustrations on found objects. Hayley’s collection of works focuses on the life she and others around her have created through a migration to the North West and illustrates the process of nest making and creating a home through painting, drawing and mixed media.

Image: ‘Eternal Flame’ by Warayute Bannatee, oil on canvas, 2012. Photo by Bill Shaylor.


20 April 2012 to 10 June 2012

You and your friends and family are invited to the opening of these three captivating exhibitions at the Courthouse Gallery on Friday, April 20 from 6pm to 8pm.

Let the country come in:

Greenough Regional Prison is an unlikely home to a gifted group of Aboriginal artists hailing from communities throughout Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Following a successful exhibition at the Courthouse Gallery in 2010 FORM has continued working with the artists through a professional development program supported by the Department of Corrective Services. This collection of accomplished and thought-provoking paintings is touring from Geraldton Regional Art Gallery to the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

SS Koombana: Oceans and Secrets:

SS Koombana: Oceans and Secrets is a collection of momentos by West Australian jeweller and object maker Helena Bogucki. The collection responds to the centenary of the sinking of the SS Koombana off the North West coast in 1912 which is being commemorated by the Port Hedland Historical Society in March this year. Bogucki has spent months researching the wreckage focusing on an urban myth of a rare black pearl that supposedly sunk with the vessel and the seventy-three crew members who perished on board to create a collection of precious momentos that document the sinking of the ship.

Port Hedland series by Future Shelter:

Perth-based design studio Future Shelter will apply their creative eye to the industrial-scapes of Port Hedland to create a series of limited edition prints in their highly detailed yet whimsical style of graphic design. Designers Adam and Jane Coffey travelled to Hedland earlier this year to study the movement, construction and operation of the large-scale machinery that dominates the town’s skyline to produce a body of work detailing the structures that make up the town’s industry.

Image: one item from the SS Koombana: Oceans and Secrets collection of momentos by West Australian jeweller and object maker Helena Bogucki

Larry Mitchell: A Pilbara Project Exhibition 2012

17 February 2012 to 12 April 2012

Join us for the opening of the second Pilbara Project exhibition will at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery on February 17, 2012 from 6pm.

In 2011 Larry Mitchell, one of Western Australia’s leading visual artists, completed a comprehensive body of work which captures the remarkable diversity of the expansive outback region known as the Pilbara. From climate-bleached coastal islands to rangy hills trailing through inland and desert country, this collection spans both epic vistas and intimate details.

Larry Mitchell is a highly collectable artist. He has won many art awards and prizes, has exhibited internationally and has work in collections including Barings Bank (London), the Weld Club Collection, Rupert Murdoch’s collection and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

The Pilbara Project is a multi-year project devised by cultural body FORM. The Pilbara Project marries artistic outcomes and creative exploration with research and strategy around cultural and place activation. The first artistic outcomes, 52 Weeks on: A Pilbara Project Exhibition, the Pilbara Project website, and a hardback book The Pilbara Project: Field notes and photographs collected over 2010, launched in February 2011. These were the result of a group of photographers, filmmakers, curators, writers and other creatives literally spending 52 weeks on the ground in the Pilbara over the changing seasons of 2010.

The exhibition will run from February 18 – April 12 at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, 16 Edgar Street, Port Hedland. To RSVP for the opening event held on Friday, February 17 please contact the Gallery on (08) 9173 1064 or

See part two of Larry Mitchell: A Pilbara Project Exhibition at FORM Gallery 357 Murray Street, Perth. Each exhibition contains a different collection of works.

Share your Pilbara experiences at

Image: ‘Salt Suite’ (1 of 12 part series) by Larry Mitchell

Port an Exhibition by David Hooper 2011

14 October 2011 to 24 December 2011

Port Hedland is one of the world’s largest and busiest working harbours, filled with grand, austere ships that transport hundreds of millions of tonnes of cargo each year to distant places, tracing new and old trading routes through the seas. From the grand machinery and …glistening steel of the ships docked along the harbour, to the unceasing rhythm of cargo being unloaded and loaded, the full magnitude of Western Australia’s mining riches are on display.

Ports on this scale are often on a city’s outskirts, invisible as well as inaccessible. But in Port Hedland, the coming and going of ships from dusk to dawn are part of daily life. And that is one of the unique qualities of this remote town on the northwest coast of Australia. So what does life look like, as it is lived by people working in retail, hospitality, health care, education, public service, small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and artists like David Hooper? What does the port look like from his perspective?

