Collaboration WA Inc was formed by a group of enthusiastic West Australian wood artists early in 2008. The idea behind the formation of the group was to bring together not only artists working in wood, such as wood turners and carvers, but also painters, jewellers and textile artists, amongst others, to work together in a collaborative way. This gives participating artists the opportunity to work with people who have a variety of different skills which they are willing to share. Such workshops have proved to be very popular elsewhere in the world, with Emma Lakes in Canada, and Whangarei Heads in New Zealand, being two of the largest gatherings of this kind.
Although our events have been limited to around thirty participants and are therefore are quite a bit smaller than other similar events, we have added an extra dimension to our gatherings, which has helped us to create a higher public profile than would otherwise have been achieved. This has been done by holding an exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, coinciding with the workshops held at the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.
Our major collaborations are now firmly established on the woodworking calendar and are held every two years. Some of Australia's top wood artists from both Western Australia and interstate have attended our workshops, or have entered their work in our exhibitions. There are far too many to name here, but they have included Neil Scobie, Stephen Hughes, Robert Fry, Greg Lawrence, Jack deVos, Jeannette Rein and Neil Turner.
We have been lucky enough to be able to attract funding from Country Arts WA, which helped to finance extra activities for our events, included the staging of public demonstrations. The funding also meant that we could offer additional financial assistance for those travelling from interstate. With our more recent collaborations we attracted not only some of Australia's best wood artists, but also some of the world's top talent, to Western Australia.
Binh Pho, who attended our 2014 collaboration, died in August 2017. Read the tribute which celebrates his life and work.