Ten years on, a gallery, but not a gallery, still going its own way

Faced with a collapsing local gallery scene, a group of WA artists rewrote the rule book on how their work could find an audience. Now, their inventive model is still sustaining them.
Eight Art Collective WA artists ranging in age from around sixty to eighty, posing for a photo in front of their work in a gallery space.

When long-time Director of Art Collective WA, Felicity Johnston recalls the mood within WA’s visual artist community a little over 10 years ago, she chooses one word: ‘Tricky’.

‘A large number of commercial galleries in Perth had just closed,’ she tells ArtsHub. ‘Some for financial reasons, others because those gallerists were retiring. There just didn’t seem to be huge [art buying] audiences in Perth at that time.’

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more

ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).