Standing Together: Stories from Roebourne Art Group 2011

26 June 2011 to 14 August 2011

Drawing on the make-up of their land, the Roebourne Art Group has produced a new collection of paintings that tell the stories of the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people and their cultural heritage.

This exhibition illustrates the natural beauty found in the Pilbara desert with special attention to colourful landscapes and unique native plants. Pieces in this collection also depict man’s influence on this region, resulting in sharp contrasts visible throughout the exhibition.

Anthropologist Hamish Morgan explains the cultural significance of painting and sharing the stories represented in Standing Together as a part of honoring Yindjibarndi Dreamtime,

The ‘Dreamtime’ is not only a sacred creation narrative, it is also something that is personally experienced and lived with. The Dreamtime is not past, but is ever-present; it is part of people’s everyday lives. The act of visiting country, the act of telling stories or painting country is all part of Yindjibarndi people’s custodial responsibilities to ‘hold’ the Dreaming, something that happens in both formal (such as ceremony and Law business) and informal (such as ‘going out bush’ ‘taking the kids fishing’) ways.

It is through the sharing of stories in this exhibition that Roebourne Art Group and FORM offer you a glimpse into the true essence of standing, moving and growing together.

When it Rains it Pours 2011

15 April 2011 to 16 June 2011

You and your friends and family are invited to the opening of When it Rains it Pours at the Courthouse Gallery Friday, April 15 from 6pm to 8pm.

Take a glimpse into the cutting edge world of street art through the eyes of some of Perth’s most dynamic young artists, low-brow art collective Last Change Studio as they translate their large-scale urban artworks to canvas.

Two featured artists Ryan Boserio and Timothy Rollin will hold a live demo of their work at the West End Markets the following evening.

To RSVP to the exhibition, contact the Gallery on or (08) 9173 1064.

The fun only starts there. The opening night of When it Rains it Pours kicks off a phenomenal West End Weekend that includes the first West End Markets of 2011 where you’re invited to wander through the Glass Lane Sculpture Gardens as local artists, growers, provedores and crafters come together for a vibrant and creative evening of festivities featuring live music and some ‘out of this world’ roving street performers.

During the West End Markets, FORM will launch the ‘Locked Cabinet Project’ which fits hand in hand with the theme of urban art. Keep your eyes peeled for special keys being distributed by the Small Wins team during the West End Markets. Find a key, go in search of the hidden artworks, then pass the key on to help someone else discover The Locked Cabinets.

Following the Markets, talented Perth artist Nathan Gaunt will bring his unique blend of atmospheric, soulful rock/folk/blues to the West End with a performance in the Gallery Gardens.

Based in Perth, Nathan has built a substantial following, toured the breadth and width of the State, done a short run of shows in Europe and played with masters in India on an extensive musical tour. He now returns to Hedland for a free performance under the stars at 7pm. Bar facilities will be available.

After all of this, snuggle up with your favourite person to watch the first West End showing of short films by Future Shorts, one of the world’s leading and most innovative short film labels.

Starting Saturday, April 16, our town will join an international network of almost 100 cities conducting regular Future Shorts film screenings. The premise is simple, each month a specially curated selection of international and local short films will be shown at locations in Port and South Hedland.

We can’t wait to see you at the opening of When it Rains it Pours and our fantastic West End Weekend!

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition 2011

11 February 2011 to 07 April 2011

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition opens at the Courthouse Gallery on Friday, 11 February 2011 at 6.00pm, followed by a short film screening in the Gallery gardens at 8pm. Join us for opening night, RSVP for opening night via email at or call 08 9173 1064.

The vast Pilbara region is awe-inspiring, from its incredible size of more than 500,000 square kilometres, to its isolated and rugged beauty. It is also home to the heart of Western Australia’s iron ore mining industry.

How do these unique but co-existing identities impact on each other? What it is like for the people who live there? How does the extraordinary landscape work on the mind of the artist, the writer or the photographer?

Over the past 52 weeks five artists have toured the Pilbara, creating visual stories through photography and film which capture the reality of contemporary life, the rhythms of large-scale industry and the enduring Pilbara landscape. The result of these field trips is 52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition.

The Pilbara Project is a long-term project which documents, maps, illustrates and celebrates the diverse characteristics of the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, with multiple outcomes including a published book, exhibition and event program, and a dedicated website.

FORM has been delivering creative engagement and development programs in the Pilbara for seven years, through a partnership with BHP Billiton Iron Ore. In this time we have earned the trust and respect of these communities, while gaining a rare insight into exactly what is important to them and through this, what makes the Pilbara so unique. The Pilbara Project emerged from this ongoing dialogue. Using creativity as a catalyst, the Project seeks to examine and shift common perceptions of the Pilbara and in doing so highlight its true capacity for growth and recognition through industry.

