Rare treasures from artist Bob Juniper go on display in Middle Swan


Ron Gomboc hanging works by Robert Juniper for the exhibition at Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park opening this weekend.
Ron Gomboc hanging works by Robert Juniper for the exhibition at Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park opening this weekend.

NEVER before seen work by the elder statesman of art Robert ‘Bob’ Juniper, one of Darlington’s sons, will be unveiled this weekend as a celebration of his life.

A collection of more than 90 paintings, etchings, drawings and screen prints make up the body of work on display at the Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park in Middle Swan until November 6.

Gallery owner and fellow artist Ron Gomboc, a close friend of Juniper, said Bob’s family had selected work from a private collection for the exhibition.

“A lot of the works are documented in a book by Philippa O’Brien but have never been on public display,” the gallery owner said.

Juniper was born in the Central Wheatbelt town of Merredin. He passed away in his Darlington home at the age of 83 in 2012.

The award-winning artist was named a State Living Treasure in 1998, awarded a Centenary Medal of Australia in 2003 and made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011.

He was a patron of the fundraising foundation at the Art Gallery of WA, one of many leading Australian institutions to hold his work.

Juniper studied commercial art and industrial design at the Beckenham School of Art in Kent before returning to Australia.

“The works on display represent a very important part of his career going back to the 1950s and 60s up to 2004.”

Such is the cross-section of work on show that there will be small paintings the size of cigar boxes to larger scale works.

“The exhibition is almost retrospective… across the board and representative of some of his influences,” Gomboc said.

“There are landscapes and figurative works typical of his ability as a draftsman, and his wonderful ability to draw.

“I feel very honoured to have worked with Bob since the 70s; he was a dear friend and a man of integrity.

“There will be a self-portrait on display; I think it will feel as though Bob is watching over his exhibition.”

Most of the artwork will be available to purchase, with prices starting from about $1500.