The Cost of Living

The Cost of Living

This collection display explores how understandings and misunderstandings of value shape art and everyday life.

Featuring several new contemporary acquisitions alongside collection highlights, it looks at what and how we place value impacts the way we relate to each other physically, emotionally, and economically.

The display ranges from paintings like Vivienne Shark LeWitt’s painting $49.95 about the transactional nature of social relationships to Khaled Sabsabi’s hand-painted photos of bomb-blasted Beirut that make up his ongoing series Guerilla.

Other artists featured include Anne Wallace, Pat Brassington, Peter Cooley, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Richard Giblett, Catherine Opie, Robert Dickerson and Ronnie Van Hout.

Despite the weighty there is a lot of fun, dark humour and moody positivity in play too. The artists’ creative outcomes and strategies are themselves affirming of possibility, of hopeful purpose. They may not cure or transcend difficulties though they might help cope with small- and large-scale challenges, shine light on inequity and gradually build paths beyond them.

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What is the price of living in the ways we do? What do we value, and who decides? How do we make livings and meanings that get in the way of flourishing? And who gets to define what flourishing means?

The Cost of Living floats these questions through art works on various themes such as: the lure and limits of aspirational romance, social and emotional dislocation, toxic living environments, police violence, the ravages of war and the impact of social media.

Robert Cook
AGWA Curator of Western Australian and Australian Art
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