The exhibition seeks to engage people to think differently about this region. While the Pilbara has already given the Australian economy so much, it has even more to offer, to multiple people and on multiple fronts.

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition is a ‘dual’ exhibition and will open on consecutive nights in FORM Gallery, Perth and the Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland, and will feature new photography and film by renowned artists Dr. Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher and Peter Eastway. Curated by William L Fox, Director of the Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, the exhibition will consider the collision and interconnection between the land, industry and cultures of the Pilbara.

In February 2011 FORM will launch The Pilbara Project: Field Notes and Photographs Collected Over 2010 a coffee table-quality publication which harnesses the finer grains of the Pilbara via a rich medley of photographs, diaristic field notes, writing and maps.

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition opens:
FORM Gallery, 375 Murray Street, Perth Thursday, February 10 from 6.00pm with Michael Fletcher short film screening at 5.30pm
Courthouse Gallery, 16 Edgar Street, Port Hedland Friday, February 11 from 6.00pm with Michael Fletcher short film screening at 8.00pm

For more information contact the Courthouse Gallery at 9173 1064 or email

Image: Christian Fletcher, 2010

Before the Town Got Big 2010

22 October 2010 to 24 December 2010

The highly anticipated second exhibition from local Aboriginal art collective the Spinifex Hill Artists opens at the Courthouse Gallery Friday, 22 October from 6pm. Titled ‘Before the Town Got Big’, this exhibition delves into the stories and experiences that have shaped the artists’ lives while growing up in Port Hedland and the greater North West to the present time.

The distinctive artwork offers a captivating insight into the social, economic and physical evolution of the town and captures the artists’ experiences through bold colours and contemporary design. Viewing the exhibition, you will notice the cohesiveness of the collection as a whole as well as each artist’s individual style.

Since their debut exhibition last year, the Spinifex Hill Artists have been working daily, honing their talents and preparing for this special exhibition which shares the experiences that have shaped their lives so far. On Saturday, 23 October at 11am you are invited to join the artists at the Gallery to hear their stories behind Before the Town Got Big and from their childhoods in a storytelling session open to all ages.

RSVP by October 21 to the Courthouse Gallery (08) 9173 1064 or

Nothing Came By Road

20 September 2010 to 30 November 2010

A public sculpture project by and for the people of Hedland.

Nothing Came by Road is a collection of six sculptures, made from the original pylons of the old Hedland Jetty, which pay tribute to the town’s heritage as a rail hub and sea port.

Under the guidance and mentorship of Fremantle-based sculptors Anne Neil and Steve Tepper, six local artists – Randal Canning, Zabia Chmielewski, Garry Horton, Daniele Specogne, John Todd and Louis Warren – designed and made these pieces in 2003.

The sculpture project, part of an overall town centre development scheme, was funded by the Australia Council, the Department of Culture and Arts of the Government of Western Australia, and BHP Billiton Iron Ore. Additional support came from BOC Gases Limited, Brambles, C Con Concrete, C and J Contracting, Coates Hire, Hedland Emporium, Onesteel Metaland, Port Hedland Port Authority, Portside Fabrications, Sims Metal, Taylors Disposals and Transline Tree Trimmer.

The six sculptures were originally installed in February 2004 on the site of the oldest building in Hedland, St Matthews Church (now demolished), beside the Courthouse Gallery. Anne Neil and Steve Tepper donated the beautiful cast bronze name plaques for each sculpture. In 2004, Nothing Came by Road was listed among 35 of the best Regional Art projects in Australia.

In 2010 the sculptures were re-located into this specially landscaped Sculpture Park.

Sculptures close-up:

IMAGE SHOWN: Zabia Chmielewski’s Ocean Going World articulates the dependence of early non-Indigenous settlers on sea trade and transport. Zabia, a sculptor and visual artist, won the Most Outstanding Artwork award in the 2002 Hedland Art Awards.

With Cyclone, Randal Canning humorously references the impact of cyclones in this part of the world. Randal has contributed to a number of public art pieces in Hedland and won the People’s Choice and Best Sculpture awards in the 2002 Hedland Art Awards.

With Raising the Marble Bar, Garry Horton acknowledges the development of rail throughout the Pilbara. Garry was highly commended in the 2002 Hedland Art Awards.

For Staircase to a View, photographer, jeweller and stone carver Daniele Specogne creates informal seating and a circular staircase structure out of variously-sized pieces of pylon. The text is burnt into its surfaces.

