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Blak Insights

29 June 2004

A dynamic two-day conference, featuring keynote addresses by eminent Indigenous artists, scholars and cultural activists will be presented by the Queensland Art Gallery during NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week 2004, Minister for the Arts Anna Bligh said today.

Ms Bligh said the conference, Blak Insights: Indigenous Voices, New Directions, would be staged on 3 and 4 July 2004, coinciding with a major display of Indigenous Australian art from the Gallery's Collection and a week-long public program of lectures, artist talks, screenings and children's activities.

'The "Blak Insights" conference, display and public programs followed the success of the Gallery's exhibition "Story Place: Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest", which attracted 142 000 visitors in 2003 and is touring seven regional Queensland venues in 2004-05,' Ms Bligh said.

'Blak Insights aims to inspire debate and dialogue about a range of diverse issues currently surrounding contemporary Indigenous Australian art.'

Queensland Art Gallery Director, Doug Hall, said Blak Insights would explore issues such as collaboration and appropriation, and examine the challenges currently facing Indigenous art.

Mr Hall said Indigenous artists, critics, activists, historians and theorists, including Brenda Croft, Doreen Mellor, Jacquie Katona, Richard Bell and Djon Mundine, would speak at the Blak Insights conference.

'The forum will provide an opportunity to highlight significant developments and discuss a broad range of issues about the future direction of contemporary Indigenous Australian art,' Mr Hall said.

"Blak Insights reflects the Queensland Art Gallery's commitment to contemporary Indigenous art in the lead up to the 2006 opening of the Gallery's second site, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art", he said.

The 'Blak Insights' display will feature a number of major works acquired recently for the Collection including contemporary photography, film and video, bark paintings, fibre work, Central and Western Desert painting, sculptures, and headdresses by Torres Strait Island artists.

'Blak Insights' celebrates contemporary Indigenous culture by presenting a diversity of work by senior and emerging Indigenous artists from across Australia, including Tracey Moffatt, Gordon Bennett, Fiona Foley and Destiny Deacon.

Mr Hall said 'Blak Insights' embraced contemporary Indigenous art practice in Queensland.

'A special children's program featuring mascot Kuril ― a native water rat with attitude ― will also encourage the Gallery's younger audience to discover the range of works featured in the exhibition,' he said.

'Blak Insights' will be on display from 3 July to 3 October 2004. NAIDOC Week runs from 4 to 11 July 2004. For more information about 'Blak Insights' and the Gallery's week-long public program visit www.qag.qld.gov.au/exhibitions.

The Blak Insights conference and artist talks have been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.