Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 17.10.07
Spectacular Indigenous art from far North Queensland has arrived in New York for the latest leg of a UQ Art Museum international tour.
Our Way: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River will be officially opened at Stony Brook University on October 17 by Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations, the Honourable Robert Hill.
Our Way debuted at UQ in May and has since been shown at the National University of Singapore en route to Stony Brook where it is the first major exhibit to be displayed in the Charles Wang Center.
The exhibition surveys the work of a group formerly known as the Art Gang, which is led by internationally recognised painters Rosella Namok, Samantha Hobson and Fiona Omeenyo.
Curator Dr Sally Butler, who is in New York with Namok and UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Michael Keniger, said the colour and perspective of the exhibition made it a unique addition to the North American art scene.
“New York audiences are exposed to an extreme degree of diversity in their arts so it is difficult to present something entirely new and different to them. However Our Way does this,” she said.
“The work appeals to the contemporary high energy life of New York but it also has figures and forms that are unknown to New Yorkers, and that incite curiosity to find out more about the art and the world of the artists.”
The collection contains 42 pieces – including paintings, prints and sculptures – which provide Indigenous insights into the bushfires, coral reefs and rainforests of “Sandbeach Country”, 800km north of Cairns.
“Whilst many Aboriginal communities produce art of great colour, Lockhart River artists use a distinctive saturation of intense colour that they derive from the spectacular tropical surroundings of their country,” Dr Butler said.
The Art Gang success story began with a Queensland government training initiative in the early 1990's with the community now running a thriving cultural centre which markets works around the world.
“Our Way shows how education, research and the arts can work together to help Aboriginal communities, and we're extremely proud to be bringing this exhibition to a global audience,” Professor Keniger said.
“Allowing audiences in Brisbane, Singapore and now North America to see these works establishes important and ongoing collaborations between cultures, artforms and institutions.”
Our Way: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River appears at Stony Brook University until November 17 before travelling to the University of Virginia in January.