Indigenous Art Program 2018 artists and artworks

The following artworks were on display around Brisbane during April 2018 as part of the Indigenous Art Program 2018.

Jordana Angus

Jordana Angus is a contemporary Wiradjuri artist and emerging jeweller. Her traditional land is Narrandera New South Wales; however, she was born and raised in Redcliffe, Queensland. This location has given her an innate connection to where the land meets the sea. Angus completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art, majoring in jewellery and small objects. Angus's artwork often addresses environmental issues investing meaning and value into materials that are overlooked or discarded. Angus uses oyster shell remnants collected from family gatherings, as well as aluminium to reform and re-contextualise them into beautiful jewellery pieces.

Artwork - Fractures Emerge (2016)

The artwork, Fractures Emerge will be on display at Eagle Lane.

About the artwork

These artworks illustrate the mending of damaged shells using women's craft techniques such as crochet. These works address a history of sexual, emotional and physical abuse that was hidden both within the family but also to the public to 'keep up appearances' of being upstanding members of society. The restorations of the shells are a metaphor for intergenerational trauma within the artist's family. These have been identified, exposed, discussed, and reformed through emotionally durable design embracing the fractures and re-stitching or repairing these memories through fragile yet meaningful materials.

Debbie Taylor

As a Gamillaroi woman, mother and artist, Debbie Taylor who was originally from north-west New South Wales now resides in Brisbane. Taylor's practice primarily expressed through ceramic sculpture, carves beautiful designs that draw inspiration from denroglyphs found on her Country. Inspired also by Oodgeroo Noonuccal who once said, "don't hate, educate", Taylor was driven to teach, holding a position at Griffith University and Queensland TAFE, where she conducted workshops in both cultural studies and Indigenous art.

Artwork - I Love my Sunburnt Country (2017)

The artwork I love my Sunburnt Country will be on display at Edison Lane.

About the artwork

'I Love my Sunburnt Country' a bright and decorative artwork reflects the profound diversity of the Australian landscape; from forests, mountains and deserts, the ever-changing country is a feast for the eyes as it swelters under the summer sun.

Mandy Quadrio

Mandy Quadrio is a Brisbane based artist working across sculpture, installation and mixed media. As a proud Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) woman connected to her ancestral home of Tebrakunna in the North-East of Tasmania, her art practice responds to contact histories of violence and dispossession.

While referencing history, in the contemporary space Quadrio's investigation of socio-political realities reveals the ongoing nature of Aboriginal resilience and her growing and ever-changing cultural existence. By connecting and celebrating diverse cultural spaces and travelling stories Quadrio's work illustrates a sense of endurance, continuity and connectedness. Quadrio makes work to assert her sovereignty

Artwork - Continuing connections (2018)

The artwork, Indicative Concepts will be on display at Edward Street (Vitrine)

About the artwork

Celebrating the Brisbane River, this work references both Indigenous and non-Indigenous engagement with the waterway. Using the materiality of steel wool, a harsh, abrasive, cleaning material that metaphorically speaks to the scrubbing out and attempted erasure of Aboriginal history, identity and culture, the work honours stories about change, adaptability and enduring cultural connections.

Representing aspects of Indigenous artefact and industry these vegetative evocations are embedded with layered references where stories are captured, kept, presented and held carefully while other stories seep out. Woven, plaited or enmeshed interiors carry artefact or found detritus and like the watery filtration systems of the Brisbane River and Tebrakunna (North-East Tasmania), they are silent witnesses to our ephemeral and enduring stories and histories.

David Jones

Printmaking has been central to my career in visual arts. I currently operate Corvine Art Studio in Brisbane. Early in my art education I utilised visual scholarship to articulate a critique of Australian society. My identity derives from a 'settler' Australian, and Indigenous Dalungbarra heritage. My great-great-grandmother was known as Mary Anne Dalungdalee, of the Dalungbarra, who was born at Wanggoolba Creek on K'gari, now Fraser Island, in the early 1800's. My family is now included in the Butchulla Native Title Claim. My Dalungbarra heritage informs my art process and work, it is the resolve that drives my art practice

Artwork - Black boyz, black boyz, what ya gunna do when they come for you... (2014)

The artwork Black boyz, black boyz, what ya gunna do when they come for you… will be on display at Fish Lane.

