In residence on the verandahs at Donnelly River Village
15-22 June 2021
Sharyn Egan is a Nyoongar woman who began creating art at the age of 37, which lead to her enrolling in a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Claremont School of Art in Perth. She completed this course in 1998 and enrolled in the Associate Degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art course at Curtin University which she completed in 2000. In 2001 she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Arts) from Curtin University. She has also been awarded a Certificate VI in Training and Education in 2011. Sharyn has been awarded prominent public art commissions; including Perth Stadium, Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square, both in Perth.
The themes of Sharyn’s work are informed by the experiences of her life as a Nyoongar woman. As a person of the Stolen Generation, much of her artwork is a commentary on her life as a Nyoongar woman and the associated trauma, emotions and deep sense of loss and displacement experienced by Aboriginal people. Sharyn works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and woven forms using traditional and contemporary fibres. She often chooses materials, such as ochres, resins and grasses that connect to land, especially her home near the lake system in the southern suburbs of Perth. 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.
Sharyn Egan’s works explore her personal and cultural relationships to Country, to Nyoongar Boodja. They document the relationships between places, people, plants and animals while also reminding us of our role as custodians, to care for the natural world. In her most recent works Sharyn uses natural materials such as the resin from the grass tree, known in Nyoongar as the balga (Xanthorrhoea preissii), embedding Country into each of her paintings.
‘In considering different points of view of the earth, the cosmos and the oceans, we need to recognise our obligation to nurture an awareness of our impact on the earth. In Aboriginal culture, everything is connected and equal – all life comes from the same atoms. Humans are not above nature. We live alongside simultaneous beauty and devastation’. Sharyn Egan, 2020
The 2021 exhibition.