‘My Country: I Still Call Australia Home’ – Contemporary art from black Australia | A review

“The ‘My Country’ title of the exhibition is derived from the subject matter of much Indigenous art – and perhaps the most common concern for the artists in this show. Curator Bruce McLean has conceived the exhibition over three general areas – My History, My Life, My Country. Despite the thematic approach, the majority of these 300-plus works represent an amalgam of all three themes in one. From the outset the use of ‘My’ in the titles is a political and contextual term. The art displayed is both a reflection and a reinforcement of the social values and beliefs of numerous Indigenous cultures, each with a unique history. We [the non-Indigenous] might call this place ‘Australia’ but it’s worth noting that many Indigenous people consider it a constructed version of nation.”

Read the full review at The Art Life. 

Warwick Thornton, Stranded (still) 2011. 3D digital video: 11:06 minutes, colour, sound.
Warwick Thornton, Stranded (still) 2011. 3D digital video: 11:06 minutes, colour, sound.

[Image courtesy of the artist and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane].

 

It’s gotta be proppaNOW.

Contemporary work made by Queensland’s indigenous arts collective proppaNOW…

“…at the same time but a long way north from Canberra another important exhibition documenting Brisbane’s well-known ‘proppaNOW’ art collective has recently been launched at the State Library of Queensland (SLQ). According to an article by Nicholas Rothwell in the Australian(Surveying the Landscape 5/6 May 2012), Albert is the ‘enfant terrible’ of the seven member ProppaNow group alongside fellow indigenous artists Vernon Ah Kee, Richard Bell, Jennifer Herd, Gordon Hookey, Laurie Nilsen and newest member, Megan Cope. The proppaNow collective was formed around 2004 for the purpose of giving a voice to so-called ‘urban’ Aboriginal artists who at the time felt they were being ignored as individuals or dubbed ‘inauthentic’ by all sides of the art world. The group adopted the name proppaNOW after a conversation between Bell and Ah Kee – they wanted to form a ‘proppa’ group and it had to be about ‘Now’.”

Read the full review of the exhibition at The Art Life.

The members of proppaNOW. Jennifer Herd, Richard Bell, Megan Cope, Gordon Hookey, Laurie Nilsen, Tony Albert, Vernon Ah Kee.

[Photograph courtesy proppaNOW and the State Library of Queensland].