With his sculpture Harbouring a Jetty, Louis Warren celebrates Port Hedland’s original jetty and the fact that, in the early days of non–Indigenous settlement, everything needed for survival came by sea.

Indigenous landscape artist John Todd gives insight into the impact of non-indigenous settlement of Port Hedland on the area’s Indigenous people with his moving sculpture The Invisible Man. Choosing not to work with a jetty pylon, John instead used the wood of a ghost gum.

2010 Hedland Art Awards

11 September 2010 to 09 October 2010

The 2010 Hedland Art Awards opened on Friday, September 11 with crowds of around 600 attending the opening night at the Courthouse Gallery to celebrate the creative talents of artists from across the Pilbara, Kimberley, Mid West and Gascoyne regions.

The Hedland Art Awards are sponsored by principal partner BHP Billiton Iron Ore and a host of other generous local sponsors.

The opening night was followed by the traditional Saturday morning Artists’ Breakfast hosted by HARTZ and the judges walk-through which gave judges Larry Mitchell, Kathy Donnelly and Tim Acker the opportunity to shed light on their decisions and offer feedback to artists featured in the Awards.

Indigenous art advocate Tim Acker then held a talk on Indigenous artwork discussing origins and stories behind artworks and the best practice for investing in Aboriginal art.

The Award winners were:

Most Outstanding Work
Jan Billycan, Short St Gallery
For the artwork Kirriwirri

Best Indigenous Work
Sonia Kurrara, Mangkaja Arts
For the artwork Noon Kanbah River

Best Non-Indigenous Work
Marianne Penberthy
For the textile piece Abandoned Stories Series II

Best Work in Any Medium (other than painting)
Gera Woltjer
For the artwork Kurrajong Fruit; Variation V

Best 3D Work
Claire Beausein
For the artwork Rare (Fern Moth)

Best Work by an Artist Under 25
Hayley Welsh
For the artwork Leaders, Followers, Spectators

Encouragement Award
Olive Boddington, Yamaji Art
For the artwork The Milky Way

Highly Commended
Narelle Bettini
For the artwork Peace that Passeth

Highly Commended
Irene Coffin, Spinifex Hill Artists
For the artwork My Mother Country

Highly Commended
Rian Hronsky
For the artwork Day’s End

Sharon Jack - The Way It Is

25 June 2010 to 29 August 2010

Sharon Jack shows us another way of considering remote Australia in the way it is, her first solo exhibition of pastel on canvas for the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

Based in Tom Price, Sharon has gathered together snippets of the Pilbara and Kimberley in North Western Australia, and restitched them into stylised, bright images which fuse a contemporary design slant with softer, more organic forms.

Exhibition runs June 26 to August 29 2010

Artwork detail images by Elaine Argaet. Opening night images by Faye Harris.

The Journey Is The Destination 2009

20 December 2009 to 31 December 2009

Over a warm Pilbara winter, 50 photographers took to Hedland, capturing townscape, landscape and community.

This is what they saw.

The highly anticipated photographic exhibition the journey is the destination saw a 500 strong crowd attend the opening night at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery on Friday 20 February.

102 images selected from the thousands collected throughout the P.H.otography 2008 workshops were displayed across the Gallery walls, reflecting the industrial town of Hedland, the unique Pilbara landscape, and the diverse people who make up the community.

The workshop participants mingled with family and friends, as they hovered proudly around their works. Renowned mentor photographers Paul Parin and John Elliott flew up for the occasion, sharing their views and experiences with guests and budding photographers alike.

The event was officially opened by Richard O’Connell, Regional Manager of Sustainability, BHP Billiton Iron Ore. BHP Billiton Iron Ore is the principal partner for the P.H.otography workshops.

Helen Ansell : Lush 2009

22 October 2009 to 24 December 2009

Helen is a full time artist and art teacher and has lived in the Midwest and Gascoyne for most of her life. Helen’s next exhibition of creative and eye-catching work is the result of her life-changing shift after three years in Edinburgh, one of the art capitals of Europe, back to Wiluna, a remote Aboriginal community in the arid heart of Western Australia. Helen is the lead facilitator of the Let’s Get Started! workshops and is developing a new body of work.

LUSH is a collection of paintings that wears its heart on its canvases. Filled with sensuous lines, strong colours and joyous patterns, Helen Ansell’s work weaves the lines of the female body, the symbol of the bird in flight and the fantastic shapes of Western Australian flora together to create works of deceptive graphic simplicity. Everything is surface, with bold poster colours and simplified shapes, but Helen’s unerring sense of space and colour, the precision of her brushwork and the inventiveness of her design lifts this work out of the merely decorative. There is a fundamental spirit in these paintings that speaks to the viewer and insists on presenting hope and joy as the natural wellsprings for life.

