Pillar Project for G20 Cultural in Brisbane, Australia

Painted for the Pillars Project an initiative preceding the G20 world summit in Brisbane this year.

This is the first piece I have painted since back in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. Whilst painting overseas my work was inspired by historic imagery relating to unique aspects particular to place and country. Through those experiences I have reflected on the history and identity of modern Australia as a nation and the power and strength represented by early indigenous photographic portraiture in Australia. These images have spoken to me and strengthened my understandings in the great divide in mainstream Australian culture against what defines Australia as unique. This work is about the responsibility of my large-scale portraiture style to represent this unique cultural identity and their rich connection to this land.

The content and theme of the work was based on a collaboration with Historian/Artist and Archive curator Michael Aird from Keeaira Publishing and the Queensland museum. The work displays a portrait of an unidentified woman who was part of an dance group formed by Archibald Meston from a variety of people from the Northern Territory, North Queensland and the Torres Straight, who travelled down to Brisbane in 1892 under the performance title of ‘Wild Australia.’ The group spent three months training in Brisbane in 1892 where they were photographed here on the banks of the Brisbane river. After travelling south to Melbourne financial backing was withdrawn and the group spent six months until they could get back to Brisbane in July 1893. Michael is currently researching this story together with these photographs for an upcoming exhibition project at the Queensland Museum early next year, through which it is hoped will begin the discussion in discovering family connections to these people and what happened to them.

Many thanks to project facilitators Dan Brock and San-Mari, Jugglers Art Space and Michael Aird.

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The ‘Wild Australia’ group Photographed at St. Lucia on the Brisbane River

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Merivale St, South Brisbane

 

Blok 5 in Nuuk, Greenland

‘Pooŋojorteq’ the hunter, was painted from a photograph byWilliam Thalbitzer of him in the remote East Greenland settlement of Ammassalik in 1906.

This wall is part of Grassroots project by myself, Stefán Óli and Filmmaker Ari Rannveigarson from Fenrir Films to paint and document the placement of street art in Greenland.

Painted on Blok 5 of the housing Bloks in Nuuk built in the 1950’s in an attempt by the Danish government to rapidly modernise Greenlandic society and its Inuit population. Through the closing down of social services in the remote settlements a proud hunter/gathering society was forcibly moved into these urban Blok’s to work industrial jobs in the city. This rapid change from traditional cultural practices over 1 generation resulted in high rates of suicide, alcoholism and many other social problems. Many of the Bloks are now in so far need of repair, it will be cheaper to knock them down. The painting of these walls although just on face value seemed to re-raise what seemed like an endless discussion on the living conditions and maintenance of these houses. Blok 5 was also the site of an explosion due to some dodgy gas heating system in 1970 killing 12 people.

Documentary to be released about this in the future…

Many thanks to Qivioq, Bo Albrechtsen, Greenland National Museum, Embla, Ari and the support from Montanacans

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Grønlands National museum

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Housing Blok’s in Nuuk, Greenland

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‘Blok 5′ explosion, 1970

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Documentary Stills, by Ari Rannveigarson from Fenrir Films

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‘Pooŋojorteq’ the Hunter, Painted on Blok 5 in Nuuk, Greenland

 

Akureyrarvaka, 2014

Portrait of ‘Sia’ painted over Akureyrarvaka festival weekend in Akureyri, Iceland while in residence.

Created in reference to Minjasafnið á Akureyri photo archives of local woman and young actress ‘Sia’ in her young age from a 1970’s theatre production of Dimmalimm who passed away in 2010. The piece focuses on supporting continuing local theatre productions in Akureyri, currently under question in the town.

Thanks to Jon Gunnar, Anna Freyja and Hörður Geirsson from Minjasafniđ á Akureyri

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Minjasafnið á Akureyri photo archives

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Akureyri Theatre

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Akureyri, Iceland

 

Commission for Kópavogsbær

Jón úr Vör, Icelandic poet commissioned by Kópavogsbær in Kópavogur, Iceland.

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Kópavogur, Iceland