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The visual world is defined by light: everything we see is processed by the eye as patterns of brightness and colour. Monumental formations in the landscape as well as the most subtle nuances of atmosphere are made real to us by the action of light, transmitted in wavelengths as an infinitely varied register of colours that combine within the eye to shape our sense of space and form.

It is the action of light reflecting off, refracting through and being absorbed by the substance of the world that enables the eye to perceive contours, hues and textures and mark the passing of time from day to night and season to season.


Luminous World presents a diverse selection of contemporary paintings, photography and works of sculpture, acquired by the Wesfarmers Collection over thirty years and considered through the lens of how contemporary artists variously utilise the phenomenon of light in their work.

Rather than a chronological or stylistically ordered presentation, it follows a loosely intuitive flow of ideas and imagery, moving through night to day. The artists in this exhibition explore light from the perspective of the optical experience, the connection between the stars and the cycles of life on earth; and from diverse cultural, mythic and spiritual points of departure.


Included alongside the art are recent poems by John Kinsella, written in response to selected works in the exhibition. These are published for the first time in the Luminous World catalogue publication with new writing by artist Bill Henson and composer Richard Mills to extend an artistic dialogue in which all can share.

Helen Carroll

​Curator, The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art



© Wesfarmers Arts 2013. Designed by Bronwyn Rogers Design Studio

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