Cairns Art Gallery
QUEEN’S LAND: BLAK PORTRAITURE at Cairns Art Gallery explores how black identity in Queensland has been defined and visually represented through portraiture by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from the late 19th century to the present. Curated by the Cairns Art Gallery and guest curators Djon Mundine, OAM and Cairns Indigenous Art Festival Artistic Director, Janina Harding, the exhibition features original artworks and archival images from a diverse range of artistic conventions brought together to form visual narratives that raise questions of: identity and connection to country; the exotic; types and stereotypes; dis/empowerment; activism. The exhibition features artists including Vernon Ah Kee, Michael Aird, Tony Albert, Danie Mellor, Christian Thompson, Judy Watson and Michael Cook, and juxtaposes traditional portrait images that perpetuate the dominant colonial, cultural and racial stereotypes with images where black artists represent themselves and others as they want to be seen, contesting past discourses and engaging with new discussions around race and identity. A substantial publication supports the exhibition, containing commissioned essays by Michael Aird, Dr Julie Gough, Djon Mundine, Dr Sandra Phillips and Janina Harding that address and contextualise the subject matter and themes of the exhibition. QUEEN’S LAND: BLAK PORTRAITURE runs from May 17 until August 11.
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