The catastrophic fire events that have ravaged much of this country have left the nation and indeed the world, posing more questions about, searching for more answers within and demanding more action be taken by our governments. The loss of life and land is nothing short of tragic. Amongst the devastation we are reminded of the importance of community. It is our responsibility to teach and provide for our future generations who are, at present, most disadvantaged by inadequate leadership.
David Booth’s World Builder, commissioned by the NGV for the Great Hall as part of NGV Kids Summer Festival is an interactive display championing the significance of community. Booth encourages children, big or small, to join him in drawing and discussion about the natural world. The NGV’s Kids Summer Festival runs from 11 - 19 January 2020.
Our First Nations people managed this land for tens of thousands of years. They are the ones from whom we should seek knowledge and counsel.
Please consider donating to one of the many fire disaster relief funds that are providing direct support to those affected, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society and WWF.
To all of the artists, collaborators, collectors, curators and institutions who have supported Blackartprojects throughout 2019, we thank you and wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
Robert Fielding’s Mutuka is currently on display at TARNANTHI | Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. By sandblasting into the rusted surface of the car, once driven upon the land of Mimili on the APY Lands when it was called Everard Park Station, Fielding draws attention to the cultural memories of Mimili that have existed and continue to exist, withstanding endless change. The soundscape within the car has been recorded in collaboration with Elders Kunmanara Pumani, Tuppy Goodwin and Puna Yanima. It tells of their memories during the handback of Everard Park Station in 1972, and the resilience of Tjukurpa and Culture during this time of transition. The exhibition runs until 27 January 2020. Further details here.
Robbie Rowlands’ commissioned sculpture Crossing the floor has been installed at its permanent location, the Broadmeadows Town Hall, a historical 1960s building open once again after its civic redevelopment began in late 2017 by Kerstin Thompson Architects. The sculptural gesture captures the history of the original town hall, paying specific attention to the Supper Room floor as a surface that has supported the community over time. Visit here
Nadia Hernández’s textile work Generoso Corazón Herido is featured in The Four Letter Word, an outcome of Artbank’s emerging curators program that brings together artworks from the Artbank collection as well as a number of select loans to examine the age-old question – ‘what is love’? Curator Sophie Cai states “I hope audiences will find something of value that resonates with them. At a time of political uncertainty and cynicism, I also hope that an exhibition centred on love as an action or strategy could potentially be a healing space.” The exhibition runs to 14 February 2020 at Artbank, Sydney. Further details here
David Booth’s World Builder, commissioned by the NGV for their Kids Summer Festival, takes inspiration from Keith Haring’s chalk drawings. Booth will present an interactive chalkboard installation inviting contributions from children, designed in dialogue with the NGV’s Great Hall ceiling. The NGV Kids Summer Festival runs 11 - 19 January 2020, 10am - 3pm with free entry.
Nadia Hernández is featured in Art Collector’s forthcoming issue 50 Things Collectors Should Know, due for release in early January 2020. Preorders available here
Robbie Rowlands’ Riddiford Arboretum Sculpture Symposium commission, inclusive of two major works, will be launched in March 2020 in Broken Hill, New South Wales.
Robbie Rowlands’ Light Falls, a major work initially commissioned by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville for the biennial sculpture festival Strand Ephemera, will be installed permanently on its original site in March 2020.
Nicholas Ives, multi-instrumentalist of the three piece experimental, electro, dub, art band Buildaburgers, will be releasing The Dawning of a New Day, in early 2020. Preorders available via Bandcamp here. Ives’s solo exhibition Sunset Roads will be held in Melbourne in March 2020.
Anthony Lister was the 2019 Aria Awards Commemorative Artist, creating artwork for the the annual poster of the Aria (Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards) event.
Tom O’Hern’s has recently completed Foxtrot Polkadot with fellow artist Tom Samek in Hobart’s Wellington Square as part of the the City of Hobart’s Urban Art Walls program. The 20-metre long mural is a nod to the old metro motors and Belvedere Dance Hall that existed in the area prior to the Argyle Street Carpark, with the foot traffic being a reminder of the now hidden course of the Hobart Rivulet, which flows under the city.
