Learn about the practice of renowned Waanyi artist Gordon Hookey in conversation with Keith Munro, Leader, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Together they will chart three decades of Hookey's practice where art and activism fuse, and discuss the significant new commission created for the major survey ‘A MURRIALITY’. Supported by the UNSW Galleries Commissioners Circle, this new work draws inspiration from Hookey’s vast collection of political posters and continues his acclaimed series of protest banners.
Gordon Hookey belongs to the Waanyi people and locates his art at the interface where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures converge. His work is best known for its biting satire of Australian culture and politics, its witty critique of racism, and an exploration of oral and image-based history-making traditions. Across sculpture, printmaking, video, and large-scale painting, ‘A MURRIALITY’ presents perspectives on historical and contemporary issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Through the lens of Hookey’s lived experience as a Murri person, this includes legal injustices, international conflict, cultural representations, and language.
Keith Munro is Leader, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Initiatives at the MCA. He is a descendant of the Kamilaroi (Gomeroi / Gamilaroi/ Gamilarray) people of north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland, Australia. Some of his curatorial projects include 'Ripple Effect: Boomalli Founding members' (2012), Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative 25th anniversary exhibition, and for the MCA 'Being Tiwi' (2015–17, co-curated with Senior Curator Natasha Bullock), the international touring 'Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land' (2008–10), 'Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO' (2010) and 'In the Balance: Art for a Changing World' (2010). Keith works with MCA colleagues to oversee Audience Programs for both Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal audiences to come together to learn, discuss and share, such as film screenings and panel discussion for NAIDOC week; community workshops and other key milestones in the Aboriginal calendar. Prior to his role at the MCA, Kieth worked on various projects at the Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum and during the Sydney Olympic Cultural Olympiad.
Presented in conjunction with Gordon Hookey: A MURRIALITY at UNSW Galleries, 29 July – 2 October 2022.
Developed in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and presented with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, Gordon Darling Foundation, IMA Commissioners Circle and UNSW Commissioners Circle. A national tour begins in 2023, supported by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.
Banner: Gordon Hookey at his studio in Brisbane, Australia. 2021. Image courtesy: the artist and Milani Gallery. Photograph: Rhett Hammerton