Gallery 9 is dedicated to interactive, all ages, artist-led projects.

Boorongur | Totem, in collaboration with Sharyn Egan, provides a shared space for audiences to consider a personal plant or animal totem, and contribute to the accumulation of families of small raffia and wool creatures.

Sharyn Egan invites children and families to think about multi-species relationships and care for environments where human and non-human species cohabit.

Elaino Megalania, a sculpture made from natural materials of a megafauna skeleton belonging to an animal alive at the time of the First Australians on the continent, will also be exhibited in the space.

Boorongur is supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message, and aligns with AGWA’s commitment to developing meaningful, multi-sensory, long-term engagement projects that have social, emotional and community impact. The space is designed to inspire quiet conversation, rest, creativity, and imagination while offering an opportunity for audiences of all ages to engage with Noongar culture.

For schools 

For numbers, COVID safety and to ensure a positive experience for everyone, school groups are required to book and pay for an educator-facilitated workshop in Boorongur. Contact our Learning Team for details –

Sharyn Egan has trained AGWA Teaching Artists and Volunteers to engage audiences to sculpt with raffia and wool. She has overseen the language used in the sharing of Noongar cultural material, the stories shared, and material practices taught in the creation of objects that can represent totems.

Related Information




Hands-on workshops with Sharyn Egan

10am-1pm, Friday 30 September & 7 October 2022

Join us for an all-ages drop-in workshop with Noongar artist Sharyn Egan. Pop in to see the incredible work made by AGWA audiences over the past 8 months or stay for a while and learn to sculpt small objects that represent totems, with raffia and coloured wool.

Boorongur Reading Nook

10am-5pm, Monday 4 July – Sunday 4 December 2022  

Storybook Readings at 11am each day of the September/October school holidays

Curl up in the Boorongur Reading Nook with a picture book by First Nations authors/illustrators and share stories, conversations, feelings and ideas. Storytelling in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture takes place across multiple mediums and is way of passing on generational traditional knowledges, connecting with community, healing and expressing grief and sorrow, as well as sharing humour and resilience.

The Boorongur Reading Nook is being installed as contemplative reading space in celebration of NAIDOC Week and the incredible children’s storybooks that share creativity, culture, history and knowledges.

The Art Gallery Curatorial and Learning staff are deeply grateful to Rabble Books for their recommendations and support of the Boorongur Reading Nook. AGWA supports linking with important local community organisations like Rabble to enhance visitors' experiences within the Gallery.
Sharyn Egan. Photo by Rift Photography
Sharyn Egan. Photo by Rift Photography.

About the artist

Sharyn Egan is a Nyoongar woman whose arts practice began at the age of 37. The themes of Sharyn’s work are informed by the experiences of her life as a Nyoongar woman. Sharyn works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and woven forms using traditional and contemporary fibres. Her woven works include traditionally styled contemporary forms and baskets, as well as sculptural forms often based on flora and fauna that has totemic significance for the Nyoongar people. She works predominantly in oils, ochres, resins and natural fibres exploring her experience growing up in New Norcia and commenting upon the associated trauma, emotions and a deep sense of loss and displacement experienced by Aboriginal people.

We all come from the same atoms. We are the carers of everything. As humans we are the ones with the opposable thumbs, and have more responsibility to take care of all creatures and our shared environments. Plants and animals are our family, our brothers and sisters.

Having a totem connects you to land, to earth. You are related to nature in the same way you are related to family.

Sharyn Egan

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Art connects us with ourselves, each other and the world

On Saturday 27 August, the Gallery is open 10am-3pm only as we prepare for the AGWA Foundation Gala supporting women in the arts. Some exhibition access will be disrupted with two Tracks We Share ground floor galleries closed. AGWA Rooftop bar will be closed, reopening at 2pm Sunday. Details