Tom O’Hern has recently completed a suite of drawings for HOOSEGG wines, renowned wine maker Philip Shaw’s small winery that uses the fruit from selected sites at Koomooloo to produce exceptional quality wine. Order here
Sean Edward Whelan has released a limited edition print in conjunction with Dormilona Wines, for whom he’s been designing labels since they began making fine wines in the south west of Australia. Further details here
Blackartprojects returns in February 2020 with a project by Robert Fielding in Melbourne.
Celebrating the completion of Robbie Rowlands’ major sculptural commission Crossing the Floor, the inaugural Town Hall Broadmeadows Gallery exhibition Subsurface draws on supportive works developed over a two-year period.
Rowlands, in conjunction with RMIT CAST, undertook a residency in the Town Hall prior to its closure for redevelopment. During this time his investigations captured unique qualities of the building’s architectural features, textures and history. Paying specific attention to the floor as a surface this research, and the final sculptural work, pay homage to its function as a support to the community over time.
Featuring photo documentation, film and sound - including the old supper room sound system - the exhibition brings together this rich research, revealing layered histories that inspired the final sculptural work, now permanently on display in the main foyer.
This project was commissioned by Kerstin Thompson Architects and Hume City Council.
A selection of Tully Moore’s works from the touring exhibition ‘Soft Core’, curated by Michael Do, which was shown across 12 regional galleries in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria between October 2016 and November 2019.
Completing a three-year journey, covering 5,077kms across Australia’s eastern states, Soft Core has created powerful impressions on audiences. Originally developed by curator Micheal Do in collaboration with Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, the exhibition has toured to eleven regional venues across NSW, VIC and QLD between 2017 and 2019. The exhibition is currently showing at its final tour venue, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville, until 3 November 2019. The development of Soft Core was inspired by the industrial, hard-edged architectural elements of the Casula Powerhouse structure, with the intention to curate a collection of sculpture-based artworks embodying the opposing qualities, thereby introducing the notion of ‘a soft core into a hard shell’. Soft Core presents both existing and newly commissioned works by a diverse group of twelve leading and emerging Australian artists, whose work questions the fluctuating meaning of what it means to be soft.
Soft Core has received broad media coverage at local, regional and national levels, on-line, in print and on radio. ‘foam, fake fur, fabric, air, clay, balloons and plastics bags are just some of the materials used by artists to create the weird, wacky, and wonderfully fun sculptures in Bathurst Regional Art Gallery’s latest exhibition ‘Soft Core’… Traditional notions about what constitutes ‘a sculpture’ – who makes it, for whom, and from what – are questioned, contested, and re-worked in this exhibition.’ – Bathurst’s Western Advocate, 2 June 2017
Curator Micheal Do attended eight exhibition launches during the tour to facilitate a deeper understanding of the artworks. Micheal participated in numerous media interviews during the tour, providing interpretations of the artworks and insights into his curatorial inspiration.*
Artists: Tully Arnot, Mikala Dwyer, Tully Moore, Tony Oursler, Michael Parekowhai, Patricia Piccinini, Todd Robinson, Koji Ryui, Kathy Temin, Louise Weaver, Simon Yates and Paul Yore.
*exceprt from an article written by Vanessa James as a part of her internship at Museums & Galleries of NSW through the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies program at the University of Sydney. Image courtesy of Hawksbury Regional Gallery.
Nadia Hernández has been announced the winner of The Churchie Art Prize. Working in paper construction, textiles, painting, installation and sculpture, Hernández’s practice negotiates complex political narratives through personal and institutional frameworks, and where these concepts intersect. Her paper-cut works, Remezcla #2 (Remix #2) and Remezcla #3 (Remix #3), depict several colourful scenes that reference past resistance movements, portray current political tensions as well as a technology-based connection as a way to speak of her own diasporic experience. The exhibition runs through to 21 December at IMA, Brisbane. Image courtesy Louis Lim for IMA.