2009 Hedland Art Awards

12 September 2009 to 24 October 2009

The Hedland Art Awards returned for another year, showcasing the eclectic creativity inspired by this unique region of Australia. Winners from 2009 are pictured above. They were proudly sponsored by BHP Billiton Iron Ore.

The 2009 Winners were:

$12,000 Most Outstanding Work: Jill Churnside, Moorumburri Yinda (Roebourne Art Group)

$10,000 Best Work by an Indigenous Artist: Renaid Purdie, Warranany (Warmun Art Group)

$2,000 Best Work by a Pilbara-based Artist: Jakayu and Morika Biljabu, Minya Puru (Seven Sisters) (Martumili Artists)

$2,000 Best Work in a category other than painting: Emma Barber, Pilbara Meditations

$2,000 Judge’s Commendation Award: Lynley Juboy, Prison Boab

$1,000 Best 3D Work: Claire Beausein, Endangered Species

$1,000 Best Work by an Artist Under 25 Years of Age: Sarah Hicks, Muddy Creeks (Roebourne Art Group)

$500 Encouragement Award: Annette Peterson, The Day The Sky Turned Red

The winner of the People’s Choice for 2009 was Melissa North for her painting ‘Pelican Country’.

Image: by Melissa North

Larry Mitchell & Yinjaa-Barni Art

24 July 2009 to 29 August 2009

The Courthouse Gallery hosted two beautiful exhibitions of paintings which approach Western Australia’s natural beauty from very different cultural and technical perspectives.

This is landscape and coastline in all its dramatic intensity, interpreted by acclaimed visual artist Larry Mitchell, and the Indigenous artists of Yinjaa-Barni, a talented and award-winning collective based in Roebourne.

Water's Edge 2009

11 April 2009 to 29 May 2009

Water’s Edge: A celebration of the Pilbara waterways by David Hooper and Annette Peterson.

It is upon the edge of this vast land that the majority of Australians live, work and play. We love to watch the big ships coming in and out of our port. We love to watch the children play in the sand. We agree with ‘Ratty’ in the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” And so our paintings celebrate the people, the children, the small boats, the big boats, the sky, the sea, and the shore… The “Waters Edge”.

– David Hooper

The Pilbara landscape is a micro essence of everything that Australia loves about itself – the big horizons, the openness and vivid colours. But the Pilbara has a unique ruggedness to it, like the extreme temperatures, the excessive days without rain, the isolation from other towns. It is within these extreme conditions I want to celebrate the people of the Pilbara and in particular, Port Hedland. Water’s Edge is so much a part of our time away from the hard work, the heat and the humidity. It is refreshing, cool and inviting. I want to celebrate the people of the Pilbara and how they cope being here. Water’s Edge is based on the perspective of what people in the Pilbara do and see when they cool off, relax and find some reprieve.

– Annette Peterson

Are We There Yet? 2008

18 November 2008 to 01 December 2008


Celebrated children’s storybook authors and illustrators Alison Lester, Ann James, David Miller, Danny Katz and Mitch Vane landed at Port Hedland airport on a humid Monday morning, bringing with them magic, humour and imagination to share.

The anticipated arrival of these much loved authors and illustrators did not disappoint, with attending a special meet and greet function that evening to launch the Courthouse Gallery’s Write in the Pilbara program for 2008.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed whilst guests delighted in the charming exhibition of illustrations from Alison Lester’s popular storybook Are We There Yet? which follows a family’s trip around Australia through delicate yet lively and playful illustrations.

Guests chatted and mingled with the popular and sought after illustrators, who were all too happy to share their captivating stories and insight into their creative profession.

Hosted by the Courthouse Gallery, and initiated by founding partners BHP Billiton Iron Ore and FORM, the Write in the Pilbara program aims to have a far reaching educational and social impact among schools both local and remote, as well as among community groups and families. It is the Gallery’s contribution to leaving a legacy of social, cultural and economic expansion and sustainability.

Andre Veder, Community Relations Officer of BHPBIO, opened the event, highlighting the importance of the Write in the Pilbara program in “providing a fun and supportive environment that allows children to practice their reading and writing, and that encourages parents and teachers to view learning as part of the natural process of nurturing a child.”

Over the next two days, the Courthouse Gallery was filled with laughter, fun and imagination as school groups, teachers, parents and budding storybook writers were treated to a variety of stimulating workshops delivered by the authors and illustrators.

