Online OnCountry artist spotlight: Warwick Keen

Posted by | October 16, 2020 | Humanities | No Comments
montage of Indigenous works in the 'terra within' exhibition in Nowra, curated by artist Warwick Keen

The ‘Online OnCountry Gallery – an exhibition of Aboriginal Contemporary Artists’ will celebrate the work of Aboriginal artists across NSW in a new digital format for NAIDOC Week 2020, curated and directed by UNE researchers Michael Brogan and Dr Lorina Barker.

The initiative aims to connect, raise the profile and support the work of artists across the state.

Online OnCountry exhibitor Warwick Keen, an award-winning artist from the Gomeroi (Gamilaraay) language group, will curate an exhibition, ‘the TERRA within‘ at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery from 10 October. Warwick has taught art and maintained his practice from the Shoalhaven region for many years.

The TERRA within will bring together the work of 30 Indigenous artists exploring the impact of British interest in Australia and the survival of traditional culture through 250 years of colonisation.

A response to the 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage to the east coast of Australia, the exhibition draws from artists across Australia, with a particular focus on South Coast voices, focusing on traditional and contemporary art and a multiplicity of opinions and responses to this significant anniversary.

Curator Warwick Keen states: “2020 has seen many issues come to the forefront of social awareness with the Black Lives Matter protests and the reworking of the Closing the Gap policy. We cannot forget that these things have a long history and that our communities are dealing with 250 years of trauma and loss.

“This exhibition starts to tell some of those stories while also celebrating the survival of traditional culture and knowledge. I’m pleased to bring these works together and reflect on both the impacts felt and celebrate the continued connection to Country.”

Keen’s appointment as curator of this significant show was endorsed by Shoalhaven City Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee, who have supported and helped to shape the exhibition themes.

The TERRA within exhibition will be on display between 10 October and 5 December 2020 at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Nowra, supported by the Gibbon Foundation. Admission is free. 

Find out more about ‘the TERRA within’ exhibition on the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery website.  

Keen’s work will be on display as part of the ‘Online OnCountry Gallery – an exhibition of Aboriginal Contemporary Artists’, officially launching for NAIDOC Week, 8-15 November.

The ‘Online OnCountry Gallery’ is a Taragara Aboriginal Corporation cultural initiative, funded by Create NSW through the Aboriginal artist quick response scheme and supported by the University of New England. Find out more about this digital exhibition and other story-sharing and community-building projects by Taragara Corporation, supported by UNE, on the new Taragara website

Exhibition images, from L- R; Jason Wing, Battleground (Noble Savage), 2020, rusted Corten steel, deep etch primer, enamel paint, sealant, aluminium bracket, 120 x 45 x 6cm.Photography by Zan Wimberley. Courtesy of the Artist and Artereal Gallery; Amala Groom, Every Human Emotion in 2 Minutes (production still), 2015, single-channel digital video, dimensions variable, 02:27 min; Julie Freeman, Dithol, 2009, woodcut print, 45.5 x 60.5cm, Wollongong Art Gallery Collection; Teena McCarthy, Sorrow; Emily Kame Kngwarreye, My Country, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 110.0 x 51.0 cm, courtesy of Wollongong Art Gallery; Gordon Syron; Steven Russell, Bait Trap, weaving, courtesy of Wollongong Art Gallery; Karla Dickens, Fight Club, 2016, steel and acrylic paint, dimensions variable.

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