Robert Fielding has been announced the winner of The Banyule Award for Works on Paper with his work Ngapartji-ngapartji. Fielding says of the work “Ngapartji-Ngapartji in Anangu culture is working alongside one another and has become a personal story for me and my family, as we hold onto the values of life instilled in us by the elders. Over time it has given my family and community the opportunity and responsibility, to respect one another and engage in everyday political issues and community life together. For us as a family, the past we cannot change but the present and future is ours to embrace. By bringing different tribes, languages and races together, this nation has the opportunity to succeed in a life of unity and respect. Understanding the importance of connection to country and First Nations languages is important for our future, and moving forward ngapartji-ngapartji, learning and respecting each other will give us the future we deserve.”
Robert Fielding will travel from Mimili, a small and vibrant community located on the APY lands in the remote North-West of South Australia, to Sydney for Sydney Contemporary where he will take part in an In Conversation at the Blackartprojects booth G07 to discuss how his artistic practice has become the vehicle for celebrating Anangu culture. Further details here
Deadly Family Portraits: Electric Mimili is a documentary featuring Robert Fielding and son Zaachariaha telling their story about reconnecting to culture and identity in their home of Mimili, in the far north-west of South Australia. Available on Iview here
Robert Fielding has been announced a finalist of The Banyule Award for Works on Paper, awarded biennially to an outstanding contemporary work on paper. Open to all Australian artists, the award is an acquisitive prize with the winning artwork entered into the Banyule Art Collection. The exhibition runs 28 August - 3 September 2019. Further details here
Robert Fielding has been announced a finalist of the 2019 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, an important survey of contemporary photographic practice and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country, with his work Echoes #1 (Tjalini). The exhibition runs 5 October - 17 November 2019 at the Monash Gallery of Art, Victoria. Further details here
Kulinmaya! Keep listening, everybody! is the story of Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams life, beliefs and artistic journey, as he told it, in Pitjantjatjara and English. Mr Williams (1952-2019) was one of the founders and directors of Mimili Maku Arts, an Anangu owned and governed art centre in the remote community of Mimili on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. He was an exhibiting artist for over ten years, and finalist in a number of art prizes since 2016. He is best known for his iconic paintings incorporating scrawling writing on Australia Post mailbags, suspended from traditional kulata (spears). The book, published by Allen and Unwin, is available in bookstores nation-wide. Further details here
Kaylene Whiskey has won the general painting award at the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) in Darwin with her work Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) Tjukurpa (Dreaming). The judges commented that ‘In this irreverent interpretation Whiskey invents and casts her own heroic women onto an imaginary stage within her community at Indulkana. By reclaiming televised pop culture idols she celebrates female empowerment and sisterhood by creating an exuberant drama and in a playful twist superimposes the scene onto a repurposed tourism road sign’. Further details here
Commissioned by the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Robbie Rowlands undertook a three-month residency from January to March 2019 in the Former Union Bank, which now stands proudly as the National Centre For Photography. Incremental Loss was the centre’s inaugural exhibition and the artist’s largest to date. For BIFB 2019, Rowlands will his present photographic records from the exhibition furthering photography’s relationship with sculpture. The exhibition runs 24 August - 20 October 2019 at the National Centre For Photography in Ballarat, Victoria. Further details here
Nadia Hernández has been announced a finalist of The Churchie, a prize dedicated to supporting, encouraging and profiling the work of artists in the early stages of their careers, with her works Remezcla #2 and Remezcla #3. The official opening and prize announcement will take place on 13 September with the exhibition running through to 21 December at IMA, Brisbane. Further details here
Anthony Lister’s exhibition Culture is Over, the 10 year anniversay of his No Win Sitch exhibition, was featured heavily across worldwide media sources. Read some of the articles at Concrete Playground here, Broadsheet here, Vogue here, and Sydney Morning Herald here.
David Booth has completed a 130 metre work Living a Dreaming in the City for Tallawong Station, commissioned by Landcom for the launch of the new Sydney Metro. The mural will be on view through to December 2020. Further details here
Kulinmaya! Keep listening, everybody! is the story of Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams life, beliefs and artistic journey, as he told it, in Pitjantjatjara and English. Mr Williams (1952-2019) was one of the founders and directors of Mimili Maku Arts, an Anangu owned and governed art centre in the remote community of Mimili on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. He was an exhibiting artist for over ten years, and finalist in a number of art prizes since 2016. He is best known for his iconic paintings incorporating scrawling writing on Australia Post mailbags, suspended from traditional kulata (spears).
