Damien Shen draws from his Ngarringeri and Chinese heritage making powerful images that reflect the complexities of race and identity in Australia. He’s “interested in the Coorong region, work that relates to the stories my family has about their early memories of growing up on the Raukkan mission in the early 50s”. An accomplished story-teller, he will work with Mt Gambier artists, producing tintypes through a travelling interactive project involving local communities.
Profile image: Brent Leideritz
Townsville / Queensland
Artists & Gallery Director
Anne Lord’s life experiences in north west Queensland growing up on a sheep and cattle property and returning to help during teaching holidays have contributed to her unique approach to interpreting the environment. As an established and highly respected artist who has worked in a range of media for over three decades, Anne reflects on the land’s deep past. Tracing back to the pre-human existence of organisms emerging from primal matter of the prehistoric inland sea, she invites viewing audiences to re-think the necessity of collaborative custodianship of this ancient land as the planet moves towards a precarious ecological future.
Brian Robinson is an internationally acclaimed artist who harnesses his deep knowledge of his Torres Strait Island heritage to approaches and materials that are cutting edge and aesthetically powerful. Robinson harnesses his childhood memories where traditional cosmologies of the Torres Strait merged with his fascination with comic-book super-heroes. Robinson uses the apparent conundrums of these clashing world-views to invent new ecosystems – imagery that offers new possibilities for seeking out connections with place, with cosmology and with each other. In response to the ‘water travel’ aspect of The Partnershipping Project, Robinson proposes to produce a “cartographic system as a means of producing and preserving knowledge of the traditional tenure and place of his people.”
Daughter of Eddie Mabo, Gail is aware of the ongoing vigilance and energy that is necessary to raise consciousness about Indigenous Land Rights. A high-profile public figure and a highly commended artist, Gail welcomed participation in the project as a means to extend her practice into installation. Gail aims to collaborate with other artists and members of community, responding to the project’s core question ‘Does Place Matter?’ – a question that has been pivotal to her family’s focus for several generations.
Obery Sambo is a performance and visual artist who draws from his roots in Murray Island, Eastern Torres Strait. His inventive masks (Krar) capture the spirit and energy of animals, spirits and people of the region. Obery is keen to collaborate with an artist from the Northern Territory, exploring the difference between their cultures. “I’ve never eaten goanna! And they’ve never tasted dugong!” he says, “This project is going to give me a chance to do this kind of comparison!”
As an emerging artist whose everyday drawing practice extends from preparing work for a tertiary course in fine art to preparing images for his day-job as a well-known Townsville-based tattoo artist, Rob draws from his interaction with the local tattoo community to examine how Townsville’s role as an army garrison has influenced its tattoo culture. After leaving his home town in Burnie, Tasmania, Rob was involved in a range of military experiences in a range of international destinations. These experiences form the basis for his growing conviction that art provides a unique means of expression, a language capable of traversing cultural and social boundaries. For The Partnershipping Project, Rob’s work will select images, icons and symbols many use to define their sense of self to re-present them in new contexts in order to expose new relationships and meaning.
Vanghoua Anthony Vue
Vanghoua Anthony Vue is already gaining international attention for his work exploring the peripatetic journeys undertaken by members of his Hmong community across the globe. Vue explores Hmong writing systems, together with Hmong textiles that’s so often been misinterpreted as simple patterns, and reinterprets these as monumental graphics for ersatz graffiti markings. For this project Vue will work with the Hmong community in Cairns to develop new work exploring Hmong journeys across various bodies of water and land, and the ‘shipping’ and translation of home from South East Asia to far north Queensland.
Profile photo: Chue Zeng Yang