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Artists reveal Australian-inspired designs for BP's centenary celebration

Release date:
31 July 2019
BP has a proud history of operations in Australia and in 2019 the company celebrates its centenary. To mark the milestone, BP has commissioned six established and emerging artists from around the country whose inspired artworks will form an exhibition that represents BP’s contribution to Australia through the decades

BP Australia President, Andy Holmes says, “Our Australian story has many layers and our business has evolved and grown greatly over the years; we’re thrilled to have six diverse and talented artists to help bring our story to life.


“From beginnings as a single fuel depot in Western Australia in 1919, BP now touches the lives of millions of Australians every day. Through the centenary artists program, we’ve represented the far and wide regions of the country, offering a glimpse of the role BP has played – and continues to play – in advancing energy in Australia.


“For 100 years BP has delivered energy for heat, power and transportation. A lot has changed during this time, but one thing remains the same: BP is committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of busy Australians in a safe, innovative and sustainable way,” Holmes said.


After nearly three months of work, the finished BP centenary artworks can now be revealed. The artwork will be displayed at events in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Perth over the coming months.

“Our Australian story has many layers and our business has evolved and grown greatly over the years; we’re thrilled to have six diverse and talented artists to help bring our story to life.”

Andy Holmes, BP Australia president

Charmaine Pwerle – Alice Springs

Defining a new representation of traditional Indigenous art, Charmaine's interpretation of BP's centenary hails from the stories passed down from the Aweyle Dreamtime.


The small and large semi-circular shapes of the piece represent Australia's hills and valleys and the lines are that of dry riverbeds and streams, winding across the canvas as they do at Utopia in the Northern Territory. There may also be an outline of a person or unusual shapes that convey Dreaming spirits that dwell in the plant and animal life.

Award-winning Melbourne photographer Jesse Marlow presents a glimpse into life behind the wheel of a BP tanker.


Journeys are often only captured at the start or end point. Jesse's series focuses on the road travelled in between and the people committed to covering great distances across the country in order to supply fuel to Australians.

Glass maker Marc Leib's contribution to the centenary series is through six vessels representing the growth of the company over the past 100 years in Australia as well as a glimpse of the future as BP shifts into lower carbon energy sources.


The size and colour of each vessel shows the growth of the company over the last 100 years and the commitment of BP to Australia by providing increased employment, investing in joint ventures, financial contribution through taxes, community support, charities, conservation programs and developing cleaner products and innovative ways of producing energy sources for the future.

Marc Leib - Perth

  • Vessel 1: Black exterior and amber interior
    This vessel represents the beginning of BP in Australia. Black is the crude oil and the amber is the refining of the crude oil into diesel, gasoline and lubricants.
  • Vessel 2: Lighter amber exterior and pale amber blue interior
    BP continues to refine and improve its product and starts researching other new types of energy.
  • Vessel 3: Turquoise exterior and wispy white turquoise shimmer interior
    This is BP’s expansion into deep sea oil and gas extraction, gas industry development and investing in wind power generation as a source of renewable energy. BP is one of the first companies to include renewable energy.
  • Vessel 4: Crackled burnt orange exterior and yellow interior
    This exterior is representative of our mineral rich Australian land. The interior yellow is the sun and the utilisation of solar energy as a source of power. 
  • Vessel 5: Blue background and green ovals and circles
    The green circles and ovals are the lives of the Australian people that BP has had an impact on. The Australians they hire, the end users of their products, BP’s continued support in charities and communities. The green colour is representative of plants used to produce more sustainable bio fuels and carbon sequestration investments as well as funding conservation programs. The blue background is representative of the research into hydrogen as a potential energy source. 
  • Vessel 6: This is rocket shaped with lines showing BP’s transition into the future
    New energy sources from earth or space. Possibilities everywhere. BP looking anywhere for all forms of better cleaner energy. More choices, hydrogen powered vehicles, hybrids, electrification and e-fuels. BP at the forefront of energy.

Painter Nicole Van Dijk draws on the connection between those who live in the community of Papunya, Northern Territory and their land. BP was the first company to create a low-aromatic fuel in response to a request from the Papunya community. Her painting represents those in the community who have benefited from the introduction of the low-aromatic fuel.


You can read more about BP's Opal story as well as our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the reconciliation section of the website.

Marc Leib - Perth

New Zealand born Perth-based photographer Ricky Gestro explores the realities and possibilities of BP's past, present and future in a three-part photo series.


Focusing on the forecourt and BP's service station customers, Ricky's photography speaks to BP's diverse and pioneering technology as well as capturing futuristic tones and BP's recognisable green branding.

Warren Fox is an Australian artist who captures the detail in his subjects through the fine art of photo-realism. Warren's 'Mr.P' concept stems from BP's close relationship and support of Native Arc; a rehabilitiation centre for sick and injured animals. Warren captured the depth of character of the humble yet striking Australian pelican.


BP has been supporting Native Arc for over ten years. This partnership funds the construction and maintenance of a variety of wildlife enclosures for turtles, joeys, marsupials and birds of prey. To find out more, visit the Native Arc section of our website.

Warren Fox – Byron Bay

Notes to editors

About BP Australia

Since before Vegemite was invented, the Harbour Bridge had been built or Ford manufactured its first Australian car, BP has been fuelling local communities across Australia. From its first fuel terminal in Fremantle in 1919, BP has grown its network to include around 1400 service stations across Australia, and significant gas investments in the North-West Shelf, Browse and the Carnarvon Basin. BP also operates Australia’s largest refinery at Kwinana, south of Perth, which has been producing fuel for Western Australia and beyond since 1954.

BP stands for many firsts. First to produce a low-aromatic fuel that reduces petrol sniffing in remote communities. First to build an industrial facility and refinery in Western Australia. And first to launch an app that lets you pay for fuel from the comfort of your car. BP supports Indigenous Australians through its Reconciliation Action Plan. It works with community partners such as OzHarvest, the McGrath Foundation and Native Arc.


BP is working to reduce its carbon footprint, improve its products, and create low carbon businesses. It is committed to playing a leading role in the transition to a lower carbon future and in meeting customers’ future transport needs.


For more information about BP in Australia visit: www.bp.com.au