The winner of the 2021 Artwash award from pvi collective has been announced

The topic of mining and resources companies being the major sponsors of arts organisations and festivals has been an ongoing discussion in Western Australia, and local arts group pvi collective have just announced the winner of their 2021 Artwash Award.

The internationally acclaimed collective whose works often involve elements of disruption, provocation and using performance to highlight injustices and social issues launched the awards back in 2019.

The Artwash award recognises the mining and extractive industries’ contribution to the arts as part of what pvi collective believe is a highly effective public relations strategy of laundering their own social responsibility through festivals, concerts, exhibitions, films, live shows and some of the most prestigious arts institutions in the country.

There were eleven nominees for this year’s award, but there can only be one winner – and the 2021 award went to Woodside.

The award recognised the company’s alleged tax dodging, side-stepping of emissions targets, degrading cultural heritage sites, and raiding of climate activists homes. The runners up were Rio Tinto and BHP.

As always the collective dropped the award off at the company’s corporate headquarters in person.

This year’s artwash award was designed by Boorloo based artist, Sharyn Egan. Sharyn is a Nyoongar woman whose works explore her personal and cultural relationships to country, to Nyoongar Boodja.

Egan works In a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, and woven forms using traditional and contemporary fibres. In her most recent works, Sharyn uses natural materials such as the resin from the grass tree (Xanthorrhoea preissii), known in Nyoongar as the balga, embedding Country into each of her creations.

“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.” Egan said.

OIP Staff, Declaration: OUTinPerth co-editor Graeme Watson is a former employee of pvi collective. 

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