300 school students from all schools in Hedland visited the Gallery and enjoyed making picture books with Alison Lester, guiding Ann James in creating new characters, assembling colourful paper sculptures with David Miller, and drawing their very own Little Lunch characters with Danny Katz and Mitch Vane.

St Cecilia’s teacher, Amanda Broadfoot found the workshops beneficial to her students in “learning about the possibilities of different media not just painting and drawing”, as well as watching how drawings are developed, learning drawing techniques and the use of colour.

Nicole Bathurst’s children attended the afterschool workshops and commented that they “absolutely loved all the sessions. They were a fantastic experience for the children and all four of them enjoyed each session, coming home very motivated.”

The five illustrators also entertained and mentored parents, teachers and caregivers on other ways to incorporate books, literacy and art into the classroom. The evening adult sessions covered topics such as learning to create storybooks for children, how to develop characters, and the importance of engaging children with books at an early age.

Teachers Katie Maddison and Kelly Johnson said they “found the teacher workshop with Ann James to be really worthwhile, both personally and professionally. Ann was a great facilitator and it was so interesting to see the process she follows when working on a children’s book.”

The Write in the Pilbara program is providing Hedland and the Pilbara with an outstanding opportunity to engage their children in a range of different and unique experiences that enrich and encourage their relationship to books and learning.

(Photographs courtesy of Kate Antonas and Mitch Vane)

2008 Hedland Art Awards

24 October 2008 to 24 December 2008

Hedland Art Awards 2008

Coinciding with the Hedland Heritage Festival weekend, the annual BHP Billiton Iron Ore Hedland Art Awards officially opened on Friday 24 October, at the Courthouse Gallery.

142 works from Pilbara artists decorated the Gallery walls; artistic and creative interpretations of the lives, experiences, and perspectives of those living in this eclectic region.

Over 300 guests gathered at the Gallery gardens to hear judge Jon Tarry’s verdict on the winning works. Sponsors, guests and artists mingled over drinks and nibbles as they enjoyed and discussed this year’s talent.

The 2008 BHP Billiton Iron Ore Hedland Art Awards were delivered by HARTZ (Hedland Arts Council) with the assistance of FORM, and the funding of BHP Billiton Iron Ore.


People’s Choice Award – (split three ways between) Margaret Cahill for Tranquility, James Reus for Gotta Go West Coast Eagles & Emma Barber for Pilbara Spirit.

Encouragement Award – Frances Maher for Barry
Best Fibre/Textile – Amy Sharp for Pilbara Perspectives

Best 3D Work – Randall Canning for Spike the Pilbara Pooch

Best Work on Paper – Tony Windberg for Eucalyptus Marginata – Light Shift

Best Watercolour – Judy Prosser for Card Game at the River

Best Work with a Pilbara Theme – David Hooper for Mangrove

Best Work by a Pilbara Artist under 25 – Thierra Clanton for Embrace

Best Work by a Pilbara Indigenous Artist – Nola Taylor for Kiriwirri

Best Work by a Pilbara Artist – Fred Beel for A View North

Best Painting – Annette Peterson for Daylight Saving

Most Outstanding Work – Allery Sandy for Mulla Mulla Sturt Peas

View the Winning Works here


The Hedland Art Awards present the range and enthusiasm of a diverse community engaging in cultural practice and through media of visual arts that is saying something strong about the place in which we live. Over one hundred and fifty art works confirm the value for art is alive in the region.

Art is an inclusive practice where diversity of ways of seeing are expressed rather than conformity or standardisation. The exhibition as a collective coveys the spectrum ideas that challenges the viewers to think, feel and react, as living in the particularity of this environment creates.

Stand out works for me, though few in numbers, where the tactile three dimensional works, these works possess a physical presence, raw imagery and strike at the intuitive and emotive core of this place.

Across the exhibition the paintings excel, is a testament to looking closer and displays a skill in making visible the at times invisible world before us. Along with painting , drawings, textiles, watercolours, the contained and careful gentle gaze is punctuated by raw abstract gestures of expression. As an exhibition the work displays a conforms the importance of art as to society.

Jon Tarry, Judge of the 2008 BHPBIO Hedland Art Awards


Since the revival of the Hedland Art Awards by the Hedland Arts Council (HARTZ) in 2000, the Awards have gained increased community interest, attracting entries from all over the state and beyond, along with record numbers of guests coming along to the Award Presentation Nights. HARTZ invites all budding artists to enter their work into the annual Awards.

