Tony Albert featured in today’s issue of The Age Spectrum ahead of his upcoming solo exhibition ‘Remark’, opening next week Thursday 10 November at Sullivan+Strumpf, Naarm/Melbourne.
‘As the first Indigenous trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Albert now has a seat at the table but recognises that he is “still only one person at the table”. He wants more change, more Indigenous people at the nation’s tables.’ – Susan Johnson
Tony Albert and Vincent Namatjira’s portrait ‘Blackfella Bananas’ has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.
Artist Statement: Vincent
Sometime in 2018 not long after I’d first met Tony we did a TV interview together at the ABC studios in Sydney. They had this painting of the Bananas in Pyjamas there that you could stand behind and put your head through a hole – so of course Tony and I got a photo as the blackfella bananas! At the time it was just a bit of fun, but later on I thought it was something important. As a kid growing up I never saw many Aboriginal people on tv, on the kids’ shows or anything like that. That’s maybe why I loved to watch footy – just to see other Aboriginal people proud and strong on the TV. My daughters are growing up now and it’s been good for them to be able to see more Aboriginal faces of TV; on Play School, Black Comedy, on the news, wherever. Who knows, maybe one day kids will be watching the ‘Blackfella Bananas’ starring me and Tony!
Vincent is an artist but more importantly a cultural leader. He was one of the instigators of the important ‘Weapons for the Soldier exhibition’, which invited 15 Australian artists to respond and exhibit alongside the young men of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. I was fortunate to be one of these artist and from this initial introduction an incredible friendship was forged. On a recent visit to my place in Brisbane, Vincent and I were looking at photos of us together. Given our reciprocal cheeky nature, we were both keen to collaborate on a painting based on a memory of us as ‘Blackfella Bananas’. A story from a moment captured in ABC Studios in Sydney. The more I look at this memory and absurdity of this time the more I draw out of it.
ProppaNOW who have been announced as the winners of the prestigious 2022–2024 Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice. The renowned Indigenous Australian art collective are being acknowledged for the significance and impact of their collective activities since 2003.
Members of Indigenous art collective proppaNOW include Gordon Hookey, Jennifer Herd, Tony Albert, Megan Cope, Richard Bell and Vernon Ah Kee.
Tony Albert’s monumental 15-metre-long floating botanical sculpture, ‘Inhabitant’, has been announced as a major public artwork for the transformational Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane. The striking new work featuring Australian flora will greet visitors at the entrance of Brisbane’s new entertainment precinct.
Liz Nowell, Director of the Institute of Modern Art and member of the Specialist Arts Advisory panel curating the comprehensive collection of artworks for the precinct shares, ‘Tony Albert is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, and his international career began right here in Brisbane. It seems fitting that such a significant work, by an artist who is so embedded in this city should take pride of place in Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. Our cities and towns are filled with bronze monuments, honouring colonial figures that many of us would not be familiar with, it’s critical that these statues are counterbalanced with public art from First Nations people. Tony’s creation is visually arresting as an homage to the Australian landscape, but also as an evolution of his longstanding artistic interest in the cultural misrepresentation of Aboriginal people.’
Pictured: Tony Albert developing his work @peridesartprojectsin Brisbane
Photography by Josef Ruckli
Statement from Tony:
‘It was a great honour to create this monumental public artwork for the new Sydney Football Stadium. Based on a typographical map of this significant site, ‘Two World’s Colliding’ is the embodiment of water and land, two teams, meeting and gathering in the spirit of fierce yet friendly competition,’ shares Albert, ‘The intersection between art, sport, and culture creates a rare opportunity for all people to come together in a meaningful way. I believe public artwork that prioritises, celebrates, and educates by engaging with audiences including children and their families is fundamental to community growth.’
‘I would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as traditional custodians of the lands and waters we now share and pay my respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I respectfully acknowledge Elders, Indigenous staff, the Metropolitan and La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Councils for the engagement and their invitation for me to respond to this site.’
The stadium opened to the public on August 28 2022.
Tony Albert has collaborated with Third Draw Down on an exclusive range of merchandise now available for pre-order, including this tea towel inspired by his body of work ‘Conversations With Margaret Preston’.
The series looks at the ideas and philosophies behind Preston’s push to create a visual national identity, her artistic influence in the branding of a nation, and the resulting spawning and saturation of a mass market industry of kitsch objects that naively and stereotypically depict Aboriginal people and their culture, termed by Albert as “Aboriginalia”.
Tony Albert and Julie Gough will speak in person at the National Gallery Singapore today in response to their works currently showing in ‘Ever-Present: First Peoples Art of Australia’. The talk will be held inside of Richard Bell’s powerful work, ‘Embassy’, 2013–ongoing ✨
‘Ever-Present: First Peoples Art of Australia’ surveys historical and contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across Australia. Challenging populist views of Australian history, the artists use art as a tool of resistance, encouraging conversations that are essential to dispute outdated myths and ideologies. The exhibition is on now until the 25 September 2022.
Tony Albert is included in Phaidon Book PRIME: Art’s Next Generation
This stunningly illustrated survey brings together more than 100 of the most innovative and interesting contemporary artists working across all media and spanning the globe.
Tony Albert and Nell have been awarded a major outdoor public art commission for the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Art.
‘We feel honoured to be creating a public artwork that prioritises children’s learning, celebrates their inquisitive nature and continues QAGOMA’s dedication to excellence in engaging with children and their families.’ – Tony Albert (Brisbane, Girramay/Yidinyji/Kuku Yalanji peoples) and Nell (Sydney).
The BIG HOSE will extend the offerings of QAGOMA’s internationally renowned Children’s Art Centre to visitors beyond the Gallery’s walls and opening hours. It will permanently transform the forecourt between the GOMA Bistro and the river into a cultural and play-based safe space — a community hub for all ages that will ignite the imagination, and engage the hand, mind and eye.
-Chris Saines, QAGOMA Director
Tony Albert is currently in Venice for ‘aabaakwad (it clears after a storm)’, 2022. He has been invited to speak at two panel discussions over the course of the event at the Don Orione Cultural Centre. This gathering of international Indigenous artists, curators and thinkers takes place from April 21-26 as part of the Nordic Pavillion program at the Venice Biennale.
Mark Igloliorte, Tony Albert, Ayesha Green, Taqralik Partridge, Dayna Danger
Pop Catharsis and the import of history
Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli
Rio Terra Foscarini 999/A. 30123 Venezia