Southern Art and Craft Trail exhibition tribute to region’s talent and attractions

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Art Collector Thomas Murrell in his historic Subiaco home ‘Fairview’.
Camera IconArt Collector Thomas Murrell in his historic Subiaco home ‘Fairview’. Credit: Supplied

The Southern Art and Craft Trail exhibition opening in Albany on November 27 is set to show art has a bright future in the Great Southern.

Company director and art collector Thomas Murrell is the keynote speaker at the exhibition, which will be held at the Vancouver Arts Centre.

Mr Murrell said the exhibition would represent some of the best artistic talent from across the Great Southern region.

“From Pemberton to Bremer Bay, through Walpole, Denmark, Albany and Mt Barker and everywhere in between, you have some of the most dramatic seascapes, landscapes, flora and light in the world, and local artists are taking advantage of this,” he said.

During the nine days of the Southern Art and Craft Trail show and sale, visitors will be able to chat with artists and explore the region’s attractions and talent.

“What makes art in the Great Southern unique?” Mr Murrell said.

“What do you have here that no one else has? I believe in the Great Southern and the massive potential of art tourism.

“What three things do visitors want most? Talented artists, fresh local food and beautiful gardens. Bring these elements together and you have a winning combination.”

Nancy Sayer's “Bald Head- Albany” 1986.
Camera IconNancy Sayer's “Bald Head- Albany” 1986. Credit: Supplied

Mr Murrell is an award-winning broadcaster, international business speaker and author.

He is also the owner of the Fairview Art Collection and will deliver an address titled Hidden Talent: Untold Stories of the Fairview Art Collection.

The focus of his Fairview Art Collection is South Australian and West Australian women artists from the 1850s to the present day, and is housed in a 110-year old heritage home in Subiaco.

“A whole generation of talented women artists from regional WA have been forgotten and overlooked. Too late for the art boom of the 1890s and too early for the #knowmyname movement, they remain hidden and unknown,” he said.

Mr Murrell’s research focused on artistic women from the region.

“Inspired by our natural light, unique flora, stunning landscapes and seascapes, they did their best work while raising children, milking cows and working second and third jobs,” he said.

Nancy Sayer’s ‘King George Sound on a Spring Day’ 1963.
Camera IconNancy Sayer’s ‘King George Sound on a Spring Day’ 1963. Credit: Supplied

Mr Murrell drew attention to many artists, including Nancy Sayer, who won the first Albany Art Exhibition Award in 1963 and repeated her success 23 years later.

“For woman artists in the Great Southern today, their future is bright. They can communicate with their global fan base through platforms like Instagram using #knowmyname,” he said.

“I encourage them to keep being creative, keep doing their best work, and keep letting the world know who they are.”

The exhibition runs from November 28-December 6.

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