Experience WA through the eyes of the first European explorers and colonists. 

The first European explorers and colonists viewed Western Australia and its spectacular coast as an “unknown land”.

Of course, it was no such thing – Aboriginal people had owned the land for thousands of years and were quickly in conflict with the imperialists.

Whatever their motives – colonist, invader, explorer, settler, adventurer – the Europeans were awestruck by the land we now call Western Australia – and the opportunities it presented. This exhibition of the earliest watercolours, paintings and drawings of WA superbly captures images of iconic locations still familiar, but now mostly transformed. These European artists were the first of many generations to be inspired by the landscape of WA.

The visions are stunning. But the real story, as revealed in the exhibition was much more complex.

Image Credit:
W Benson
Out near Balingup 1864
Oil on board, 33.5 x 55 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased 1991


This event has already happened. Visit our See & Do page to see what other events are coming up.

More info


  • Adult $12 | Concession/Student $8 | Family $30 | Children 5-17 $5 | Under 5 free


Art Gallery of WA

Perth Cultural Centre (Bounded by Roe Street, Beaufort Street, Francis Street, William Street) Perth WA 6000

Show map
Get directions

You might also like