The Cost of Living

‘The Cost of Living’ is a new exhibition at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, on view now until 29 January 2023. The show explores how our values effect how we relate to one another, physically, emotionally, and economically. As the cost of living keeps on rising the gallery suggests that sometimes art cannot stop artists and others from going under, but sometimes it does.

Vivienne LeWitt, $49.95, 1990, oil on canvas, 55.6 x 71cm

Robert Cook AGWA Curator of Western Australian and Australian Art says the exhibition asks viewers to consider the questions ‘What is the price of living in the ways we do? What do we value, and who decides? How do we make livings and meanings that get in the way of flourishing? And who gets to define what flourishing means?’

These provocations are explored through artworks which have themes such as aspirational thinking, social media, toxic living environments, feeling socially or emotionally dislocated, and war. Some of the artists featured include Anne Wallace, Pat Brassington, Peter Cooley, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Richard Giblett, Catherine Opie, Vivienne Shark LeWitt, Robert Dickerson, Khaled Sabsabi, and Ronnie Van Hout.

Vincent Namatjira, Gina Rinehart and me II, 2017, Acrylic on linen, 91 x 122 cm