- issue 2
Self-portrait with G E Morrison
oil on canvas, 167 x 304cm
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Jiawei Shen and Lindy Lee have become important figures in Australia's contemporary art scene. While their practices represent the multicultural diversity associated with the visual arts of this country, it is not just the soil of this place, thousands of miles from their homelands, that nurtures and supports their art.
Lindy Lee is represented in the Allens Art Collection with two mixed media paintings from the artist's early oeuvre. One of them, Untitled (blue – El Greco's Companion), is a six panel assemblage that encapsulates Lee's rigorously conceptual approach. A first generation Chinese Australian, Lee works like a cultural forensic investigator looking into issues of identity and belonging.
In-depth video interviews with Jiawei Shen and Lindy Lee.
In 1997, Maria Cruz won the prestigious Portia Geach Memorial Award, with her painting Maria painting 1997. While the title refers to the artist herself, ‘Maria' is such a generic name and yet there is a resonance, a rich legacy associated with it. Maria Cruz is painting a self-portrait but the image alludes to the many Marias who have been painted over time.
In Tim Johnson's paintings, images are scattered cross the canvas like signs on a complex map, traversing time as well as space. This artist is a traveller in the physical, imaginary and conceptual sense of the word. His paintings as well as his songs (he has been writing and recording rock/ blues music since the early 1970s), document his journeys through various cultures and places.
Despite the many social and political upheavals, Theravada Buddhism has remained a dominant force in Lao culture: its significance reflected in the language, temples, literature and all forms of creative expression, including the visual and performing arts. This is the birthplace of artist, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn who, after fleeing her home in southern Laos and spending nine months in a refugee camp at Nong Khai on the Thai boarder, arrived as a refugee in Australia in 1979.
Savanhdary Vongpoothorn writes about leaving Laos and her recent return there as a tourist. "In the course of telling this story I hope to be able to say something about how experience and abstraction speak to each other in my art practice."
Lin Onus was born into a politically active, suburban Melbourne home in the late 1940s. His parents were members of the Communist Party as well as campaigners for Aboriginal rights in Australia. From an early age he was aware of the problems urban-born Aborigines faced: when he left school in is early teens he realised he had absorbed 'everyone else's history and values but not those that were rightfully my own'
Alchemical transformation, perception and history are appropriate ways to describe the underlying themes throughout Janet Laurence’s oeuvre. In many respects, her work represents the nexus between art, science, imagination and memory. She uses a diverse range of materials to produce works which are often a response to specific sites or environments.
Clifton Mack started painting in mid 2001 at the Bujee-Nhoor-Pu Centre in Cossack where through Pilbara TAFE he attended tertiary courses in art. Since 2006 he has been a key artist with Yinjaa-Barni Art. His country, its stories, native flora and fauna, and bush tools inform his work.
Rammey Ramsey was born at Old Greensvale Station (now Bow River Station) in north-Western Australia in the mid 1930s. He is a Gija man of Jungurra skin whose parents were from the Elgee Cliffs, west of the Bedford Downs. His Giga name is Warlawoon which is the name given to the area of his country. Although he has worked all his life in the bush as a stockman and is renown for breaking in horses, he is also a dancer and a teacher.