Indigenous Art Program 2019 artists and artworks

The following artworks were on display around Brisbane from 1 May to 31 July 2019 as part of the Indigenous Art Program 2019 exhibition Shared Connections.

Artists and their art

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is a Brisbane-based photomedia artist of Bidjara heritage. Considered to be one of Australia's most exciting contemporary Indigenous artists, Cook's photographs restage colonial-focused histories and re-image the contemporary reality of Indigenous populations.

Artwork – Broken Dreams #3 (2010)

The artwork is from a series titled Broken Dreams and illustrates a dream-like story of a journey from England to Australia seen through the mind of a young Aboriginal woman. The girl's imagination is at its most vivid after seeing European women for the first time. Although she immerses herself in their culture, the vivid presence of a hovering rainbow lorikeet is a reminder of her connection to country and her true culture.

Michael's artwork was displayed at the Museum of Brisbane.

Jenna Lee

Jenna is a Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri woman. Her contemporary art practice explores the acts of identity/identification, label/labelling and the relationships formed between language, label and object.

Artwork - Invasive Native (2019)

The artwork is the artist's response to her discovery of a collection of Australian native plants in Kew Gardens, London. Acting as a living archive, she finds comfort in the way the plants are thriving in this hostilely different environment. The collection, as a living archive is a reminder that even though she is far from home the plants, and she, can survive as an invasive species.

Jenna's artwork was displayed in Hutton Lane.

Hannah Gutchen

Hannah Gutchen is an Indigenous woman, traditional weaver and artist currently residing in Brisbane, Australia. Originally hailing from Mareeba in far north Queensland, Gutchen's ancestral lineage is from the eastern islands of the Torres Strait, Erub Island. She is also proud of her matriarchal Jewish heritage which also influences her practice.

Artwork – Woven Scriptures (2018)

A series of traditional weaving techniques were photographed to engage the audience toward this evolved practice which has the same intention of preservation, yet a different era of creativity. Fibre practices mimic a physical scripture which enables the survival of a people.

Hannah's artwork was displayed in Eagle Lane.

Kim Ah Sam

Kim Ah Sam is a proud Kuku Yalanji and Kalkadoon woman. Her printmaking and sculpture is based around her cultural and spiritual identity. An abiding theme of her art practice is investigating ways of spiritually reconnecting with her father's country the Kalkadoon.

Artwork - Healing on Country (2018)

These drypoints artworks represent a cultural and spiritual connection to Kalkadoon country. "Printmaking has given me the opportunity to express my cultural identity in the western art techniques of printmaking. My journey has given me the opportunity to bring my story from the desert to the city."

Kim's artwork was displayed in King George Square.

Derek Sandy

Derek Sandy was born on his mothers' country of the Yerongpan clan, descending from the Yerongpan and Miguntyun clans from Brisbane and the Mununjali clan from Beaudesert. On his father's side, he carries the bloodlines of Burrigabba, Wakka Wakka, Butchulla and Durumbul.

Artwork - Sandy Family Cloak (2017)

The Sandy Family Cloak holds strong historical relevance for the Aboriginal people of the Sandy family. Derek Sandy is the son of Marissa Sandy and Derek Oram. It is the first Yuggera cloak made in over a century. The cloak depicts an aerial view of Mount Coot-Tha, which in Yuggera language translates to Kuta, and refers to the native stingless bees of the area. Australian native stingless beehives are round, unlike the majority of beehives which are hexagonal. The perimeter of the cloak resembles the circular beehives.

Derek's artwork was displayed in Giffin Lane.

Delvene Cockatoo-Collins

Delvene Cockatoo-Collins lives and works on Minjerribah with her family. Her current practice includes textiles, ceramic and jewellery making. Through these mediums, she expresses the stories of her family's lived experiences on Minjerribah, the natural environment, and her responses to representations of images and texts of Quandamooka.

Artwork - Connected to Quandamooka (2019)

Connected to Quandamooka utilises a traditional mat making technique applied to clay-soaked linens and bound together with the tawalpin/cotton tree — giving form, strength and referencing ancestral relationships. The clays and pigments were found across Quandamooka, including the islands and mainland around Moreton Bay and the pigments ranged from white, yellows, oranges, purples, pinks and reds. The work continues a recurring theme of Delvene's arts practice which is expressing the relationship to her great-great grandmother and the stories of her family's lived experiences on North Stradbroke Island.

Delvene's artwork was displayed in Fish Lane.

Tamika Grant-lramu

Tamika Grant-Iramu graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Queensland College of Art, majoring in Interdisciplinary Print Media. She has continued to develop her practice in linocut carving and investigate its connection to her Torres Strait Islander heritage. Brought up in Western communities, she has struggled with notions of identity and her creative practice has played a central role in connecting with Indigenous culture.

Artwork – Carving Memories: a new dialect (2018)

Inspired by the immediate environment, Tamika's practice focuses on minute areas of natural flora within urban ecosystems. From these observations and through a strong print aesthetic, Tamika creates a diverse range of organic patterns and forms. The physicality of carving linocut, a method where the process becomes meditative and immersive. Her passion towards printmaking and an understanding of her heritage has encouraged her to explore expression through carved line as a way to represent story, place, memories and relationships.

