Roy Wiggan: Ilma
Sydney Contemporary 2023
7 – 10 September 2023
Roy (Buggai) Wiggan
With their radically unique appearance, and occupying a liminal space between painting, sculpture and performance objects, Roy Wiggan’s ilma are amongst the most original artworks made in Australia. Beautifully crafted using painted plywood, nails, thread and cotton, the ilma are rare hand-held objects that were used in traditional dances and ceremonies by the Bardi people in North-Western Australia. Roy Wiggan, an elder of his community and custodian of many sacred Bardi stories, decided to create these beautiful objects to preserve the ilma for future generations.
Despite being represented in every state institution in Australia as well as collections abroad, there has not been a solo exhibition dedicated to Roy Wiggan in nearly two decades. At Sydney Contemporary 2023, A Secondary Eye is pleased to present over 30 works by the artist, including some of the largest ilma that Roy Wiggan ever made as part of the public installation programme of Sydney Contemporary from 7-10 September 2023, with further works in our booth (A02). The exhibition was accompanied by the first monographic publication on the artist, with an essay by Emily Rohr which can be found here.