The proppaNOW collective really are the leading Aboriginal art collective in Australia. Some of the artists have been inspirational to me as a young urban Indigenous artist since I studied contemporary art at university from 2001-2003. Their artwork was regularly referenced in my art journals and written assignments. In 2004, I completed a formal mentorship with Bianca Beetson, who until recently had been a member of the group. So I was excited at the chance to curate an exhibition which featured the likes of Tony Albert, Richard Bell, Vernon Ah Kee and Jennifer Herd, because of my admiration for these artists and the proppaNOW collective as a whole.
My favorite artwork included in the exhibition is the Black See by Gordon Hookey. This is a sculpture of a large letter “C” accompanied by a painting depicting a scene of a rugby league game. It is a commentary on racism in sport and in particular the event in 2010 when Andrew Johns called Greg Inglis a black c***. Being a keen rugby league fan I picked up on the references and clever puns embedded in the artwork.
All of the deadly artists in proppaNOW push the boundaries of Aboriginal art and present a unique perspective of black Australia which is always intriguing and thought provoking.
A social history of the proppaNOW collective featuring stories from the artists about their artwork, the industry and their personal experiences, is on display in kuril dhagun until 10 September 2012.
For more information: /whats-on/calevents/kd/proppanow