Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Leading Artists to Speak at Grafton Symposium

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Leading Artists to Speak at Grafton Symposium

Article excerpt

Byline: Jude McBean Director Grafton Regional Gallery

THE major Australian artist Vernon Ah Kee has joined a selection of the leading Australian artists to speak at the inaugural Aboriginal Art Symposium to be held at the Grafton Regional Gallery on October 17-18.

Vernon Ah Kee headlines the weekend of Aboriginal art speak. The artist is well known for his conceptual text pieces, videos, photographs and drawings which form a critique of Australian culture from the perspective of the Aboriginal experience of contemporary life. He challenges the history of the romantic and exoticised portraiture of 'primitives' and effectively repositions the Aboriginal in Australia from an 'othered thing' anchored in museum and scientific records to a contemporary people inhabiting real and current spaces and time.

His work was exhibited in the 2008 Sydney Biennale, he represented Australia in Once Removed at the 53rd Venice Biennale 2009 and recent exhibitions include Everything Falls Apart at Artspace in 2012 and Sakahan at the National Gallery of Canada in 2013.

This year Vernon is exhibiting a new work in the Istanbul Biennial, and a new series of surfboard works for 'GOMA Q' at the Queensland Art Gallery /Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Vernon is a member of Queensland's leading Indigenous art collective ProppaNOW which has worked from Brisbane since 2003. Vernon is joining fellow member Megan Cope at the symposium.

Other artists include Micheal Aird, Mark Cora, Karla Dickens, Emily McDaniel (2015 judge), Djon Mundine, Frances Belle Parker, Debby Taylor, Tahni Walton-Holmes and Alison Williams. Tickets are now available at the gallery for $10 per person per day which includes morning tea and a light lunch. Places are limited so contact the gallery to secure your booking.

Message wall

The new graffiti wall in the gallery car park focuses on mental health issues coinciding with the Mental As campaign. Marty Wells worked with three young local artists -- Kiri Godfrey, Helena Maher and Jessica Smidt -- to create a visual message asks "Are You Okay?" The artists have explored the theme individually then collaborated to put it all together on the big wall. …

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