This year’s Awards were judged by leading visual artist Jon Tarry, who has over 25 years experience in sculpture, painting and mixed media. An artist of international acclaim, Jon has many sculptures as permanent installations cross Australia, Europe, the U.S. and our very own Port Hedland.

Through Our Eyes - The Canning Stock Route 2008

05 September 2008 to 18 October 2008

Why should the Beijing Olympics get all the culture?

Through the eyes of emerging and established Aboriginal artists, FORM’s innovative Canning Stock Route Project has resulted in the creation of over 200 works from over nine remote community art centers across the Pilbara, Kimberley and Midwest regions, celebrating their countries surrounding the Canning Stock Route.

Sponsored by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, 19 of these works will be showcased at the Beijing Olympics, an incredible opportunity to raise both the artists and their enterprises’ profile on a global stage.

And Port Hedland won’t be missing out with the Courthouse Gallery showcasing an exquisite exhibition of selected CSR works, shown for the first time in Australia, putting us on the national arts industry map!

Through The Lense
Ngayunpala Kujungka (we are one)

Through the Lens presents Ngayunpala kujungka – a photography exhibition by Morika Biljabu. Morika lives in Punmu and has been working on the Canning Stock Route Project’s Emerging Multimedia Practitioners Program. The works speak visually of the dynamic life of the western desert, Martumili artists and their families, making paintings, Country and the fun of being part of the CSR Project.

Through the Lens also includes a special multimedia installation of short films and photography captured on the Canning Stock Route journey in 2007. The films provide an insight into the development of the Project as it builds for audiences at the National Museum of Australia in 2010.


04 April 2008 to 21 June 2008

Stunning New Works from the Martumili Artists of the Western Desert.

Martumili Artists is the art enterprise of the Martu people whose communities span the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts in Western Australia’s remote east Pilbara region. In country marked by desert and salt lakes, Martu people weave their footprints from the Percival Lakes in northern Western Australia, Lake Disappointment in the south and across the iconic Canning Stock Route to the east. It is this country that links the Martu, and through which the lines of language, family and Tjukurrpa are threaded together. Connecting these immense swathes of land are the related languages of the Martu – Manyjilyjarra, Kartujarra, Putijarra and Warnman – with Martumili Artists working with Martu artists in all six communities dispersed through this remote but stunning country.

This is country whose remoteness sustains Martu identity, creates distinctiveness and nurtures unique talent. A relatively new art enterprise (officially forming in 2006 after several years of negotiation and development), Martumili Artists make magic with the visual form. The work created by this nest of 40 professional artists is experimental, contemporary and suffused with Martu experience – both cultural traditions and modern reinterpretations of tradition. The works created by Martu artists are visually compelling. Encompassing both two and three dimensional mediums (painting, fibre, wood), Martumili works reach out to the viewer and captivate. Canvases are arresting hybrids of intense colour that are luminous and thought-provoking. Finely-wrought baskets and other woven forms show technical and stylistic innovation and a modern, refined confidence.

Emma Barber - Figuratively Speaking 2008

18 January 2008 to 02 January 2010

“IS that a photo or a drawing?” – this is what visitors to local artist Emma Barber’s exhibition pondered as they wandered through the newly renovated Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery on Friday 30 March, 2007. Putting a stop to any speculation, the Gallery Manager revealed that the works are actually paper with colour pencils, with Ms Barber using the medium to achieve a “photo finish”.

“Most people think Emma’s work is a photo or airbrushed painting,” said the Gallery Manager. Emma lives and works in Hedland as an art teacher at Hedland Senior High School and has won numerous awards for her vibrant colour pencil works.

She has exhibited in 10 solo exhibitions since 1992 and she is represented in the WA Parliament House Collection; the Edith Cowan University Art Collection; Sugato City Art Collection in Japan; as well as many national and international private collections. Emma is also the only Australian artist to feature in ‘The Colour Pencil Book’, published by Paris Publishers, USA.

“It is just fantastic that we have the opportunity to showcase ‘Figuratively Speaking’, and the high calibre of talent that we have in this Town.”

Forever & Easy - Michael Wylie 2007

27 October 2007 to 30 November 2007

Forever and Easy is an exhibition of rock on roll images by Perth photographer Michael Wylie, documenting twelve years of live music in WA. Some of the biggest national and international acts have been captured, such as The Rolling Stones, U2, Pearl Jam, B.B King, Rage Against the Machine, The Strokes, Tool, The Cure, Silverchair, INXS and Yothu Yindi.

Michael first started shooting live music in 1991. A keen surfer and photographer, he was working for a WA based surfing magazine, and happily combining his two passions. The West Australian Newspaper’s Revue Magazine immediately offered him a job shooting live music after he presented his portfolio in early 1992.