About the artwork

These images relate to an example of grass-tree abuse in the 1800's... 'Walking from Perth to Freemantle… I beheld two lawyers… wrestling with a grass tree… they were trying to uproot and throw it down. They informed me that, mistaking it for a native, it had more than once frightened them, and that they were determined it should never do so again. These champions of the oppressed and oppressor… were terrified at the very idea of meeting an Aborigine.'

Found in "Anon" [Robert Lyon], "Australia: Appeal to the World on Behalf of the Younger Branch of the Family of Shem," cited in Healy, Literature and the Aborigine in Australia, P21–22.

Libby Harward

Libby Harward is a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka Country, commencing her career as a solo street artist in 2003. Libby’s current practice seeks to deepen her connection with her Indigenous culture. She continues to work in graffiti art and design as well as ephemeral earthworks that are documented in film and still image.

Libby has a strong commitment to strengthening community and over the past decade has worked across commercial and local art projects that share stories of strength and pride on walls, buildings and under bridges. Her solo work is also installed within cultural institutional contexts including the NMA.

Artwork - Bangan-Mud - Tallebudgera Creek/Gangga series (2016)

The artwork, Bangan-Mud - Tallebudgera Creek/Gangga series (2016) will be on display at Griffin Lane.

About the artwork

Digital photograph by Keelan O'Hehir of artworks-in-progress for Enter The Map Exhibited at The Walls curated by Danni Zuvela.

Bangan is one of a series of ephemeral earthworks that reference Country and place. The series derives its title from the 'Yugambeh' word 'Gangga' meaning both 'to call out' and 'to hear' as well as Ganggullanji thinking.

"In tidal Tallebudgera creek, with my children holding the present and ongoing connections of our Quandamooka ancestors, the paths they have trodden and relationship with this Country and its people I understand through Gangga and Ganggullanji, through a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing; re-mapping: re- contextualizing de-colonising and re-instating on country that which was denied. Calling out and hearing intergenerational memories and maps already within".

Leah King-Smith

Leah King-Smith is a Bigambul descendant and is a visual artist and lecturer at the School of Creative Practice QUT, Brisbane.

Leah has an extensive career working in photographic and digital mediums exploring the ideas of identity and how it can shift over time. Her practice encompasses solo, collaborative and group exhibitions, community engagement, dance performances, theatre productions, international cultural exchanges, book covers, story illustration and experimental film and video work. Her current works fuses her photographic practice with 3D motion graphic technologies to allow temporality, audio and physicality of form to come into play.

Leah has extensively exhibited in Australia and internationally in solo and group shows and her work is held in many public and private collections.

Artwork - Mill Binna (2016)

The artwork Mill Binna will be on display at Hutton Lane.

About the artwork

"Mill Binna' is an English translation for 'Eye Ear' or more appropriately 'See Hear' in Bigambul language. The use of language is an act of respect to the spoken dialect of my ancestral heritage and draws attention to the work's audio/visual collaborative component. The title also suggests a decolonising methodology that offers an alternative knowledge construct from the standpoint of an Indigenous creative practice.

Mill Binna presents a pantheon of feminine spirits who are like emissaries of nature, or characters emerging briefly to play upon a corporeal stage. The figures are wrapped in landscapes or painted images transforming 2-D images into human form.

The physique of the major character is based on King-Smith's Aboriginal mother, Pearl King, who is a Bigambul descendant. Working from early photographs of her taken before she had children, King-Smith aims to recreate her mother's youthful likeness and sense of exuberant spirit."

Dylan Mooney

Dylan Mooney, is a Yuibera man from Mackay, Central Queensland and a Torres Strait Islander from Waiben Island. He currently studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at the Queensland College of Art. Mooney's practice includes painting and drawing – inspired by history, culture, family history and community stories.

Digi Youth Arts is a collective of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists committed to sharing stories of our young people through creative exploration and contemporary performance. The organisation has a history of producing thought-inspiring works. These works are by two Digi Youth Arts members; Dylan Mooney and Kiana Larkins.

Artwork - Reality vs Superficial (2015)

The artwork Reality vs Superficial will be on display at Charlotte Street.

