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August 2020

Vivien Anderson Gallery is delighted to announce that we have a new limited edition work by celebrated artist Maree Clarke in the gallery.

Maree Clarke is a Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Mutti Mutti, Boonwurrung woman who grew up in northwest Victoria, mainly in Mildura. Maree has been a practicing artist living and working in Melbourne for the last three decades, and is a pivotal figure in the reclamation of southeast Australian Aboriginal art practices, reviving elements of Aboriginal culture that were lost – or laying dormant - over the period of colonisation, as well as a leader in nurturing and promoting the diversity of contemporary southeast Aboriginal artists.

Maree Clarke’s limited edition lenticular lightboxes Made from Memory - On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee River I, II and III explore the notion of place, revealed through connection to Country, family and histories, which are reinterpreted by Maree in her art. These connections rest on the remembrance of events and stories, which are shaped by experiences that are unique to Maree, yet resonate with issues that Aboriginal people still contend with.

The site of these images has personal significance to the artist. Balranald Mission, located on Mutti Mutti Country is where, in the early 1960s, Aboriginal Australians including Maree and her family lived in tents with an attached corrugated iron lean to. Maree’s earliest years were spent sleeping in an old suitcase. Although her family lived on their Country and maintained strong connections to it, there were few opportunities for Aboriginal people to gain regular employment or to achieve the benefits that access to education, a culturally appropriate health system and decent living conditions can provide. In 1964 the family moved to Munatunga Mission near Robinvale, where Maree and her older brother, Ray, were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Maree and Ray were removed from their family for two years to be treated at the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne. Their removal highlights the policy logic of the time – where Aboriginal Australians were subject to indiscriminate acts of assimilation – effectively limiting their control over where and how they lived. On their release from hospital, just prior to the 1967 Referendum, Maree and her brother were reunited with their family, this time in Mildura, where their mother was also being treated for tuberculosis. The Clarkes were the first Aboriginal family to be granted a Housing Commission home in Mildura, indicating that times were slowly changing and recognition of Aboriginal people as Australian citizens was creeping into the national conscience.

The three works in the series Made from Memory - On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee River depicting fire, a tent, and a suitcase, are overlaid with a thumbprint, a reference to being embedded in Country.

The lenticular lightboxes are available individually and are a limited edition of 5. Details as follows:
Maree Clarke
Made from Memory - On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee River I, II and III
61.7 x 61.7 x 7.2 cm
6500k LED lightbox 12V DC 1.5A power supply
edition of 5
$6,800 each (subject to sequential pricing for higher editions)

Maree Clarke has been recognised for her contribution to the arts as recipient of the Australia Council 2020 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship. She is the line wide Metro Tunnel artist, and will stage a major survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in April 2021, amongst several other very exciting projects which we look forward to sharing with you shortly!

To view other works by the artist visit her artist page on our website. For further information and sales enquiries, please contact the gallery.


August 2020

This week we continue our Home Delivery with a feature on Roy McIvor

Tell me about the artist, Roy McIvor?

Born in 1934 at Cape Bedford Mission, Roy McIvor was a senior Guugu Yimithirr man, who spent much of his extraordinary life in Hope Vale, 50km north of Cooktown on the Cape York, Queensland. A painter for over fifty years until his death in 2018, Roy McIvor was a stalwart figure in the promotion of Indigenous art and culture, and long time chair of the Hope Vale Arts and Cultural Centre.

His paintings, underpinned by the traditional art of his ancestors, explored the contemporary social landscape of community life. Indeed, the compositions reflect a complex dance between traditional imagery associated with the rock art sites in his country and the merging of graffiti like urban motif - dense but harmonious, which is exactly what the artist intended.

How long has Vivien Anderson Gallery represented the artist?

After being introduced to Roy McIvor’s painting at the inaugural Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2009, Vivien Anderson Gallery staged Roy’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first exhibition outside Queensland, in 2010. The exhibition coincided with the book launch of Cockatoo: My Life in Cape York a collection of stories and illustrations of art by Roy McIvor, which tells of his astonishing life. In the book he recalls the exile of his people, the Indigenous population of Hope Valley in the coastal region of Cape York during World War II - a shameful yet seldom-told chapter in the history of Australia’s Indigenous people.

Roy McIvor was just 10 when he, his family and his community were rounded up by the military and shipped 1500km south to Woorabinda. During their seven year exile, almost one third of the community perished as a result of disease amid atrocious living conditions. But in Cockatoo: My Life in Cape York, Roy McIvor’s inspirational outlook and generous spirit show how he and his people triumphed over the hardship to which they were subjected, eventually returning home to re-build their community, now known as Hope Vale.

Following the success of Roy McIvor’s 2010 solo exhibition, with acquisitions by the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra amongst other private and public collections, Roy was exhibited by Vivien Anderson Gallery at the Cairns Art Fair in 2011 and 2012, included in many prizes (including being acquired by the Gold Coast City Art Prize in 2012) and held a major survey of his paintings and work on paper in Reimagining - Roy McIvor at the Cairns Art Gallery in 2013.

Why is Roy McIvor important?

Painting for Roy was a meditation on the harmony and beauty in nature as a balm for the crises in modern day life.

