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Curtin University of Technology
John Curtin Gallery

Access Gallery - 2008


The 20 x 20 Exchange Project
31 Oct - 5 December 2008

An exchange of printmedia works between students from RMIT in Melbourne, The National Art School in Sydney and the Department of Art at Curtin University in Perth.

These works are the result of an exchange project between three art schools across Australia. Students from Richard Harding's Printmedia class at RMIT, Simon Cooper's Printmedia class at the NAS in Sydney and students from the Printmedia Studio class at Curtin have each produced a set of three 20 x 20 cm prints. The resulting works have been exchanged and are being exhibited together in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in late 2008.

20 x 20 exchange image 1

20 x 20 exchange image 2

20 x 20 exchange image 3

20 x 20 exchange image 4

20 x 20 exchange image 5

20 x 20 Exchange Project, installation views, John Curtin Gallery 2008, photos: Vashti Innes-Brown

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Who do you think we are?
12 - 30 May 2008

Who Do You Think We Are is a powerful photographic exhibition by Indigenous students at Curtin University of Technology that explores ideas of representation, diversity and identity.

By turning the camera on themselves the students challenge the viewer to reflect on their own ideas of Aboriginality which are often informed by stereotypes and to question assumptions about they way they view others.

These photographs put the subject in control of their own representation and create a dynamic space for their own voices to clearly define their own cultural, social and political identity.

All images below are digital photographs and courtesy of the Artist.


Justins photo

Justin: Fading Away
Get a hold of your culture, because it's fading away. We live for the future and to fight another day...


Kaylas photo

Kayla: Standing Strong and Proud
In my photo I am representing myself as a strong, proud Aboriginal woman from the coastal and inland Kimberly region. I am keeper and protector of my culture. I am responsible for passing my cultural knowledge on to the future generations of my people. I am determined to fulfil my destiny.


Lennys photo

Lenny: Expressing Culture
My photo represents me expressing my culture as a painting. It gives it that cultural effect on my tribe's background.


siritas photo

Sirita: Freo Girl
I am telling you I am a Dockers supporter and I am always happy with who I am and that I am an Aboriginal person.


Michaelas photo

Michaela: True Identity
My photograph represents how multicultural I am. People often know me as the quite achiever. It's the quiet ones you have to look out for. My cultural heritage from my Aboriginal and New Zealand sides is shown. I promote it with pride and integrity. This is Me.


steves photo

Steven: My Culture Within
The image of culture that people never see when they look at me.


Habiba: Proud to be Myself
My face tells you a lot but what you see in the eyes is different.



Kimberly: As I Am
I'm Kimberley and as an Aboriginal person I see myself as a happy and bubbly person.



Laila: Who Do You See
In this image I want to show the world my identity,my background.






A real girl isn't perfect but a perfect girl isn't real.



I am a young Nyungar woman and I am proud to be who I am. My photograph is a self-portrait.  I did find it hard to represent myself as Indigenous and to reflect it through photography. I am happy with whom I have become as an Indigenous Woman. I am also still growing into my identity and becoming more graceful and proud. I look forward to my future dreams and aspirations.



Pinè: Deep Reflections


Shannon: I'm half Wongi and half Nyungar. I stand proud and tall for my Aboriginality and who I am.


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Brenda Croft
Alt(a)red Angels Series
4 - 25 April 2008


Brenda Croft, Alt(a)red Angels Series, 1998, Ilfachrome digital prints, installation view, Access Gallery, John Curtin Gallery 2008.

Brenda Croft, Alt(a)red Angels Series, 1998, Ilfachrome digital prints, installation view, Access Gallery, John Curtin Gallery 2008


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Sonia Payes:
Portraits of Australian Artists

9 - 29 February 2008


Payes image
Sonia Payes, Marwurndjul, 2007, c-type photograph, 1270 x 1270 mm, ed 10,
courtesy of the Artist and Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

Portraits of Australian Artists is an exhibition by internationally renowned Australian photographer, Sonia Payes. The exhibition features dramatic, provocative and atmospheric photographs of well-known Australian artists. To coincide with the opening of this exhibition, the Gallery will also be launching Sonia Payes's new book, UNTITLED. Sonia Payes Portraits of Australian Artists, a behind the scenes view of sixty artists from around the country.


The West logo
MacMillan logowere estate logo

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Guild On Show

An important Access Gallery program is On Show, an exciting initiative of the Curtin Student Guild which aims to support the artistic and creative projects of Curtin students. The program recognises that while students produce excellent artwork and have innovative creative ideas, the fulfilment of these ideas is often impeded by lack of time and funding.

On Show provides the opportunity for eligible students to apply for a limited number of grants. The grants provide financial assistance (up to $2000) for students to put towards the presentation, installation, catalogue production and publicity costs for their exhibition of work. In conjunction with the John Curtin Gallery, the Guild also provides the successful applicants with professional advice, assistance and the support necessary to curate and deliver their exhibition.

