8 September - 23 October 2004
Rosella Namok is the most widely-acclaimed and best known of an emerging group of young Aboriginal artists commonly referred to as the Lockhart River Art Gang. This group of artists are all members of the Lockhart River Community on the east coast of the far northern tip of Queensland. In the last several years the refreshing and innovative work of the group - all of them below the age of thirty - has collectively taken the Australian art world by storm, with the twenty-five year-old Rosella leading the charge into a large number of public and private collections both at home in Australia and abroad.
A member of the Aankum language group Rosella began to paint early whilst helping her father decorate the bodies of dancers with ochre paints at traditional ceremonies. These ancestral markings still form part of her repertoire today, together with other traditional symbolic patterns passed down to Rosella through her grandmother. Other works illuminate more contemporary concerns, exploring the difficult conditions under which Aboriginal people still labour today and making explicit reference to themes of violence, education, health, justice and the breakdown of traditional value systems in the often antagonistic modern world. Her paintings thus operate as an individual response to the problems of maintaining life and vigour within her native culture.
In 1999, Rosella was nominated as the Young Australian of the Year (Arts Section) and, in 2003, received the Australian Centenary Medal for "distinguished services to Indigenous art." Still more recently she has awarded the prestigious High Court of Australia Centenary Art Prize. Conscious of her rapidly developing reputation (which has led to a series of sell-out shows in Australia) and the consequent difficulties in obtaining works by Rosella that have not already been spoken for, the October Gallery is delighted to present the first-ever solo exhibition of this talented young Australian artist to audiences in the U.K.
The exhibition, 'nother side, takes place in Association with the Brisbane-based Art Dealer Andrew Baker who will give an introduction to the exhibition and a talk about Rosella Namok and the art and artists of Cape York at the October Gallery, at 6:30 pm on Thursday 16th September.
The Gallery will also present a season of films by and about Australia's Indigenous people titled 'nother voice between September and October, 2004.