In the community you’re never short of a problem. I wanted to give that trouble away, and wondered how can I live through this? Life was like captivity and I thought about how can we change it – how can we think differently about our life and take control of it? We had no freedom to live our own life and I wanted to liberate my people through my art. People need to know that Indigenous people can bring about changes in their life themselves.

The paintings recall the emotional feelings I experienced when I first the saw the rock art that is all around my Binthi homelands, so my work is like a dance between this traditional imagery and the modern reality, punctuated by a graffiti like urban motif.

Art is precious in life. I kept up with my culture’s traditional style because it reminds me of my old people. It reminds me of their life, they were wonderful artists too. I thought about that, and I thought about my country at McIvor River. I look at the countryside and remember how beautiful it is, and how my old people were up on the mountains, painting beautifully on the rock.

There is much we can learn from the resilience of artists like Roy McIvor, and the message his paintings convey is as relevant today – though for entirely different reasons – as they were when Roy conceived them. As we cope with the uncertainty and anxiety that a lack of control from living through this global pandemic has brought, Roy McIvor’s paintings are joyous reflections of, and meditations on, the inherent balance and harmony of nature.

If you would like any further information or individual high res images of available paintings by the artist, please contact the gallery.

Image: Roy McIvor, Dynamic Order #2 2009, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 80.0 x 105.0 cm


August 2020

There is a definite heaviness to Stage 4 Lockdown in Melbourne, especially on a cold grey winters day like today. It gives great comfort to know that here in Melbourne we are determined in our attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and that other parts of this country and the world are united in their efforts to stay well. Why should we be surprised by that solidarity? As the poet Rumi writes: You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.

It is in that spirit of collectively supporting each other and our environment that Kent Morris has released a limited edition lightbox based on his current digital billboard Never Alone, now beaming out across the intersection of Grey Street, Fitzroy Street and Canterbury Road in St Kilda as part of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) – Who’s Afraid of Public Space?

Developed during the current isolation, Kent focused on the First Nations cultural concept of the interconnectedness of all things.
He states: During the COVID-19 period, there has been a reframing of how we collectively perceive time. We have a remembered past, an anxious present and an uncertain future. Never Alone encourages a reflective response to our current state of existence and suggests the incorporation of Indigenous philosophies, knowledges and relationships to navigate a connected pathway forward.

The Never Alone Lightbox is a limited edition of 20 at $1,250 each
Overall size: 23.3 x 47.3 x 7.2 cm,
6500k LED lightbox 12V DC 1.5A power supply
Select from the desk top or wall mounted version.
Plug in for the desk top is at the rear of the lightbox, left or right side option.
Wall mounted plug in is at base of the lightbox, left or right side option.

For further information and sales enquiries please contact the gallery.
To view other available works by Kent Morris, visit the artist's page on our website. 


August 2020

Lockdowns make us assess what’s really important. Family, friends, and the artists we represent are top of our mind throughout this time. We know the pandemic has had some devastating consequences on our artists’ livelihoods, with national and international exhibitions, residencies, symposiums, presentations and other opportunities postponed or cancelled. Most of our artists are sole traders whose only source of income is from their art.

It is important that we continue to support the indigenous visual arts sector during this period. Our Art Is Our Lifeline is a new national campaign encouraging the purchase of artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists as a powerful and effective way to directly support artists and communities during these unprecedented times. Launched by the Indigenous Art Code (IartC), the campaign underlines the vital urgency of supporting Australia’s talented First Nations artists, and as wider audiences embrace online sales, of buying art through ethical sources. The campaign is in partnership with Macquarie Group, a long-time supporter of emerging artists including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Our Art Is Our Lifeline features nine diverse artists including gallery represented Kaantju and Umpila artist, Naomi Hobson, from Coen QLD.
Naomi is currently exhibiting at the first virtual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair which opens tomorrow and can be accessed online.

For Naomi, the lockdown caused some initial sadness with cancelled or delayed exhibitions and the associated travel, including her first solo exhibition with the gallery. However, Naomi has since embraced the positives of devoting more time for painting in her home studio. She admits that she is even observing things she hasn’t noticed before and these new insights are being channelled into her paintings, which we can’t wait to show you.

The exhibition of new paintings is befittingly entitled PAYAMU - TO SHINE, and we look forward to sharing this radiant body of work with you as soon as we can. To ensure you receive a preview of the exhibition, please contact the gallery.

And please also keep your eye out for the Indigenous Art Code’s social media campaign - Our Art Is Our Lifeline. Outdoor advertising is up, and we’d love to see images of people lucky enough to be out and about and near these locations… Share your images, and don’t forget to hashtag #OurArtIsOurLifeline

139 Bayswater Rd Before Mclachlan Ave Rushcutters Bay
36 Denham St Before Bondi Rd Bondi
79 Elliott St Before Darling St Balmain
88 Brighton Blvd After Campbell Pde North Bondi
440 Toorak Rd After Carters Ave Toorak
90 Brunswick Street after Palmer Street Fitzroy
220 Commercial Rd Before Cato St Prahran
59 Fitzroy St Before Park St St Kilda
272 Clovelly Rd After Arden St Coogee
242 Arden St Before Carr St Coogee
136 Elizabeth St After Albert St Brisbane CBD
53 Mollison St After Boundary St West End
73 Russell St After Oconnell St West End

Image: Naomi Hobson, Our Art is Our Lifeline, Indigenous Art Code social media campaign

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