Mossenson Galleries Subiaco is delighted to present Mission Times, an exhibition of new paintings by Pauline Moran representing her time as a child on the Roelands Mission. The exhibition will be opened by Diana Warnock, Former Member for Perth and Shadow Minister for the Arts, at 6pm on Thursday 22 November, and run until 16 December, at 115 Hay Street, Subiaco.
Pauline Moran was born in Gnowangerup, Western Australia in the late 1950s. Like so many of her generation, as a child she was removed from her family and placed in Roelands Mission, near Collie. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of her coming to be there, Pauline describes fond memories of her time at the Mission: ‘The Mission that I grew up in was a dairy farm and was surrounded by seven hills. In wintertime the hills were beautiful and green with wild flowers everywhere. In the summer it was so dry that the grass would turn a beautiful yellow.’ Her works in this exhibition are reflections of these memories, representing a joyful re-envisioning of these times. The paintings are joyful and lively vignettes, representing the bonds and shared experience of the children who grew up together at Roelands, showing a camaraderie shared amongst them in what must nonetheless have been challenging circumstances.
Roelands Mission, in the southwest of Western Australia, was established in the 1940s, and continued to receive Aboriginal children who had been taken from their parents up until the early 1970s, with residents including such future luminaries as Doris Pilkington, author of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. It has since been acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) with assistance from the Federal Government, on behalf of its former residents. Commenting on the acquisition, Shirley McPherson, Chairperson of the ILC, stated: ‘Today is an extremely important and proud day for all those people who spent part of their lives at Roelands Mission and it will be a centre-piece in the reconciliation process for generations to come.’
Pauline’s career as an artist has followed an unusual but concerted trajectory. In the mid-nineties, Pauline travelled to Darwin to visit her brother, and a trip that was supposed to last only a week extended for five years when she decided to enrol in the fine arts school at Charles Darwin University. After completing art school training, she moved to Alice Springs, where she embarked on a body of work that predominantly focused on the land and landscapes. Though Pauline’s art has deeply engaged with the imagery of the central desert, it has been distinguished from much of the Indigenous art of the region by the fact that her works have not followed the conventions of dot painting and Central Desert iconography. However, she takes great inspiration and value from the Indigenous cultural traditions she has imbibed living in the desert area, particularly from her time painting with Jukurrpa Artists in Alice Springs with many Central Desert women.
The landscape has been a sustaining force for Pauline since her childhood. Primarily painted from an aerial perspective, Pauline’s landscapes have represented the rich desert country she observes on numerous flights between Western Australia and the Northern Territory and as time has passed her work has increasingly taken on an abstract quality, refining and epitomising what she observes to be the essence of the country. ‘My paintings,’ she says, ‘have been inspired by the redness of the soil, the patterns in the sand dunes and the shapes of the majestic rock forms that spreads throughout the Central Desert area.’ This new exhibition is thus a significant shift in focus for Pauline, who has been inspired to revisit and remember the places she knew as a child whilst living on the Mission. This shift reflects a broader interest in biographical exploration, with another recent series delving into a battle with cancer that she ultimately overcame. Since 1997, Pauline has exhibited her paintings throughout Australia, as well as internationally in Japan and the United States, and her works are held in collections including the Bankwest Collection and the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia.
Mossenson Galleries Subiaco is delighted to present this solo exhibition by Pauline Moran. The exhibition will be opened at 6pm on Thursday 22 November 2007 by Diana Warnock, Former Member for Perth and Shadow Minister for the Arts. The artist will be present. For more information, please contact Mossenson Galleries Subiaco on (08) 9388 2899 or email@example.com.