Celebrating Australian Blak History

Boundary Street, photographic work from Carol McGregor now on show at BLAK

An exhibition exploring Aboriginal identity has opened featuring artworks from students of the Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art Program at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

Blak, coordinated by Art from the Margins, the creative initiative of Wesley Mission Brisbane, ties in with national Blak History Month to promote, celebrate and remember the history of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Over a year in the making, the partnership has resulted in a show that is incredibly diverse, according to artist and QCA lecturer Ms Bianca Beetson, who also describes one powerful overarching theme.

“The show is ultimately about identity – what Aboriginal identity means to each artist,” Ms Beetson says.

“It’s also a celebration of ‘blakness’ and a true testament to the quality of work coming from local emerging artists.

“We also want to challenge people’s expectations as to what they think Aboriginal art is.

“It is our hope that visitors leave the show with an altered perception of contemporary Indigenous art.”

Imprints of Self and Other by CAIA student Venessa Williams (Acrylic on Canvas, 64x100)
Imprints of Self and Other by CAIA student Venessa Williams

Art from the Margins Project Officer Vanessa Bertagnole agrees, saying it’s the perfect opportunity for local art lovers to broaden their appreciation for local talent.

“The aim of the month is to celebrate and share the culture of Australia’s Indigenous Peoples, and I think this exhibition captures this aim and is true to its core ,” Ms Bertagnole says.

“What is evident through these works is a uniquely Indigenous Queensland voice that speaks volumes to our local heritage.

“I’m thrilled to see this emerging array of talent, expression and insight being communicated so strongly within these works. The free exhibition is not to be missed.”

Comprising printmaking, fine art and photography, Blak features the work of 12 undergraduate and postgraduate students of the CAIA program at QCA.

Since its inception in 1994, the CAIA course has consistently nurtured compelling practices, including well-known names such as Ah Kee, Tony Albert and Megan Cope, and those soon to be known: Robert Andrew, Dale Harding, Carol McGregor and Ryan Presley.

EXHIBITION RUNS: 16 July – 2 October, 2015

St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, Level One Gallery Space, 457 Wickham Terrace

Media Contact: Lauren Marino, 0418 799 544, l.marino@griffith.edu.au