The anticipation builds…

The pre-selection committee have just completed their first walk through all the pieces submitted for the 2011 Hedland Art Awards! Currently, they are performing a second walk-through viewing each artwork with expert eyes to determine which pieces will be displayed for this very special exhibition. This committee is using the utmost care and consideration in compiling this exhibition. Later, the chosen pieces will be judged by a separate group of experts whose brag sheets can be viewed here.

Starting tomorrow, the 2011 Hedland Art Awards exhibition will begin to go up on the walls. Well, it’s not that easy. Sean Byford, our talented art installer, will use the entire ten days leading up to the exhibition opening to create perfection on our walls.

Sean’s talents consist of creating a smooth and cohesive layout for art displays in various spaces and that’s exactly what this exhibition is going to call for. With mediums ranging from charcoal sketches, linograph prints, metal sculptures, and acrylic canvases to name a few, this exhibition is definitely going to be a very interesting and dynamic one to view!

The 2011 Hedland Art Awards opens Friday, August 26th from 6pm. If you haven’t already done so, RSVP for the exhibition opening by emailing the Courthouse Gallery at or call us at 9173 1064.

See ya at the opening of the 2011 Hedland Art Awards!

Get ready for another fabulous West End Weekend!

We’ve got heaps of artwork coming in by the truckloads in preparation for the 2011 Hedland Art Awards happening Friday, August 26th from 6pm. Artists from the Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid-West and Kimberly areas have been working hard throughout the year creating wonderful artwork to be displayed in this year’s Awards exhibition. We can’t wait to set them all out and have a look!

Pre-selection starts next week and then it’s on to the hanging of the artwork where the talented Sean Byford will be lending his skills. August 26th will definitely be the biggest night of the year for the Port Hedland art culture scene!

What could be better than spending a late Saturday arvo walking around a gorgeous grass area while viewing locally, handmade wares, eating delicious food and listening to fantastic music? I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday evening and judging by the feedback we received at our last Markets in July, neither can you! Join us Saturday, August 27th , for another brilliant Market experience at the West End Markets.

My mind still drifts to the short films we watched at the last Future Shorts One screening in July. So many great films in such a short amount of time! It’s the good kind of emotional rollercoaster. Join us for the next instalment of Future Shorts One happening Sunday, August 28th with sundowner drinks starting at 5pm and the movie screenings beginning at 6pm. Screenings are strictly 18+ and RSVPs are essential!

In the meantime, check out my current fave from last month’s Future Shorts One: Passing Hearts.

Future Shorts ONE International Short Film Festival

31 July · 17:00 – 20:00

Come one, come all to Future Shorts short film festival at the Courthouse Gallery in Port Hedland!

It’s the night before Heddy Cup, so join us for sundowner drinks in the courtyard from 5pm. Screening starts at 6pm!

This is a FREE event but you must RSVP to reserve seats for you and your friends. Please note this event it R 18+.

Standing Together: Stories from Roebourne Art Group

On view 26 June 2011 to 14 August 2011 at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery.

Drawing on the make-up of their land, the Roebourne Art Group has produced a new collection of paintings that tell the stories of the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people and their cultural heritage.

This exhibition illustrates the natural beauty found in the Pilbara desert with special attention to colourful landscapes and unique native plants. Pieces in this collection also depict man’s influence on this region, resulting in sharp contrasts visible throughout the exhibition.

Anthropologist Hamish Morgan explains the cultural significance of painting and sharing the stories represented in Standing Together as a part of honoring Yindjibarndi Dreamtime,

The ‘Dreamtime’ is not only a sacred creation narrative, it is also something that is personally experienced and lived with. The Dreamtime is not past, but is ever-present; it is part of people’s everyday lives. The act of visiting country, the act of telling stories or painting country is all part of Yindjibarndi people’s custodial responsibilities to ‘hold’ the Dreaming, something that happens in both formal (such as ceremony and Law business) and informal (such as ‘going out bush’ ‘taking the kids fishing’) ways.

It is through the sharing of stories in this exhibition that Roebourne Art Group and FORM offer you a glimpse into the true essence of standing, moving and growing together.

This is home…

My name is Amanda Firenze Pentney.  I am 39 and I live in Port Hedland.  I run a small home based art business and at the moment I am busy creating the fourth Pilbara Pixies book.  This is a series of kids’ books about life in the magic Pilbara.   Below is an image of the Queen Pixie who appears in The Pilbara Pixies.  I have my own blog

Hedland has changed so much in the last few years which helps in so many ways – so much art and culture, better shopping, more pride and sense of community from many of the people who live here.   But even if it hadn’t of changed I don’t think it would matter.  At the heart of it I think the most precious thing the Pilbara gives is space – space to be, space to find out who you truly are, space to breathe.  I am a better person for living here.

You can find the strangest things in the places you least expect them – particularly when you stop looking.  In Hedland I’ve found home and community and belonging without really trying and certainly without expecting to.