Long before becoming an artist, Mr Williams was widely known across the APY Lands as a skilled orator, thinker and cultural leader. Creating Kulinmaya! Keep listening, everybody! was his longheld dream as it would be a vessel to disseminate his message far and wide. The book has become a thorough insight into the life of a cultural leader on the APY Lands. It combines contemporary and historical photographs with a range of Mr Williams’ artworks, and allows readers to engage more deeply with the meanings and stories behind his artwork, in particular as it relates to the long struggle for land rights on the APY Lands.
Recorded in Mr Williams’ first language, Pitjantjatjara, the project was as much about recording his life story, as it was about maintenance of language. For Mr Williams it was paramount that young children on the APY Lands should continue to learn Pitjantjatjara at school. With his book, he is making an essential contribution to this celebration of language: No other book of this extent has been written entirely in Pitjantjatjara.
Out of a first edition of 5000, over 1500 copies have already been distributed to schools across the country via Australian Standing Orders (a school book club). Mr Williams’ widow and ex-school teacher Tuppy Goodwin will be supporting schools across the APY to incorporate the book in their lessons, and teachers notes are available online.
In October, a launch event will be held at the APY Gallery in Adelaide (19/10/2019, 2-4pm, 9 Light Sq), at which a limited artist edition of Kulinmaya! Keep listening, everybody! will be presented amongst friends and family from the APY Lands. The book and the contained artworks stand as Mr Williams’ epic legacy, keeping his voice and ambitions alive beyond his passing.
“I want my book to be in schools and read by politicians and young people everywhere, so that they can learn about Tjukurpa Law, and realise how crucially important Tjukurpa is to Anangu Aboriginal people. Our Tjukurpa Law is all-encompassing. It was always intended to be eternal, but we know it is at risk. This is why I am documenting it now. I want to raise people’s counciousness. I want us to be acknowledged by the wider society and the government. I am hoping to start a movement of new awareness.”
(Kunmanara Mumu Mike Williams, 2018)
Littlewhitehead’s solo exhibition Annexed Future is on show at Nir Altman, Munich running through to 22 June, 2019. Continuing their study of abandoned space and starting from the phenomenon of deadmalls, they present a handmade landscape exploring absence, structural fracture, angst and stolen iconography. Further details here. Installation view: Littlewhitehead, Annexed Future, Nir Altman, May 2019. Image by Dirk Tacke Fotografie.
David Booth’s commissioned work for Landcom’s new Sydney Metro Public Art Activation Project spans 130 metres at the brand new Tallawong rail Station. The mural will be on view through to December 2020. Further details here
David Booth and Carla McRae have been awarded the City of Adelaide’s City Library commission, a mural that will intrigue and entice visitors to Francis Street and engage city residents to experience the City Library by exploring the opportunities offered in the space. The work will be on display from 22 June 2019.
