Interrogating representations of Aboriginal people, Tony Albert’s latest exhibition ‘Visible’ opens on June 2 at the Queensland Art Gallery. Displaying a collection of the artist’s works, ‘Visible’ provides a strong response to the misrepresentation of Australia’s First Peoples in popular and collectable imagery.
Collaborating with the artist, UAP assisted in the development and fabrication of a sculptural work for the exhibition. Titled Girl, the work is based on two of Albert’s smaller works, each taking the form of oversized playing cards and fabricated in photographic transfer print on moulded MDF. Challenging historical gender stereotypes, the cards incorporate imagery from a well-known deck of vintage playing cards depicting an Aboriginal boy as Queen and girl as King.
The positioning of the Aboriginal boy as Queen acts almost like a self-portrait of the artist, where Albert reflects “I am the biggest Black Queen”. The positioning of the girl as King gestures towards contemporary social realities that were not possible when the cards were originally made. Together the works empower self-identity and challenge historical gender roles.
See all what’s on during the opening week of ‘Visible’ by Tony Albert.
Image Credits in order from top to bottom:
Tony Albert in his Carriageworks studio, Sydney, 2018. Photograph: Mark Pokorny, courtesy QAGOMA.
Girl, 2018. Pictured in UAP Brisbane Workshop prior to mounting onto MDF.
Tony Albert in the UAP Brisbane Workshop during prototyping.
Girl, 2018, photographic transfer print on moulded MDF, 179 x 115 cm. Prior to installation, with protective film overlay for transprotation.