Six Aboriginal arts workers from remote WA took part in the first-ever AACHWA Arts Worker Internship Program. The program was designed, developed and delivered by AACHWA in partnership with the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA). It was an eight day hands-on experience which included installing works for the Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley exhibition at the Art Gallery of WA, as well as time at the art handling and touring organisation Art on the Move in Fremantle and touring other significant art and museum sites around Perth.
Reflections on this project by AACHWA CEO:
- This internship was special because it meant real-world, on-the-job experience for these emerging professionals, allowing them to be directly involved in preparing and installing work with very strong cultural significance to themAboriginal arts workers from Art Centres in Kununurra; Leonora; Geraldton and Roebourne had the rare opportunity to work under the guidance of AGWA staff, learning art handling, conservation and gallery protocol skills. Traveling thousands of kilometres from their communities to be part of one of WA’s largest art institution’s major exhibitions was a rare and special opportunity.
- The result was a hugely beneficial and significant two-way learning exchange for the WA Aboriginal Arts sector. The AGWA staff extended their professional knowledge and skills to the Aboriginal arts workers which they have taken back to their Art Centres across the state. While the AGWA staff gained a greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and the remote Art Centre communities by working alongside their interns over the eight days.
- Everyone involved learnt so much and each one recognises the value in it continuing and evolving into the future. We feel it’s the beginning of a very strong model for professional development for WA Art Centre art workers.