About the artwork

Dylan Mooney's 'Reality vs Superficial' offers a comparative examination of non-indigenous and indigenous youth, highlighting the differences between each culture growing-up. Through poignant gesture, Mooney's artwork reflects on issues of healthcare, income and the lack of available resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Mooney's depicts two figures, both infants, one Indigenous, one non-indigenous, the Indigenous figure is placing his finger over the other child's lips. A seemingly simple act, however Mooney's message is clear, "What you go through and what Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people go through are two different things."

Kiana Larkins

Kiana Larkins' life has spanned from the rivers of Katherine to the ocean shores of the Gold Coast. Larkin's states that she has always been surrounded by Mother Nature in all her glory. Her family who are from Turkey Creek, the Warmun region in Western Australia, belong to the Gija people. Larkin's work captivates audiences through her vivid paintings that evoke a deep and meaningful response.


Artwork - Termite Mounds (2016).

The artwork, Termite Mounds (2016) will be on display at Irish Lane, Charlotte Street.

About the artwork

In the word's of the artist, "My home in the Northern Territory is where the termites build. When you stand in the bush and look out over the land, the one thing that will catch your eye is the termite mounds that spread far and wide. These insect houses come in all sizes and shapes, tall, short, thick and thin. The mounds not only hold beauty in the structure and their architecture but they hold life and a colony within".

This work shows the connection through land, the city within these mounds, the power of what such a small group of insects can do and how Mother Nature, in all her elements let flora and fauna work together in harmony.

Jason Murphy

Jason Murphy is a Dungidau man of Jinibara descent in Southeast Queensland. Born in West End and raised in Brisbane, Jason's artwork utilises acrylic paintings, collage and drawings to critique social, political and cultural issues affecting Aboriginal people. Murphy has completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours), Masters of Education and Visual Arts, and is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Visual Art.

Artwork - Caste System (2017)

The artwork, Caste System (2017) will be on display at King George Square car park.

About the artwork

Jason Murphy's artwork critiques social, political and cultural issues affecting Aboriginal people. Deconstructing these themes, Murphy employs imagery of mundane domestic objects or familiar visual signs to agitate viewer's perspective and understanding of Aboriginal socio-political issues. Murphy states that "There is something about unifying disparate objects, sometimes in a dream-like surrealist quality, challenging content and interpretation".

Murphy deploys both traditional and contemporary techniques, ideology and imagery to deliberately question stereotypical perceptions reinforced by established institutions.

Fiona Foley

Fiona Foley is Badtjala woman from K'gari and is an internationally recognised artist. Fiona explores historical stereotypes and her works examines race relations, politics, culture, ownership, language and identity.

She challenges Australian culture and asks audiences to reinterpret history to reveal moments of Aboriginal strength, empowerment and endurance. Fiona's practice is diverse and includes painting, printmaking, sculpture, mixed-media work, found objects, installation and photography. Fiona is also a talented curator and academic and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland.

Artwork - Protector and Aborigine (2017)

The artwork, Protector and Aborigine will be on display at Museum of Brisbane.

About the artwork

This photograph is a part of a series entitled 'Horror has a Face', which creates a historical stage and plays on narratives and characters that demonstrate colonial vice and profiteering made possible through Queensland's policy - The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897. The photograph depicts a standing Badtjala Warrior and seated Chief Protector. Archibald Meston was the Southern Protector of Aborigines between 1897-1903 and his actions were very controversial, especially in respect to Bogimbah Mission on the Fraser Island Reserve, now known as K'gari, where the artist's family originates.

Katina Davidson

Katina Davidson identifies as a descendant of the Purga Mission (QLD) with cultural connections to the Kullilli and Yuggera people, and maternal non-Indigenous Australian heritage. She works broadly across genres as a practicing artist and curator. Her artistic practice explores the intrinsic link between identity and place through weaving critical discourse with materials and techniques not always associated with fine art, in order to agitate the patriarchy and practice sovereignty.

Artwork - Tangled (2016)

The artwork, Tangled will be on display as a William Jolly Bridge projection.

About the artwork

Revealing a vivid childhood memory of wild flowers and a macabre family history, 'Tangled' comes from a body of work that explores narratives deeply rooted in the artist's inherited connection to the Purga and Deebing Creek Missions, near Ipswich, Queensland. Katina paints the flowers found on the Mission sites in memory of the oral histories that aren't widely shared or acknowledged, in remembrance of those whose voices are no longer with us.

Last updated:5 July 2019