Waringarri artists, commissioned by Wesfarmers for its official centenary gift, have cast a collection of carved boab nuts in white aluminium. And so impressive is the result that today this Collection officially called, Boab100, was gifted to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Wesfarmers Arts Manager, Helen Carroll, said the commission extended well beyond the artistic output of the 15 artists selected for the project.

The idea of the centenary gift was always twofold “ to commission a gift that has wide appeal and is fresh and innovative, and one that provides a long lasting impact for its artistic creators”.

BOAB100 involved wide engagement with Waringarri’s artists and arts workers, as well as the team at Urban Art Projects, Brisbane which produced the cast aluminium editions.

Waringarri Manager Cathy Cummins said BOAB100 had already begun to achieve its objective of growing creative value. “Techniques and materials developed for the project are now being used by Waringarri on architectural-scale bronzes and small boab sculptures for the gallery market, as well as boab pod inspired jewellery for private commissions and public sale from early 2015,” Ms Cummins said.

BOAB100 has assisted Waringarri’s objective to embrace a future with wider audience reach, support the development of new art forms and creative enterprises, as well as nurture emerging artists who will sustain the art centre in the years ahead. BOAB100 has significantly contributed to enriching the creative future for a whole community.

Committed to building a multi-layered, entrepreneurial foundation through opportunities that engage artists in creative potential, Ms Cummins acknowledged Wesfarmers’s creative partnership for assisting this vision and for the opportunity to build on a rich Kimberley culture through contemporary mediums.

“Wesfarmers leads by example and continuously demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the arts by supporting the cultural and creative value of our communities,” she said.

Ms Carroll said the long association between Waringarri and Wesfarmers through the acquisition of works of art for the Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art over the last two decades had provided a natural foundation for the development of the exciting creative collaboration that became the BOAB100 project.

Additional sets will be gifted to National Library of Australia, Canberra and Charles Darwin University Collection, Darwin and one set will be held by the Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art and by Waringarri Aboriginal Arts.

Boab nut engraving is a traditional art form unique to the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The 15 artists who participated in this project are Penny Archie, Gloria Beebe, Margaret Beebe, Richard Bloomer, Patrick Bitting, Kelly-Anne Drill, Barbara Gallagher, Brian Leering, Kittey Malarvie, Sarah Mengil, Gloria Mengil, Bryan Murielle, Quebec Namala, Glennis Galbatt Newry, Ben Ward.

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts was established in the early 1980s as the first wholly Indigenous-owned art centre in the Kimberley region, Waringarri Aboriginal Arts is situated in the heart of Miriwoong country at Kununurra in Western Australia’s North West. As one of the longest continuously operating art centres in Australia, it proudly supports more than 100 artists and employs local Aboriginal people as arts workers.