Mine Own Executioner

The only exhibition of its kind in Western Australia, Mine Own Executioner has established its reputation, fascinating Western Australian audiences with diverse interpretations and representations of the self since the inaugural exhibition in 1995. Presented by the Mundaring Arts Centre, this exhibition has challenged over 300 of some of Western Australia’s most significant artists to investigate the notion of self-portraiture, documenting a unique visual story of Western Australian contemporary arts practice.

Each year, the selected artists are invited by the curator to consider their approach to their visual interpretations in relation to the chosen curatorial theme.


Image: Andy Quilty, Standstill - diptych (Detail) 2014, assisted motorbike burnout, oil and enamel on coated aluminium. 

Image: Andy Quilty, Standstill - diptych (Detail) 2014, assisted motorbike burnout, oil and enamel on coated aluminium. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2014

Curated by Ron Nyisztor

Mine Own Executioner in 2014 presents an intriguing collection of new works by seminal Western Australian artists, with the aim of reflecting the depth and range of creative arts practice currently at work in our artistic community. Curated by Ron Nyisztor, these 18 West Australian artists have manifested an image of themselves free from the constraints of an overarching exhibition theme.

‘Executioners’ Amanda Alderson, Tané Andrews, Robert Cleworth, Brad Coleman, Moira de la Hunty, Michael Doherty, Abraham Dunovits, Lee Harrop, Matthew Hunt, Beth Kirkland, André Lipscombe, Andy Quilty, Max Richards, Nien Schwarz, Monique Tippett, Daniel Webster, Gera Woltjer and Jurek Wybraniec go beyond commercial representation of likeness, compelling the audience toward something more complex and meaningful.

View the 2014 catalogue > 

View the 2014 exhibition online >


Therese Howard, Self Portrait in Bronze (detail) 2012, cold painted bronze, wood, glass, wire. 

Therese Howard, Self Portrait in Bronze (detail) 2012, cold painted bronze, wood, glass, wire. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2012

Curated by Susan Flavell

For the 2012 Mine Own Executioner, curator Susan Flavell has selected artists whose arts practice in some way incorporates human interaction and relationships with animals, or the use of animals in their art. Whilst the 2012 ‘executioners’ have started their introspective journey with this commonality, the resulting works communicate a collective story which is not so much about animals, but about interaction and relationships. These highly original and compelling works express the artists’ sense of self in relation to others, delivering artworks that interconnect self-image, language, physical connections, non-verbal communication and socialisation.

Ultimately the art they have created is a communicator of the current culture in which they are engaged. They have produced honest and revealing responses which promise to fully stretch the audience’s concept of self-portraiture and continue the Mine Own Executioner tradition of documenting a portrait of new talent.

View the 2012 Catalogue >


Kieran Ingram, Aletheia (detail), oil on panel, plaster, wood and glass. 

Kieran Ingram, Aletheia (detail), oil on panel, plaster, wood and glass. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2011

Curated by Peggy Lyon

For the past seventeen years the Mundaring Arts Centre has continued the tradition of presenting Mine Own Executioner, an annual exhibition of self-portraiture by invited West Australian artists. The title, “Mine Own Executioner” comes from the writings of a 17th Century poet, John Donne, who coined the phrase in an attempt to give a name to the different and often conflicting aspects of his personality. It is this investigation of the elements of our selves, which work in partnership, and sometimes in conflict, that the artists are invited to “execute” and reveal. Curator, Peggy Lyon has a sensitive and meticulous approach to creating. Her affinity for textiles, mark making, nature and education is reflected in the diverse group of contemporary artists selected for the 2011 exhibition. These artists have analysed the sub theme Inhabitant to create art works which beautifully depict their relationship with their environment, their experiences and their inner and outer self.

View the 2011 Catalogue >


Fiona Gavino, The Offering 2010, blanket stitch Lomandra longifolia. 

Fiona Gavino, The Offering 2010, blanket stitch Lomandra longifolia. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2010

Curated by Nalda Searles

The working title for this year’s Mine Own Executioner is An Unthemed Anthem. So working out from there, each object, scene or person is related to its maker or stands for something about that particular artist. Self-portraiture is a complex narrative, and these artworks each express complex statements their makers are prepared to both inform and share with us. The viewer is therefore asked not to seek just physical likeness for there is that and more to be appreciated. Even in that looking, the viewer will seek out something of the self which echo’s a familiar form and resonates within the self. That is to say we are constantly on the lookout for signs, which point to a place of understanding or joining. The works here are celebrations, birthdays of a sort, a present to oneself; each marks a time when the artist meditated on sense of self in all its fragility, strength and complexity.

View the 2010 Catalogue >


Barbie Greenshields, Imperfections Caused by Use (detail) 2009, wool, labels and artist's hair. 

