MAC to feature National Gallery of Australia’s landmark Defying Empire

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Mildura Arts Centre will showcase the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) biggest survey of Australian Indigenous artwork this month when Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial opens locally on Friday 26 July.

Featuring 71 works of art by 30 established, mid-career and emerging contemporary Indigenous artists from across the country, the exhibition represents the treatment and experience of Indigenous Australians from first contact right up to the present day.

Councillor for Arts and Culture Jason Modica said the exhibition would both challenge people and help them understand issues faced by Indigenous people for generations.

“This landmark exhibition, which very appropriately was launched nationally on the anniversary of the historic 1967 Referendum, marks the ongoing resistance, resilience and defiance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people against colonisation, from first contact through to today,” Cr Modica said.

The 1967 Referendum granted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the right to be counted in the Census and therefore counted as Australians.

Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial will feature works including painting on canvas and bark, weaving and sculpture, video, prints, photography, metalwork and glasswork.

The National Gallery’s Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, including Defying Empire, Tina Baum, said the exhibition explored a raft of pivotal issues.

“From stolen generations to nuclear testing; the Referendum to cultural appropriation; racism to family; traditional practice to contemporary firsts, Defying Empire proves art and activism have always gone hand-in-hand,” Ms Baum said.

Defying Empire was made possible through the ongoing support of the National Gallery of Australia’s s Indigenous Art Partner Wesfarmers Arts.

Cr Modica will officially open the exhibition at Mildura Arts Centre on Friday 26 July at 6pm. It will be followed by a floor talk at the exhibition the following day, Saturday 27 July, from 11am to 12pm, featuring Ms Baum.

Defying Empire will run through until Sunday 13 October.

The following artists will have their work featured in the exhibition:

Tony Albert, Brook Andrew, Sebastian Arrow, Daniel Boyd, Maree Clarke, Megan Cope, Brenda L. Croft, Karla Dickens, Blak Douglas, Fiona Foley, Julie Gough, Lola Greeno, Dale Harding, Sandra Hill, Jonathan Jones, Mr Ken, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Nonggirrnga Marawili, Archie Moore, Laure Nona, Rusty Peters, Reko Rennie, Brian Robinson, Yhonnie Scarce, Ken Thaiday Snr, Judy Watson, Vicki West, Jason Wing, Pedro Wonaeamirri and Raymond Zada.

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