Just Not Australian


Just Not Australian brings together a group of 20 living Australian artists across generations and mediums to deal broadly with the origins and implications of contemporary Australian nationhood. This timely thematic show will look to showcase the common sensibilities of satire, larrikinism and resistance in order to interrogate and interpret presenting and representing Australian identity.

The impetus for this exhibition has come from the public discourse around its title, of what it means to be ‘unAustralian’. The exhibition engages with the moral and ethical undertones of this loaded rejoinder, that has entered more popularly into our national political lexicon, of how this is defined and by whom. Terror Nullius by Soda Jerk forms the central focus point of the exhibition, a work that aptly looks at Australia’s national mythology, encompassing ideas of visibility and inclusion.

This exhibition took place at Artspace just prior to the official 250th anniversary celebrations for Captain Cook’s first voyage to Australia. This is an opportunity to engage critically with this moment in Australia’s colonial history and to examine the meaning of ‘arrival’ as a continuum within this country that has seen ongoing immigration historically and contemporaneously.

The exhibition opened as part of the Sydney Festival program on 18 January 2019.



Soda Jerk Gordon Hookey
Abdul Abdullah Richard Lewer
Hoda Afshar Archie Moore
Tony Albert Vincent Namatjira
Cigdem Aydemir Nell
Liam Benson Joan Ross
Eric Bridgeman Tony Schwensen
Jon Campbell Raquel Ormella
Karla Dickens Ryan Presley 
Fiona Foley


Interview with Artist, Tony Albert – video by M&G NSW


Interview with Artist, Ryan Presley – video by UQ Art Museum


Interview with Curator, Talia Linz – video by M&G NSW



Tweed Regional Gallery and The Margaret Olley Arts Centre, NSW 18 September – 8 November 2020
Wollongong Art Gallery, NSW 21 November 2020 – 7 February 2021
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW 19 February – 5 April 2021
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW 14 August – 26 September 2021
Cairns Art Gallery, QLD 8 October – 28 November 2021
Gladstone Regional Gallery, QLD 10 December 2021 – 6 February 2022
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, QLD 18 February – 3 April 2022
Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Moreton Bay, QLD 17 April – 18 June 2022
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, SA 2 July – 4 September 2022
Walkway Gallery, Bordertown, SA 17 September – 30 October 2022



Just Not Australian was curated by Artspace and developed in partnership with Sydney Festival and Museums & Galleries of NSW. The exhibition is touring nationally with Museums & Galleries of NSW.