Tamika's artwork was displayed in Edison Lane.

Kane Brunjes

Kane Brunjes is a murri man from Murgon practicing in both public and gallery realms. Through his art practice, he aims to solidify and represent a visual portrayal of how he views and reacts to the environment surrounding him. Continuing from a rich history of culture, he paints a contemporary reimagined vision through a unique and stylised arrangement of dots, lines and patterns.

Artwork – Proud Gungarri (2018)

Kane's artwork depicts the artist's observations of culture, love and lived experience as a young man. This piece is about cultural pride and uses shapes and lines to depict the landscape and the unconscious connection to Country.

Kane's artwork was displayed in Irish Lane.

Georgia Walsh

Georgia Walsh is a printmaker and drawer based in Brisbane. Her passion for art and creativity led her to complete a fine arts degree and pursue a career in the arts. Working with Digi Youth Arts, Georgia uses creativity as a catalyst to empower Indigenous young people.

Artwork – Brolgas (2016)

Georgia makes work that strives to connect to her traditional Indigenous heritage and her urban Indigenous self. The Brolga has become a significant symbol for her as it is a representation of family, Country, and heritage. Through her artwork, Georgia explores the interactions of identity and place.

Georgia's artwork was displayed in Irish Lane.

Sonja Carmichael

Sonja Carmichael is a Quandamooka woman and descendent of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the traditional custodians of Quandamooka. Sonja explores traditional and contemporary techniques and works in the mediums of fibre, whilst drawing from the stories connected to Quandamooka.

Artwork - Circles of Life (2018)

Circles of Life celebrates the rebirth of traditional Quandamooka weaving practices. It captures shared connections and draws strength in togetherness, binding with a continuous and circular relationship to the past. The artwork is created by weaving materials reclaimed from Minjerriba's shoreline. This marine debris has survived harsh conditions and is an expression of caring for country and the resilience and strength of cultural regeneration.

Sonja's artwork was displayed in the Edward Street vitrines.

Dale Harding

Dale Harding was born in 1982 in Moranbah, Australia and is currently based in Brisbane, Australia. He is a descendent of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal peoples of Central Queensland. Working in a wide variety of media, Harding is recognised for works that explore the untold histories of his communities.

Artwork - Know them in correct judgement (2017), Wall Composition in Reckitt's Blue (2017)

Dale Harding's work takes its inspiration from the paintings in and around Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland, home to his Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal people. His recent works feature outlines of tools at hand in his studio in the same way that everyday objects like boomerangs and spears were stencilled in traditional Aboriginal paintings. A new animation will be created with a variety of stencilled objects and be projected onto a building façade at the corner of Elizabeth and Edward St, Brisbane.

Dale's artwork was displayed on Edward Street.

Casey Coolwell

Casey Coolwell is a Quandamooka, Nunukul woman from Minjerribah with links to Eulo and the Bini people of Bowen. She is an Aboriginal artist and self-taught graphic artist who now runs a successful freelance company. She has created artworks for many well-known organisations including Menzies School of Health Research, Sentencing Council Queensland, and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Artwork – Connections (2019)

This artwork represents the connections made between the communities and countries, in which we travel through. Across our lands we have many countries. Travelling through different countries we must pay respect and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we are visiting or passing through.

Casey's artwork was projected on William Jolly Bridge.

Rachael Sarra

Rachael Sarra is a contemporary Aboriginal artist from Goreng Goreng Country. She uses art as a powerful tool in storytelling to educate and share Aboriginal culture. Her style is feminine, fun and engaging. It strongly draws from her heritage and her role as an Aboriginal woman in a modern world.

Artwork - Two Worlds (2019)

Two Worlds embodies the mental journey of a modern Aboriginal woman overcoming the internal and social conflict of not feeling Aboriginal enough. With traditional culture/heritage and the guidance of ancestors at the heart of the journey, this piece is an expression of traditional culture evolving in a digital world.

Rachael's artwork was projected on the William Jolly Bridge.

Riki Salam

Riki Salam is an accomplished artist with over 20 years' experience creating artworks for high profile projects across corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and internationally. Riki has connections to Muralag, Kala Lagaw Ya, Meriam Mer, Kuku Yalanji peoples on his Father's side and a member of the Ngai Tahu people in the South Island of New Zealand on his Mother's side.

Artwork - Creation Pathways (2019)

Creation Spirit travels across this land, bringing lore, bringing culture, country is created. Ceremony's performed, songs are sung - we are connected, we are one with this land. Skilful hands adapt and refine, knowledge is passed from generation to generation. Rituals and rites, lines direct and guide, tools exchanged - trade continues. Working together, our direction is clear, our ways are enriched, we celebrate as one. The artwork 'Creation Pathways' was developed for the Sandvik Group, Australia, as a part of their Reconciliation Action Plan.

Riki's artwork was projected on the William Jolly Bridge.

Last updated: 1 August 2019