Earlier this year a good friend and amazingly talented Tony Albert very kindly invited me to participate in a project he was doing.
'Pay Attention' is a collaborative work with 25 of Tony's close friends. Each artist has created a thoughtful, individual work which collectively questions the problematic notion of “authenticity” in contemporary Aboriginal art and how the work of young Aboriginal artists is valued and interpreted in the art world.
The text is a direct quote taken from a lithograph by American artist Bruce Nauman held in the National Gallery of Australia. By referencing Nauman, Albert challenges the collection policies of some of the major Australian public art institutions whose collections, while reflecting international art trends, often fail to invest in what Albert and his peers recognise as significant indigenous art movements locally.
I feel very lucky to have contributed to this exhibition and admire Tony's strength and courage, below are some pictures of the process and exhibition which was showcased in the Roundabout Exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand in November 2010.
L - R: Megan Tamati-Quennell, Richard Bell, Shelley Jahnke, Megan Cope, Archie Moore & Laurie Nilsen.