Last Weekend to Explore the Saltwater of Queensland
Expressing the nature of a life surrounded by the sea, Saltwater Country at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is an exhibition of 16 acclaimed Indigenous artists from Queensland. Curated by Michael Aird and Virginia Rigney, the exhibition is a showcase of the artists’ strong connections to their saltwater country of the Queensland coastline, sea and waterways through stories of historical, environmental and personal concerns.
Bluethumb’s managing director Ed Hartley caught up with exhibiting artist Brian Robinson from the Torres Strait Islands. Brian told Ed the exhibition is a way for Indigenous artists to really show that “Indigenous contemporary arts practice can’t be boxed into stereotypes of people thinking they’re all dot paintings and cross-hatching – which still has a valid place in Indigenous art – but it’s not everything that [Indigenous] people do produce”.
Robinson’s own work is a perfect example of the direction contemporary Indigenous arts is taking. Drawing inspiration from the colours of graffiti art and Roman Catholic stained glass windows, fish from the sea inspired by M.C. Escher, merging of Renaissance with Torres Strait Islander men, to ultimately bring together a representation of Robinson’s “Mother Earth”. Most of all, it is about the creation of artwork that everyone can enjoy, “the driving factor is creation,” says Robinson.
Saltwater Country will be exhibiting until June 6th, alongside Pampa Mara Tjanpi and Turbo Brown. Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is located at 253 Grenfell St, Adelaide, South Australia. You can find more information on their website here.
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