Right To Be Counted 2007

A Photographic Exhibition By Tobias Titz

Award-winning Melbourne photographer Tobias Titz and the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre have collaborated with Indigenous comunity members from communities including Port Hedland, Yandeyarra, Carnarvon and Warralong, to create a body of photographs that articulate the communities’ thoughts, opinions and experiences regarding the 1967 referendum.

To create Right to be Counted, Tobias photographed each participant in a space of their choice; then he photographed over the same space without the person occupying it. Following this, Tobias taught the participants to use a leather awl to write something of their choice into the negative of the empty space – in the case of Right to be Counted, the text relates to the subjects’ perceptions of the 1967 referendum.

Shoreline & Fishy Fishy 2007

David Hopper & Fred Beel

‘Shoreline’ and ‘Fishy Fishy’ is a collaborative exhibition featuring the works of two local artists, David Hooper and Fred Beel.

Both artists represent the uniqueness of Port Hedland’s landscape and lifestyle through different mediums. Fred Beel and his student’s metal scultpures of fish in ‘Fishy Fishy’ and David Hooper’s paintings of the Northwest coast in ‘Shoreline’ portray the combination of industry and play which forms an integral part of the Hedland lifestyle and landscape.

Too Captivating 2007

Hedland Perspectives

Hedland Perspectives showcases award winning artist, Melissa North’s, rich and mesmerizing aerial views of Hedland; from Pretty Pool to the Redbank Creeks, and from Dampier Salt Operations to the Spoilbank.

Her works depict iconic locations of Hedland which locals and visitors, flying in or out of this transient town, can immediately recognize as places of work and places of play.

Melissa’s work reveals much more than an aerial visual of Hedland; the works evoke the feelings associated with arriving and departing from a town that many people have come to call home, either temporarily or permanently, with or without family, for work or passion; along with the various emotions invoked by their reasons for being in Hedland.

“I won’t be here when Frank gets home”

Presented through the artistic direction and creative talents of award winning local artist, Di Jackson, “I won’t be here when Frank gets home”, traces the individual stories of the migrant women who took part in the making of a Migrant Women’s Banner between 1990 – 1991 in the Pilbara.

Supported by the Hedland Well Women’s Centre, and funded through The Alliance and the Western Australian Women’s Grants, this is an exhibition is of historical and cultural importance to the Pilbara. The show itself provides an artistic record of the local and personal histories of a section of the Pilbara community; the women who have lived in this remote region of Australia, and who, amid the challenges of displacement, have helped shape, establish and develop the region.

Along with the original Migrant Women’s Banner, the recollections and responses of these women, who have since been traced and interviewed, are told through artworks made of textiles, silk and mixed media. The exhibition also includes the original Migrant Women’s Banner along with a new banner created by women involved in the Well Women’s Centre today.

Opening Night

The opening of Too Captivating was not your regular quiet Thursday night in Hedland, with the surprisingly large crowd of 300 visitors admiring and celebrating the works from talented local artist and teacher, Melissa North, in her first solo show Hedland Perspectives; along with Di Jackson’s artistic direction and creation as part of the Well Women’s Centre’s Migrant Women’s Banner Project titled “I won’t be here when Frank gets home”.

Gallery and guests were privileged to have the Hon Tom Stephens MLA officially open the exhibitions. Manager of the Hedland Well Women’s Centre, Janet Brown, addressed guests with insight into the Migrant Women’s Banner project history and its future. Justin Robinson spoke on behalf of Melissa North and shared valuable insight behind Melissa’s creative talent and achievements.

The exhibition produced a distinct secondary affect beyond the social aspect of the opening night and the initial aesthetic admiration of the art work; the exhibition itself had the ability of causing an awakening of a Hedland resident and visitor’s perception of Port Hedland, its scenery and its history. Those who would see Hedland as a lifeless, colourless and cultureless mining town, were confronted by the suddenly evident views from high above and the rich stories from the past. Visitors to the Gallery’s Too Captivating exhibition left with a more colourful and historic lens through which to view the town they are currently in.

Woven Forms 2007

Contemporary Basket Making In Australia

This national touring exhibition, initiated by Object Gallery in Sydney presents 58 contemporary fibre artists from various Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural backgrounds from across Australia. Significantly, four of the artists selected for this show are from the Pilbara region.

The exhibition is the first survey of Australian contemporary basketry and will offer the public an unprecedented opportunity to view the quality work of Australia’s finest basket makers.

Form - building a state of creativity