The scheme is open to individuals and groups of students from all campuses, schools and faculties within Curtin.

For more information about On Show, including application information, click here.

Tanisha Percival and Christina Putland
19 September - 10 October

As two first year art students both Tanisha and Christina moved from different places to start a new life based around Curtin University. Their works explore the transition they have made and the new experiences they have encountered through a vibrant collection of textiles, ink and acrylic paintings.


Tanisha image
Tanisha Percival, Untitled, 2008, ink and acrylic, 70 x 50cm

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Jason Hendrik Hansma
22 August - 12 September 2008

The series of photographs and video works focus on a collection of interiors of a nursing home in the north of The Netherlands. These spaces are identified as the residences' final architectural dwelling, the concluding moment to the long architectural narrative of a person's life. The works attempt to show how the residences' personal space exists within the larger context of the institution. The series serves to show the delicate balance between the highly impersonal nature of the architecture and the desire to provide a connection to the previous dwellings of the residents.


Johanna Purvis

Every physical space is replete with personal experiences and symbolic connotations that influence our perceptions and spatial interactions. Abbingahiem, a photographic series and audio/video work by Jason Hendrik Hansma, investigates this relationship between physical space and mental space. Produced within Abbingahiem, a nursing home in the north of The Netherlands, these works expose the delicate balance between the personal and impersonal that exists in this unique spatial context.

As a nursing home, Abbingahiem balances between a functional institution and a domestic setting.  That is, while the architectural design is based on functional necessity, there remains the need for the comfort and personal connection one associates with 'home'. But what is the result when these two elements are seemingly incongruous? A building with a prescribed use appeals to our sense of reason, our appreciation of the functional. And it is the functional elements that are so clearly evident in the photographs of Abbingahiem. The brightly lit corridors, the red handrail, the wheel chair, and the radiator all speak to the overriding purpose of the building; to care for the old and infirm. But the architectural structure still exists as a domicile: a space where people live. Among the photographic images of Abbingahiem we can see the attempts to integrate the residents' personal objects into the institutional space. The comfortable armchair, worn with age, is evocative of a personal domestic setting. However, bathed in florescent light and positioned in front of a bright red handrail, the chair seems out of place, its qualities emphasising the impersonal nature of the space in which it is situated.

Hansma's juxtaposition of the personal and impersonal is perhaps even more evocatively demonstrated in the audio/video work. As the viewer watches the static and rather cold video scenes filmed from the nursing home windows, they listen to the recollections of 'home' spoken by an elderly lady. These audio images, recounted by the subject and vividly reconstructed by the audience, are far removed from the detached, somewhat bleak video images. They are one individual's deeply personal experiences of 'home', but they are also influenced by the listener's own lived spatial experiences. These recounted spaces are capable of capturing the temperature, colour, sounds, smells and characteristics that exist in the mind and outside of any special and temporal boundaries. Indeed, 'home' is a concept that exceeds our descriptive and representational abilities because it encompasses our emotions, imagination, senses, and memories. The audio/video work suggests there is a fluid relationship between these seemingly disparate spaces and spatial functions. There is the impression of two spaces existing simultaneously; intertwined yet separated by time and place.

Henri Lefebvre's theory of 'lived space' goes some way to explaining this effect. Lived space refers to the intersection of architectural structure with an individual internal meaning and experience. Lived space is defined independently of physical space and time while simultaneously contained within the boundaries of physical space and time. That is, lived space is the result of an individual’s own inner mental space integrated with the actual physical space in which they are presently contained. We live in our own internal worlds, a world in which our experiences, imagination and perceptions stretch over our past, present and future. This internal world necessarily impacts on our understanding, perception and interaction with our current surroundings. Space and mind, or physical space and mental space, exist within and of each other.

While the intensely personal audio work may seem separate from the impersonal video images, the two together are a perfect expression of Lefebvre's theory. The two spaces exist simultaneously to the audience and influence how each of the spaces are perceived. The same elements are at work in the photographic series, though in this case the physical space is dominant over the mental space. The images of the residents' personal belongings, worn with age, evoke a passage of time and tender recollections of other spaces, other homes. These objects represent the distilled return of previously embodied spaces, yet our perceptions of them are coloured by the institution that contains them.

There is an overriding sense of finality to Abbingahiem. This is the final space, the last home that the residents will experience. However, as so sensitively expressed by the audio/video work, the personal passage of time is ever present in the reminiscences of the past, and these reminiscences impact on the present domestic situation within the institution. Lived space implies time but it is not lost to time, defined by time or limited by time. The impersonal, functional architecture of Abbingahiem recalls various other architectural structures inhabited over a lifetime, forming a narrative of lived experiences.

"I still have it in my head"

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Juana Terpou
Just in Time
9 - 20 March 2008



The spontaneous nature of the works in this exhibition compliment the parody of the characters that inhabit the space. These works are a social snap shot of the silent interplay of unlikely relationships, ethereal bonds and symbiotic relationships.


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