Black White & Restive

Vernon Ah Kee

‘Works left to right: Vernon Ah Kee Tolerance (2005) (private collection) and Imants Tillers White Aborigines 2, (1982 – NAG collection)’Photo: Una Rey

Cross-cultural initiatives in Australian contemporary art

Engagement between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous artists has had a long and sometimes controversial history,  BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE is a major exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery exploring this cross-cultural engagement over the years and mapping different approaches to this form of art. The exhibition spans two levels of the gallery and celebrates the work of over sixty artists exploring the stylistic, conceptual and collaborative currents running between them.

The exhibition’s visual and historical narrative begins with Albert Namatjira and Rex Battarbee’s creative exchange from the 1930s and surveys key works from the 1990s until 2015, including five large-scale collaborations. BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE draws on Newcastle Art Gallery’s collection of works by Gordon Bennett, Imants Tillers, Tim Johnson, Ildiko Kovacs, Danie Mellor, Margaret Preston and Tony Tuckson as well as the Newcastle Art Gallery’s significant holdings of Hermannsburg watercolours.

Exhibition curator Una Rey has worked with the Aboriginal arts sector for over 20 years. BLACK WHITE & RESTIVE was developed during her residency as Guest Curator at Newcastle Art Gallery supported by M&G NSW with funds from Arts NSW as part of our Gallery Grants program. Rey explains that her ideas in this area have been evolving for many years:

‘I was first seriously challenged in my thinking on the dynamics between black and white art and artists when working with painters at Haasts Bluff and Melville Island in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however countless conversations with artists, curators, gallery directors, writers,students and audiences have laid thegroundwork for Black White & Restive.’

Una Rey

‘Curator’s floor talk on Sat 4th June 2016 – works left to right: Danie Mellor Hearts of Ranges (2006 – NAG collection) and Michael Eather & Friends, Two Worlds (1995-97), (QAGOMA collection).Photo: Lisa Slade.

‘I was first seriously challenged in my thinking on the dynamics between black and white art and artists when working with painters at Haasts Bluff and Melville Island in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however countless conversations with artists, curators, gallery directors, writers,students and audiences have laid the groundwork for Black White & Restive.’

Rey says the exhibition has had a huge response from the community, attracting the biggest crowd at a Newcastle Art Gallery opening in memory.

Now on show at the Newcastle Art Gallery until 7 August 2016.

The exhibition is accompanied by exciting public programs including a symposium, community art projects, special tours, collaborative cuisine and concerts. See the Newcastle Art Gallery website for dates and details.

More information on M&G NSW Grants.

This project is supported by Arts NSW’s Curatorial Support Initiative grant, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. This project is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

 

 

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Newcastle Art Gallery

Hunter Region

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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