Where: Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, 31 Lamrock Avenue, Bondi Beachcooeeart.com.au | au | Ph: 02 9300 9233
This exhibition explores outsider or naïve art within the context of Australian Indigenous Art. The artists featured in this exhibition come from a wide variety of regions, use varied mediums and are painting different stories, yet all present us with different Ways of seeing the Australian landscape and its Aboriginal history.
This exhibition brings together over 20 artists — from the Kimberley’s to Alice Springs and back to Sydney — such as Billy Benn, Patsy Lulpunda, Gordon Syron, Kukula McDonald, and Lily Morton. Amongst these great names on show are numerous other artists from acclaimed centres such as Bindi (or Mwerre Anthurre artists), Tangentyere Artists from Alice Springs and Sydney’s Weave Art Centre.
The term ‘outsider art’ is an English synonym for Art Brut, meaning ‘raw art’ and is used to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture, by self taught or ‘naïve’ art makers. Each of the works selected have been painted using a European viewpoint of their surroundings rather than the birdseye view more often represented in Aboriginal art. All are painted using strong, vibrant colours and an absence of perspective — creating the fantastical illusion of forms and figures floating in space — characteristics of outsider art.
Billy Benn & Bindi Art — Mwerre Anthurre Arts StudioBindi inc is a cross cultural organisation situated in Alice Springs, at the heart of Central Australia. it has provided opportunities for people with disabilities for over 32 years. Its artist collective Mwerre Anthurre commenced in 2000 to support indigenous artists. Mwerre Anthurre Artists encourage the promotion of art skill development, nurturing artists who demonstrate an interest and passion to develop a career in fine art. Mwerre Anthurre artists are empowered to create significant and culturally rejuvenating art. ‘Each painting is a connection to country.’
Featured artists are Billy Benn, Kukula McDonald, Billy Kenda, Lance James and Seth Namatjira.
Billy Benn, the founding member of the collective, was named one of the fifty most collectable artists in Australia in Art Collector magazine. Discovered by the mainstream art market at the 2000 Desert Mob exhibition, he has since become a major figure with works acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, The Art Gallery of new South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria. he was the 2006 winner of the coveted Alice Prize. The artist statement that accompanied his winning work announced ‘Billy Benn wants to paint every hill from his country and then he will stop, then he will return home’.
Essentially an outsider artist, with little structured art training, Billy Benn’s sensitive use of colour portrays the magical, daily evolving shades of Central Australia’s hills. Purple, indigo, brown, yellow and pink are swept upon the canvas using his signature rich brushstroke technique. he creates scenes that seem to move before our eyes with a floating, dream-like sensibility. it is his use of thick lusciously textured paint which adds extra beauty to these desert landscapes painted from memory.
The art, the artists and outsider art within Aboriginal Australian artPanel Discussion: Watch videoWhere: Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery
Colin Rhodes – Dean of the Sydney College of Arts and a specialist in Outsider ArtAdrian Newstead – Director of Coo-ee Aboriginal Art GalleryCamille Masson-Talansier – Artistic Director of Weave Art Centre Sydney
Tangentyere ArtistsAnwernkenhe Ayeye – The Story Belonging to UsAlison Inkamala, Elizabeth Beasly, Maureen Williams, Margaret Boko, Jane Young, Sally Mulda and Amy Napurulla