Ten years ago we drove through drove through Port Hedland on the way to Broome and I was astonished that anyone would choose to live here.  Five years ago work bought us here and we were like so many people I’ve talked to since – staying for 2 years to save some money so we could get ahead.  The first 12 months was a shock to the system and we constantly found excuses to get away – even a quick day trip to Karratha was enough to give us some variety so we could keep going.  The second 12 months we began to settle in – made some friends, settled into work, had another child.  We still travelled a bit but more out of family obligations than that overwhelming need to escape.  The last few years finds us travelling more but now it is about getting out and experiencing the Pilbara and the North West.  It is definitely not about escape and when we do have to travel interstate it is always a relief to come back home.

Urban Artwork – Port Hedland

Never one to do things by halves, the Courthouse Gallery courtyard underwent a major transformation as two featured artists in Last Chance Studio’s When it Rains it Pours – Ryan Boserio and Timothy Rollin – created a large-scale mural along the blank wall space.
The unveiling of the installation coincided with the exhibition opening night and drew crowds to the vibrant new space which can now be utilised for events and workshops.
The idea for engaging urban artists to activate a thus-far unused area of our town stemmed from the Port Hedland Small Wins Group – a group of community members who initiate and facilitate community-owned projects aimed at creating a more exciting and liveable town.
Urban artwork has the capacity to transform whole areas of a city or town, revitalizing unused public and not-so-public spaces and engaging passersby. This in turn creates a fresh and vibrant essence of place.
Ryan and Tim visited Hedland and De Grey Station earlier this year to gather inspiration for their design which explores the natural and industrial landscapes and the people that react with them. Both artists have adapted their signature styles and techniques to the artwork; Tim drawing from a mash-up of counter culture and childhood nostalgia imagery to create surreal landscape scenes and Ryan working in a skewed mixture of realist and his trademark theme of planes.
If you haven’t stopped by the Gallery to take a look yet make sure you do – you can also catch a ‘making of’ film developed by Ryan and Tim which is currently playing in the Courthouse Gallery. This is a big ‘small win’ to celebrate.

The Pilbara in a week

I’m a freelance photographer & Journalist travelling to remote areas of Western Australia, taking photographs and writing articles about projects developing and attracting workers into small communities.

I have now come to Port Hedland for a short period of time to learn and capture as much of the experience with the Pilbara Project in one week as I can.

I hope to return someday to Port Hedland to cover one of the West End Markets held four times a year and further my studies and photographs of this project.

I strive to make every photograph and story unique to suit every community and what they represent.

Salt Lake next to Rio Tinto Minerals (Dampier Salt)

A Mitchell road train transporting salt form Rio Tinto Minerals (Dampier Salt) to the loading docks at Port Hedland Wharf.

Workers safety helmet lying along side the MT. Newman Port Hedland rail way line.

Old BHP Iron Ore Train MT. Newman Joint Venture

HBI plant

Iron Ore train standing on the MT. Newman Port Hedland rail way line.

Salt crystals from the salt Lake next to Rio Tinto Minerals (Dampier Salt).

Rock formation on Funicane Island.

MT. Newman Port Hedland rail way line.

HBI plant at Port Hedland


Iron Ore train standing on the MT. Newman Port Hedland rail way line.

Hedland Storm – Cooke Pt Mushroom Cloud

Hedland landscapes – Storm photos taken over the last 2 weeks. With plenty of cyclones hanging around this season the sky has been breath taking and so exciting! Loving it!

Pilbara Project Exhibition opening at FORM Gallery

On February 10, the Pilbara Project launched its first exhibition “52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition” at the newly renovated FORM Gallery in Perth.  The exhibition also opened the following night at the Courthouse Gallery in Port Hedland, details shown on the previous blog post here.

Tony speaking along with the rest of the artists

The exhibition features new photography and film by renowned artists Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher and Peter Eastway.  It is curated by William L. Fox, Director of the Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.  More details on the exhibition can be found here.

Squeezing in to see Michael's film launch

Les talking with filmmaker Curtis Taylor

Hon Troy Buswell MLA opening the exhibition

The book launch for “The Pilbara Project: Field Notes and Photographs Collected over 2010” was also a great success, with the artists on hand for signing.

Photographs by Michelle Taylor

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition Opening Night

On the evening of Friday the 11th of February roughly 450 people attended the opening of 52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery. Throughout the evening words such as “stunning”, “vibrant” and “breathtaking” were used to describe the beautiful and awe-inspiring photographs presented in the exhibition. Adding to the experience was the magnificent film created by talented videographer Michael Fletcher titled A Pilbara Project which documents the three journeys the five artists (Les Walkling, Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher, Peter Eastway, and Tony Hewitt) undertook through the Pilbara for 52 weeks.

52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition runs at the Courthouse Gallery until 7 April 2011. Come in and have a walk through and feel free to stay and watch the movie screening in the back gallery room.

More photos on the Port Hedland opening can be found here

The exhibition is also on view at the FORM Gallery in Perth.  More information about this opening event will be coming shortly.

Designed and Delivered by FORM

FORM is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to advocating for and developing creativity in Western Australia.