Helen Read is collector and caretaker of a significant body of Indigenous art known as the Helen Read Collection.Helen has been working with and for remote communities, Indigenous Art Centres and Aboriginal artists for nearly three decades. In that time, she has built up a unique and substantial collection.Collecting is like keeping a diary. The Helen Read Collection is a record of the people she has worked with and come to know and love. It’s a collection of memories of places flown over and visited and, times and events experienced.
Most of the Helen Read Collection is held with the Flinders University Art Museum (FUAM) in Adelaide, South Australia. The collection is considered to be an important resource used for educational and research purposes.
From 1997 to 2000, the touring exhibition ‘A Thousand Journeys’ traveled to Australian regional galleries and universities. ‘A Thousand Journeys’ was curated by the University of Sydney and is now held at FUAM. It’s anticipated to reopen in 2017, as a window back to a special time, twenty years on.
Another important part of the Collection comprises the touring exhibition Luminous: Contemporary Art From the Australian Desert. Luminous was curated by Manly Regional Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
From 2005 to 2008, Luminous toured galleries and universities across Australia. In October 2012, Luminous opened at the Australian Embassy in Paris.