|The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) largest exhibition to date of contemporary Indigenous Australian art opens at GOMA tomorrow.
QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said ‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Australia’, on display until October 7, had been drawn from the Gallery’s own Collection and occupies GOMA’s entire ground floor exhibition spaces.
‘Drawing on three decades of research, collaboration and Collection development, ‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home’ highlights the connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have with country as both ‘land’ and ‘nation’, and features over 300 works by 116 artists from every state and territory’, Mr Saines said.
‘Curated by Bruce McLean, a Wirri/Birri-Gubba man with heritage from the central coast of Queensland and the Gallery’s Curator of Indigenous Australian Art, the exhibition gives voice to artists who investigate historical and contemporary political and social issues.
‘Many of these issues and works are confronting and controversial, and we are proud of the role our Gallery plays as a forum for discussion, debate and education.’
Mr Saines said the exhibition was divided in to three broad thematic strands that explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists depict the stories of their communities and highlight contemporary Indigenous experiences in Australia.
‘The exhibition is complemented by a major cinema program, My Life as I Live It: First Peoples and Black Cinema, a substantial publication and series of public programs, including the popular GOMA Talks and tonight’s one night only Up Late featuring Archie Roach and The Medics with Bunna Lawrie.’
Mr Saines said two major site-specific installations signalled the unexpected, daring and exciting experience of contemporary Indigenous art visitors can expect from this exhibition.
‘Reko Rennie claims space on the GOMA Foyer wall with the 14-metre tall mural Trust the 2% 2013, an urbanised version of the diamond designs of his Kamilaroi people, while Queensland artist Megan Cope’s Fluid Terrain 2012 in the River Room inserts Aboriginal place names on vintage military survey maps to connect the landscape of Moreton Bay to her Quandamooka people,’ he said.
Mr Saines said the Gallery’s Children’s Art Centre solo interactive exhibition ‘Kangaroo Crew’ by leading Queensland Aboriginal artist Gordon Hookey and accompanying children’s publication The Sacred Hill, presented in conjunction with ‘My Country’, will ensure the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary Indigenous Australian art practice is accessible to visitors of all ages.
‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home’ is supported by PanAust as Major Sponsor, and Radio National as Media Partner. This project has received financial assistance
from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts initiative.
‘Kangaroo Crew’ is sponsored by Brisbane Airport Corporation. The Children’s Art Centre publication The Sacred Hill is supported by Solutions in Engineering. The Children’s Art Centre is sponsored by Santos GLNG Project.