Colours of our Country art exhibition shines light on talented Pilbara artists

29 October 2019

The Colours of our Country Pilbara Aboriginal art exhibition showcasing paintings and artefacts from the Pilbara region, is now open to the general public for viewing.

This free event will exhibit 300 works from independent artists across the Pilbara, together with artists from the Yinjaa-Barni Art, Wangaba Roebourne Art Group, Cheeditha Art Group and Juluwarlu Art Group.

The annual Colours of our Country exhibition, hosted by Rio Tinto, has provided people in Perth with a snapshot of the stories and songlines of Pilbara Traditional Owners since it was first established in 2006.

Rio Tinto vice president Corporate Relations Australia, Brad Haynes said “Rio Tinto is very proud to support the Colours of our Country exhibition, promoting the work of these exceptionally talented artists.

“The exhibition gives the wider Perth community an opportunity to see the Pilbara and all its colours, and stories on canvas.”

Each year, Rio Tinto has gifted artwork to the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) to build their collection of Pilbara Aboriginal artwork. The collection now includes 22 Colours of our Country pieces by 11 artists, providing a nationally recognised platform for Pilbara-based artists.

This year’s piece “Galbrath Store Cossack”, holds a special place in the hearts of all associated with the exhibition, with the recent passing of the artist Mr Mack, from the Yinjaa-Barni Art Centre.

AGWA’s Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Carly Lane said “The painting possesses the unmistakable signature style of the artist. The use of colour, line and perspective as well as texture show that he had a relaxed, confident approach to painting and storytelling. His unique expression and way of seeing the world will be missed.”

Since its inception Colours of our Country has generated more than $2.5 million in direct proceeds for the artists, their art groups and communities from the sale of more than 2,300 art works.

Notes for editors

Colours of our Country runs from now until Friday 1 November and is open 8.00am to 5.30pm weekdays at 150C St George's Terrace, Perth. More information about the exhibition including the catalogue can be found here:

In 2018 our iron ore business contributed $19.71 million to 163 community programmes across the State and provided $4.22 million of in-kind support.