Empowering artists with intellectual disability

As We Are is an important Western Australian
community initiative that aims to bring joy and
wellbeing to the lives of artists with
intellectual disability.


As We Are Art Awards

Our annual state-wide exhibition and awards
program showcases the talents of WA artists
with intellectual disability.


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David Guhl

David Guhl’s deliriously colourful landscapes which float and mesmerise need not be abstractions, but an actuality of existence, and the possibility of seeing with open eyes.”

Dr Rick Spencer, Art Critic, The West Australian, 2010.


Exhibitions ….

Best known for his vibrant Western Australian landscapes, Dave began exhibiting his art work in 2001, and has submitted and exhibited many works into numerous art awards including the Town of Vincent Art Award and the As We Art art award and exhibition.

In 2008 Dave held his first solo art exhibition Truly, Madly, Delightful, at the Perth Town Hall.   Opened by then Deputy Premier Hon Eric Ripper and the City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, all 26 of Dave’s art works were sold on the opening night!

In 2009, Dave was involved in an art exhibition at the Perth Town Hall, The Three Dave’s, featuring himself, David Giles and David Mitchell.  Following form, the ten works Dave entered into the exhibition were sold at the exhibition opening!

‘An Island Near Me,’ acrylic on canvas

Art Awards …

While it seems there is no end in sight to the number of art awards Dave will continue to win, to date Dave has racked up six awards including winning First Prize in the category entered for the 2001, 2002 & 2003 ACROD Art Awards as well as the People’s Choice Award in 2003, and winning As We Are’s People’s Choice Award in 2002 and the Judge’s Award in 2005 & 2006.

‘The Kimberley,’ acrylic on canvas

Art Collections …

Dave’s art work has been purchased by many organisations including the Town of Vincent, Macquarie Bank, Citizens Advocacy WA and the Disability Services Commission, and is held in many private collections throughout Australia.  Dave often gets approached for commissions, including being commissioned by Legal Aid WA for an art work which is proudly located in their foyer.

‘Bali,’ acrylic on canvas

Other Art Opportunities …

In addition to art exhibitions, Dave has also had his paintings feature in numerous other avenues including being featured on book covers and government publications and used for the backdrop of DADAA’s Breathe dance production at PICA in 2006.  In 2009, Dave’s art work was utilised by Down Syndrome WA for their Christmas and gift card packs, and his work was also exhibited at Government House, Perth for World Down Sydrome Day, for which he received an award for his significant contribution to the visual art field.

‘People on My Bus,’ acrylic on canvas

Count Me In Ambassador …

Due to his great contribution to the art field, Dave was asked by the Disability Services Commission in 2011 to join a small group of high profile West Australians—including the City of Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, TV presenter Narelda Jacobs and Professor Fiona Stanley AC—to be a ‘Count Me In Ambassador’.  This role sees Dave speaking out about issues affecting people with disabilities, in particular being a voice for artists with disabilities, as well as being an advocate of the State’s Count Me In: Disability Future Directions strategy.

‘Fire on the Wall,’ acrylic on canvas

Future plans …

In 2010 and 2011 Dave has been busily developing a body of work for an exhibition he plans to have at his small gallery in Perth.  (We’ll be sure to keep you posted!)  And the next couple of months sees Dave launching this year’s Creative Connections Art and Poetry Exhibition with Nulsen’s CEO Gordon Trewern (see page 6 for further details), as well as participating for the third year running as a judge in the As We Are art awards, where he will present the winner of his perpetual award, the ‘David Guhl Award for Excellence’.

July 2011

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Many thanks to Daves Guhl and Jenny Guhl for providing the information and images for Dave’s Artist Profile. Images in this article used with permission from Jenny Guhl.