Robbie Rowlands has been awarded the Riddiford Arboretum Sculpture Symposium which received $200,000 in funding through Create NSW. Rowlands previously served as an Artist In Residence in Broken Hill, and worked closely with the West Darling Machine Preservation Society to re-curate and reinterpret their display using projection, sound, and sculpture. His work on the Symposium will involve interpreting the significance of Australia's first green belt, and the ground-breaking work of Albert Morris, the Barrier Field Naturalists' Club and the Zinc Corporation to green Broken Hill. Further details here
Sarah Duyshart celebrates the completion of her studies in the 2019 RCA Graduate Exhibition at the Royal College of the Arts (Kensington Campus), London, with a major work that extends beyond the confines of the building. The exhibition opens 27 June and runs through to 8 July 2019. Further details here
Two of Robert Fielding’s images from the Graveyards in Between series have been included in aMBUSH Gallery’s new space at Kambri, the Australian National University’s $260 million redevelopment. The inaugural exhibition While You Were Sleeping features Fielding alongside other First Nations artists from across Australia including David Cragg, Noni Cragg, Blak Douglas, Elizabeth Close, Julie Dowling, Warraba Weatherall, Otis Carey, Benita Clements, Michael Cook, Damien Shen, Shane 'Mankitya' Kookaburra, and Wayne Quilliam. While You Were Sleeping is open to the public from 10am-6pm weekdays and 11am-5pm on weekends until 23 June 2019. Further details here
Nadia Hernández has been selected as a finalist of the 2019 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award with her work The curtain of the night falls, an army of lights interlace the city. The exhibition opens on 1 June 2019 and runs through to 11 August at Wangaratta Art Gallery, Victoria. Further details here
Nadia Hernández has been announced a finalist of the 10th annual 2019 John Fries Award. The $10,000 non-acquisitive award recognises the talents of early career visual artists from Australia and New Zealand. Curated by Miriam Kelly, the finalist exhibition There is Friction in the Spaces Between runs 21 June - 27 July, 2019. Further details here
The works of Kaylene Whiskey and Kunmanara Williams are currently own show in The National 2019: New Australian Art which presents the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art across three of Sydney's premier cultural institutions: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2019. Further details here
Vale Kunmanara Williams
Known for repurposing Australian Post mailbags as political artworks, Kunmanara Williams leaves an incredible legacy as a Land Rights activist, Aboriginal elder, pastor and celebrated artist.
One of the most spectacular artworks in The National 2019: New Australian Art, unveiled this weekend at the Museum of contemporary Art Australia (MCA), is an expansive six-meter painting on Australian Post Mail Bags stretched on traditional spears, by the late Kunmanara Williams (1952-2019).
For many, it was sad news to learn of Mr Williams passing just two weeks prior to the exhibition. He was just 56.
Anna Wattler, Manager of Mimili Maku Arts where Mr Williams worked, wrote in a formal statement: ‘Despite the fact he spent much of the past twelve months in hospital, he continued to fervently work towards his biggest projects to date. Mr Williams realised his largest and most political artwork, reflecting his resolute desire to be heard. This desire equally manifested in Kulinmaya!, a book project that continued to grow with his ambitions and deep knowledge. Mr Williams had much to say, and we better all listen up.
‘Sadly, he will not be witness to the unveiling of his work as part of The National at the MCA, or the launch of his book Kulinmaya! later this year. However, his powerful voice and legacy remain for us to heed.’
The 240-page bilingual book will be published by Allen & Unwin and is scheduled for release in August.
Excerpt from Gina Fairley’s article published on Artshub on 4 April 2019. Read the full article here.
Image: Kunmanara Williams, Kamantaku Tjukurpa wiya. (The Government doesn’t have Tjukurpa.), 2018. Installation view, The National 2019: New Australian Art, MCA, 2019. Image courtesy the artist and Mimili Maku Arts © the artist. Photograph: Jacquie Manning
David Booth’s work will be projected across the facade of Parliament House as part of the Enlighten Festival in Canberra, opening Friday 1 through to Sunday 17 March. Further details here
. Image by Bec Selleck.
David Booth’s forthcoming exhibition Tasmanian Time Traveller will be installed in Macquarie Point’s newly built Long.House creative hub designed by Core Collective Architects. The exhibition will available for viewing from 22 - 25 March 2019.
Nadia Hernández has been announced a finalist of the 10th annual 2019 John Fries Award. The $10,000 non-acquisitive award recognises the talents of early career visual artists from Australia and New Zealand. Further details here
Curated by Halinka Orszulok, the exhibition Uncertain Territory at Artbank Sydney features the collaborative work of Mumu Mike Williams and Sammy Dodd alongside Uri Auerbach, Tina Havelock Stevens, Alana Hunt, Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Raquel Ormella and Halinka herself. Further details here
Kaylene Whiskey and Mumu Mike Williams are participating artists in the forthcoming survey exhibition The National 2019: New Australian Art which presents the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art across three of Sydney's premier cultural institutions: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2019. Further details here
Broadsheet has featured Robbie Rowland’s current exhibition Incremental Loss at the National Centre for Photography, produced on residency with the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. The exhibitions runs to 20 March 2019. Further details here. Read Broadsheet’s article here
Robbie Rowlands' commissioned work Middle Row is on display in the Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North, Melbourne.