Legacy: Reflections on Mabo artist panel discussion

Next on

Wed 24 Aug


Booking required?


In celebration of Legacy: Reflections on Mabo exhibition, we invite you to join us for a conversation that celebrates the man behind the game-changing Native Title Act, Eddie Koiki Mabo, and the ongoing influence and impact he has had on Australian society and culture. 

This travelling exhibition brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists in the spirit of reconciliation, 30 years after this historic achievement.

In this discussion learn about the curatorial directions from Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts director, Kate O'Hara. The panel will include reflections from exhibition co-curator and daughter of Koiki Mabo, Gail Mabo and Brisbane contributing artists Judy Watson and Katina Davidson.

This free event will also be livestreamed from State Library of Queensland. Register to join us onsite or online and be part of this exciting event.  


Kate O’Hara is the Director of Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, an independent platform for contemporary and experimental arts practice operating on Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country (Townsville, North Queensland).  Kate has over 15 years in industry experience as a curator and arts manager in institutional, not-for-profit, commercial and independent arts environments.   Prior to working at Umbrella, Kate managed Maningrida Art & Culture, a large and prestigious Indigenous art centre in Arnhem land. Previous to this Kate worked with a number of arts organisations in South East Asia, including Romeet Contemporary Art Space in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as their inaugural Curator and Manager.  She has a proven track record in growing arts organisations in the not-for-profit sector as well as improving returns to artists and growing recognition for artistic movements.


Gail Mabo is a multidisciplinary artist working across sculpture, installation, printmaking and painting.  Most recently Mabo has been experimenting with cast bronze, empowered by her 2021 residency at Urban Art Projects.  Her work often connects Torres Strait Islander Knowledge and political histories including that of her own family to manifest contemporary advocacy.  Storytelling and sharing Culture are important to her work. In 2018 she co-curated the exhibition, Legacy: Reflections on Mabo. This exhibition premiered in Townsville her hometown and is on a four-year Australian tour. Her most recent exhibition, House of Cards, Mabo mined her personal and emotional archive to speak to the socio-political climate of three generations of powerful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  This immersive installation premiered at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts in Townsville in 2021 and will tour to newly opened Rockhampton Museum of Art later this year. In recent years she has been commissioned to create major new works for Tarnanthi and AGNSW.  Both commissions were subsequently collected.  Her work is also held in Art Gallery of New South Wales,  Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery Australia and Artbank among other collections of national significance.

Judy Watson was born in Mundubbera, Queensland. Judy Watson’s Aboriginal matrilineal family is from Waanyi country in north-west Queensland. The artist’s process evolves by working from site and memory, revealing Indigenous histories, following lines of emotional and physical topography that centre on particular places and moments in time. Spanning painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and video, her practice often draws on archival documents and materials, such as maps, letters and police reports, to unveil institutionalised discrimination against Aboriginal people. Her work is included in several significant Australian and international collections, including all of Australia’s state institutions, the National Gallery of Australia, the Tokyo National University of Technology, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the British Museum, and MCA/ TATE. Watson is an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, and in 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Art History by the University of Queensland.

Katina Davidson (Kullilli/Yuggera) is an artist, writer, and Curator of Indigenous Australian Art, at Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Her creative practice aims to draw attention to little known local histories, especially in relation to her Indigenous communities and family. She has been part of group exhibitions 'Legacy: Reflections on Mabo', curated by Gail Mabo and the Umbrella Studios, Townsville, 2019; 'Maiwar' Vibrant Laneways exhibition, curated by Blaklash Collective for Brisbane City Council, 2018; 'Gathering Stands', curated by Freja Carmichael at Redland Art Gallery, 2016; and participated in the South Stradbroke Island Indigenous Art Camp, run by the City of Gold Coast in 2014, where she returned in 2021 as the writer in residence for its new location in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Legacy: Reflections on Mabo is a travelling exhibition presented by Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and toured by Museums & Galleries Queensland.

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Upcoming dates

Wed 24 Aug