Barbie Greenshields, Imperfections Caused by Use (detail) 2009, wool, labels and artist's hair. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2009

Curated by Kate Campbell-Pope and Michelle Hogan

This year, Mine Own Executioner celebrates fifteen years since the inaugural exhibition was held at the Mundaring Arts Centre in 1995. Since then, 220 of Western Australia’s most eminent artists have intimately explored the notion of self portraiture, investigating their ideas of identity and image and producing honest and revealing responses, depicting themselves as they wish the audience to view their concept of self.

For this catalogue, exhibiting artist Dr Barbie Greenshields shares with us her intimate diary extracts, unveiling the artist’s exploration of the subject of self. Her words eloquently describe the investigation undertaken when trying to extricate the things which make us unique, identifying the markers which represent our individual identity.

View the 2009 Catalogue >


Geoff Overheu, Arcadian Narcissist (detail) 2008, plastic, steel and mixed media. 

Geoff Overheu, Arcadian Narcissist (detail) 2008, plastic, steel and mixed media. 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2008

Curated by Peter Dailey

What do we look to find in a self-portrait? Is it a sense of character, an emotional truth; a physical likeness? Perhaps it’s something else altogether: something that plays to our desire for the unattainable, our attraction to the enigmatic, or even something connected with the urge to lose oneself in otherness. What eludes our grasp is what draws us in. 

It is often the case that the most satisfying works of art are those that leave us feeling we are only at the start of a long process of interpretation. Those are the works that stay with us – infiltrating our minds and later floating to the surface of our thoughts in the random flow of our day-to-day lives.

View the 2008 Catalogue >


Wim Boissevain, Wedded to the Easel (detail) 2007, oil on canvas.

Wim Boissevain, Wedded to the Easel (detail) 2007, oil on canvas.

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2007

Curated by Catherine Czerw

In many ways the artists engaged in making self portraits are searching for the means of conveying the inner person. They are on the look out for appropriate tropes that will reveal and impress but always without giving a way too much. Despite the notion that the selfportrait is a commission made exclusively for the artist him or herself, there seems little of the self laceration or the frankness of the confessional mode that would appear in a personal diary. If there is a literary model, it would appear to follow that of the blog, personal to be sure, yet always with an audience in mind. Like a blog, the self portrait can be considered a response to the sea of impersonal imagery in the world of anonymous media hype. Portraits, like blogs are the barometers of our times, having an intimate role in breaking, shaping our perception of the state of the world. Like the blog, the self portrait has the presence of a voice on the periphery, a sign that authenticity still matters.

View the 2007 Catalogue >


Susanna Castleden, Sandy Bluff (Detail) 2006, screenprint on archers paper (edition of 1). 

Susanna Castleden, Sandy Bluff (Detail) 2006, screenprint on archers paper (edition of 1). 

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2006

A tradition only exists for as long as it is appreciated, shared and validated by its participants. These days the tradition of portraiture appears to be alive and well amongst artists and audiences, at least in its most conventionally recognised format. We see evidence of this each year in the national attention paid to the Archibald Prize and the increasing number of National Portrait Galleries being established as cultural tourist destinations around the world. And then, of course there is the recent popular success of Rolf Harris’ television series Star Portraits that teams visual art with the fail safe ingredients of celebrity and competition.

View the 2006 Catalogue > 


Paul Caporn, Match 1999, matches, marine ply and paint.

Paul Caporn, Match 1999, matches, marine ply and paint.

Mine Own Executioner Exhibition 2005

Curated by Catherine Czerw

In 2005, the curatorial imperative has been to respect and maintain the integrity of the artists’ self portraits as they were originally presented. This task was made relatively simple for those self portraits that were purchased through the Mundaring Arts Centre at the time they were first displayed. With these works, it was simply a case of sympathetically extricating them from the living room walls of their new owners. In other cases, the artist’s overall satisfaction with their self portrait work was evidenced by the work’s continued presence in some corner of the room or studio. In these instances, it took only a slight dusting off, the occasional touch of fresh paint, the re-hinging of a mount or the careful removal of a stubborn spider’s web to resurrect the work to its former glory.

View the 2005 Catalogue >


George Haynes, Autoportrait (detail) 1995, acrylic on canvas.

George Haynes, Autoportrait (detail) 1995, acrylic on canvas.

A Decade of Contemporary Self Portraiture in Western Australia Touring Exhibition 2006 - 2008

Curated by Catherine Czerw

Every year since 1995, the Mundaring Arts Centre has been inviting practicing Western Australian artists to create a self portrait for the annual Mine Own Executioner exhibition. In this time, a significant body of over 150 artworks, representing some of the best of Western Australia’s artistic talent, has been produced. Consistently revealing the endless possibilities of the genre by presenting an array of interpretations across a range of artistic disciplines the Mine Own Executioner exhibition has made a unique contribution to Western Australia’s cultural life by mirroring the richness of contemporary art practice in this State.

View the Touring Exhibition Catalogue >