Saltwater Artists Connecting to Country
The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum is delighted to present Saltwater Country, a major touring exhibition of contemporary Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Showcasing more than 50 works by 16 of Queensland’s most acclaimed Indigenous artists, this multidisciplinary exhibition features evocative images of Queensland’s coast, sand and sea and examines its cultural importance and connection to country.
Saltwater Country opens at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum following its successful international viewing at the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, USA, and AAMA, Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Saltwater Country features celebrated Queensland artists Vernon Ah Kee, Michael Cook, Daniel Boyd, Fiona Foley, Rosella Namok, Mavis Ngallametta, Laurie Nilsen, Napolean Oui, Brian Robinson, Ken Thaiday, Alick Tipoti, Ian Waldron, Judy Watson, and new talents Megan Cope, Ryan Presley and Erub Arts.
The term ‘country’ has come to be understood as an all-encompassing word explaining the intrinsic nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and creative expression as a reflection of the connection to land and place of birth. What is less known and understood is the equally strong cultural connectedness to the sea and waterways on the coastal edge and how these connections profoundly shape Indigenous cultures and identities.
Curated by Michael Aird and Virginia Rigney, Saltwater Country offers audiences a unique insight into the historical, environmental and personal concerns of the artists and their strong cultural connections to ‘their’ saltwater country – Queensland’s coastline, sea and waterways.
Virginia Rigney said, "The saltwater country is a place of bounty and these places facilitate movement and contact, with tidal and seasonal flows structuring the rhythms of the day and the year, with dramatic times of flood and storm bringing renewal and change. The coastal edge is also currently charged with concerns over environmental change, pollution and human impact. In making artworks about these issues artists are redefining the practice of caring for this meeting point between land and sea…”
Saltwater Country is on display at The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum from Saturday 15 August until Saturday 3 October 2015, where it will be officially opened by Cr Gail Sellers, Mayor of Gladstone Region at 6pm, on Monday 31 August 2015.
The Gallery & Museum is located on the corner of Goondoon & Bramston Sts, Gladstone and is open 10am - 5pm, Monday to Saturday with FREE admission.
Saltwater Country is a touring initiative developed in partnership between Museums & Galleries Queensland and Gold Coast City Gallery. The exhibition is travelling to ten public galleries across Australia in 2015 - 2017. Each of these venues has a strong local culture around the sea, waterways and country.
Saltwater Country is a travelling exhibition developed in partnership between Museums & Galleries Queensland and Gold Coast City Gallery. Curated by Michael Aird and Virginia Rigney. Saltwater Country has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; and is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments. This project has received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts program. The project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and by the City of Gold Coast.