Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre celebrates 21 years

Mikala Dwyer The Hollows 2014Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) celebrates twenty-one years this month with an exhibition of 21 contemporary Australian artists – currently on display until 29 November 2015.

Regarded as one of Australia’s leading arts centres, CPAC is a Western Sydney artistic hub that presents an exceptional program of exhibitions and culturally diverse programs. To celebrate its 21st birthday, CPAC invited 21 Australian contemporary artists – including respected names and promising emerging artists – to present new and existing works for an exhibition simply titled 21.

Curated by CPAC’s Toni Bailey, the exhibition will be presented in the state-of-the-art exhibition space located within the building’s original magnificent Turbine Hall, bringing together artists, many who have had a long and close association – having either exhibited their work there or being actively involved in the Centre’s public programs.

The 21 exhibiting artists include: Gordon Bennett, Vivienne Burns, Daniel Boyd, David Capra, Peter Cooley, Rosie Deacon, Christine Dean, Mikala Dwyer, Fiona Foley, Franck Gohier, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Deborah Kelly, Richard Larter, Dani Marti, Angelica Mesiti, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Raquel Ormella, Khaled Sabsabi, Gina Sinozich, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn and Judy Watson.

“For many of the artists, showing at Casula Powerhouse was pivotal in their artistic careers and they were very enthusiastic to be part of the 21st birthday celebration,” says Curator Toni Bailey. “21 reflects on the great careers of these artists as well as looking toward the future of the arts in Western Sydney.”

“The exhibition takes the approach of a 21st birthday when your life is ahead of you and you feel capable of anything. It is a show that includes heavyweights of contemporary art in Australia, with a big birthday party feel.”

Renowned indigenous artists are featured in the exhibition including Daniel Boyd who represented Australia at this year’s Venice Biennale and Judy Watson, whose commissioned art work of 1993 covers the entire floor of the Turbine Hall.

Watson has made a selection of large unstretched canvases in her signature style with pooled pigments that create versions of an aerial landscape with key motifs including stupas, shells and blood vessels floating above. These works reflect the developments and consistencies in her practice as they are made ten and twenty years after her major commissioned work at CPAC.

David Capra and Khaled Sabsabi who are strong advocates for the arts in Western Sydney, with Capra the spokesperson for the Western Sydney Arts and Cultural Lobby and Sabsabi Casula Powerhouse’s Creative Producer for Community Cultural Engagement will also be exhibiting. Each artist was invited to suggest works that they would like to include in the show.

Mikala Dwyer showed at CPAC in its early days in the ‘90s and for 21 will be showing her work, The Hollows – originally commissioned for the 19th Biennale of Sydney. The installation will float like giant transparent clouds within the contrasting industrial architecture of CPAC.

Claire Healey and Sean Cordeiro’s colourful and playful work consists of animals constructed from brightly coloured lego built into and around generic Ikea furniture; fitting for a party.

“As the principal artistic centre for South West Sydney, Casula Powerhouse is committed to presenting the best contemporary arts practice within the context of the cultural diversity of our region,” said Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre Director, Kiersten Fishburn.

“It is wonderful to welcome back so many of the artists that exhibited here early in their careers, many involved from the very beginning. Casula Powerhouse draws on the strengths of its community to make work that speaks to people everywhere and over 21 years we are proud to be a key player in the vibrant artistic scene in Western Sydney.”

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula
Exhibition continues to 29 November 2015
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Mikala Dwyer, The Hollows, 2014, plastic and air, dimensions variable. Installation view at the 19th Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island, 2014. Courtesy the artist; and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney