The West Australian Pulse 2022

The West Australian Pulse 2022

WA's talented young artists are celebrated in this yearly showcase, gauging the pulse of young people who will influence, impact and shape the world we live in.

This year’s exhibition celebrates 30 years and features 49 works by 2021 Year 12 Visual Arts graduates from 32 schools across WA.

In another landmark celebration, 2022 sees The West Australian come on board as the exhibition's major sponsor and a renaming to The West Australian Pulse.

The works were selected by a judging panel including Isobel Wise, Associate Curator Australian and Western Australian Art Post 1970; Celene Bridge, WA Artist and Lisa Bowden, Principal Consultant – Visual Arts, SCSA.

This year The West Australian Pulse exhibitors explore themes of mental health and social pressures, environmentalism and human impact, connection, meaning and memory.

From the inception of the exhibition in the early 1990s, the public showed immense support and enthusiasm for the work of graduating students and the popularity of the exhibition quickly grew. The selected works in what was known as Year 12 Perspectives have always been chosen on merit, creativity and individuality, not on the top marks of that year, and have presented an interesting mix of the finalists’ good technique, original ideas and creative interpretation.

Looking back at 30 years of Pulse highlights how artistic style has developed over time. It is also a moment to reflect on how the social concerns of young people have progressed or shifted. In this way, we can recognise issues that stand alone or themes which connect across time.

Each year the selected works provide a window into young people’s private, social and artistic concerns. The exhibition is an inspiring, rewarding and insightful look at the world through the minds of our most talented young artists.

Related Information




Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist is a new series produced in collaboration with The West Australian, of interviews with some of the Pulse artists exploring their practice, process and influences.

Get to know some of the talented young artists behind this year’s The West Australian Pulse, including the addition of video interviews highlighting personal journeys, concepts and material practices.

Meet the Artist 2022

AGWA Pulse

AGWA Pulse is also a year-round program of art experiences, opportunities and events for 15-21-year-olds, organised with their input. The headline event for AGWA Pulse is the annual Pulse Perspectives exhibition. Follow @agwapulse for updates.

Tour the exhibition

Act Belong Commit People's Choice Award

Visitors to this year’s exhibition were encouraged to vote for their favourite work in the Act Belong Commit People’s Choice Award. The student artist whose work received the most votes was Charlotte Simmons for her work titled Echoes of Choeung Ek. Charlotte was awarded $2,500. The school, the artist attended receives an AGWA workshop and tour package. And one lucky voter has won a $100 AGWA Design Store voucher.

Charlotte Simmons Echoes of Cheoung Ek 2021
Charlotte Simmons Echoes of Choeung Ek 2021
Oil paint, ink and pencil on canvas, 91.5 x 122 cm
Melville Senior High School
Photo: Bo Wong


Artist Statement

My artwork highlights Cambodia’s contemporary history involving the Khmer Rouge regime. The woman, whilst having experienced the genocide of her people, acts as a motif of hope. I have incorporated Khmer writing and mixed media in the background to create a murky textural surface to represent the largest killing field in Cambodia, Choeung Ek. It acts as a subtle reminder that power can decay human morality and that such atrocities can happen in our lifetime.


View this year's exhibition publication. 

Tanami Dundas-Steedman Home 2021
Tanami Dundas-Steedman Home 2021
Oil on canvas, diptych: 91 x 246 cm overall
Governor Stirling Senior High School
Photo by Bo Wong

The West Australian Editor's Choice Award

A new Award selected by Anthony De Ceglie, Editor in Chief, West Australian Newspapers in consultation with the AGWA Youth Advisory Panel. Valued at $2,500. The winner is Tanami Dundas-Steedman from Governor Stirling Senior High School for her work titled Home 2021.

Artist Statement
Home comments on the insidious brutality of domestic violence, depicting its intergenerational impact from different points of view within an abusive household. Drawn from personal experience and created in a Realist style, Home is intentionally graphically raw. In one image a child peers from behind a door witnessing domestic violence, depicted in the reflection in their eye. This symbolises how children and witnesses are shaped by abusive moments. The second image explores domestic violence from another perspective, depicting a woman holding her hands up, cowering in fear, where the viewer is positioned inside the abusive scene.

Tanami's work stood out because it was such a mature portrayal of an insidious issue that society as a whole is only now starting to take as seriously as it should. For too long domestic violence has been a taboo topic, the nation's secret shame in many ways. For that to change, we need to have frank and honest discussions about its devastating impacts on too many lives. To see a high school student willing to start one of those conversations through an amazing bit of art is really inspiring. Overall, I was blown away by the entrants and the talent on display. The state is in good shape when you consider the issues and ideas being raised by our next generation of cultural leaders. I am really proud that West Australian Newspapers is a partner in PULSE and I can't recommend enough that everyone should see this exhibition. It's a rare window into our youth’s thoughts. And you won't be disappointed when you hear what they're saying.

Anthony De Ceglie
Editor in Chief, West Australian Newspapers
Bailey Arundell Effeminate Flamboyance 2021.
Bailey Arundell Effeminate Flamboyance 2021
Coloured pencil and gold leaf on paper, 84 x 59 cm
John XXIII College
Photo by Bo Wong

Pulse Peer Award supported by Act Belong Commit

As selected by all the submitted artists for this year's exhibition on what work moved, enlightened and that they engaged with the most. Valued at $2,500. The winner is Bailey Arundell from John XXIII College for his work titled Effeminate Flamboyance 2021.

Artist Statement
Macaronis were an effeminate group of men who rose to popularity in eighteenth-century England and were persecuted for their rejection of English culture. My work depicts an androgynous teenage boy who is dressed in traditional macaroni attire, his bruised face indicates that he is the victim of both psychological and physical trauma. The drawing highlights how the heteronormative social paradigms that supported the persecution of macaronis in the eighteenth century still heavily prevail in society today, resulting in men being shunned by society for their expression of femininity.

The West Australian Pulse partner logos
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