The South West’s past is steeped in the struggles and successes of the region’s settlers, yet this generation is developing a modern culture through events, art and music. The region has a thriving arts community. Visit any of the weekend markets and you’ll discover a group of passionate local artisans selling their wares. There’s anything from pottery and painting to local film and music to discover. The number of cultural events scheduled each year are a testament to the diverse interests and talents of the locals and visitors.
Most of the larger towns within the south west have art galleries to explore:
The largest and only ‘A’ Class regional gallery in WA
Collie Art Gallery
A new purpose-built space which features local artists
Located in a heritage-listed building, the ArtGeo Gallery sources contemporary art from the regional and Australia-wide
Sells custom wood furniture and also exhibits paintings, fine art, glass, sculpture and jewellery
Paying homage to its surrounding forest, Boranup Galleries feature handcrafted wooden furniture plus paintings, sculptures, glass, photography and more
Butter Factory Studios, Denmark
Home to eight artists working a variety of media, the studios are also an open workspace and gallery
Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany
Housed in the former Albany Cottage Hospital, the centre includes three galleries and several workshop spaces and hosts artists in residence, touring exhibitions and workshops
Bunbury Street Art
Take a stroll around Bunbury’s CBD to discover an inspiring project aimed and repositioning this port city. Re-discover Bunbury is an annual street art festival which sees some of Australia’s talented muralists transform the streets through live painting. The town now has around 20 murals to discover, with the help of a handy map that can be picked up from the local visitor centre
Forest Art Trails
Making the most of the beautiful scenery, two art trails have been created in the forests of the south west. Understory – Art in Nature is a nationally unique art in nature experience located at the Northcliffe Visitor Centre. Artworks created by local, Australian and international artists are located along a 1.2km walk trail through pristine native forest. Sculptures, stories, poetry and music explore our relationship with nature and the 'spirit of place'. The Swarbrick Art Trail, near Walpole, is located among some of the oldest trees in Australia, specifically old growth karri trees. There’s an impressive 39-metre long ‘Wilderness Wall of Perceptions’ which encourages you to explore perspectives of the forest and wilderness.
The Country Music Capital of WA
Boyup Brook is considered WA’s country music capital. The town hosts an annual country music festival, rodeo and is home to the Harvey Dickson Country Music Centre, full of country music and Elvis memorabilia. Its jam packed with records, posters, books, badges and more and has been in the Dickson family for over 100 years. Boyup Brook’s first country music show was held in the old barn on site in 1969.