Kerry Reed-Gilbert "Spirit of Country" | Megan Cope "The Blaktism" | Exhibitions 10-27 July 2014

2014-07-10 18:00
2014-07-27 16:00

(Image: Megan Cope, The Blaktism, video still, 2014)

PhotoAccess presents in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY & MULTIMEDIA GALLERY two solo exhibitions

Opening event 6pm Thursday 10 July 2014 - all welcome
Exhibition dates 10-27 July 2014

Kerry Reed-Gilbert | Spirit of Country
a NAIDOC Week exhibition in the PhotoAccess Huw Davies Gallery
Opening speaker Brenda L. Croft (Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples; Anglo-Australian heritage, Senior Research Fellow National Institute for Experimental Arts College of Fine Arts UNSW)

Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman from Lachlan River. She is a human rights activist, writer, poet and photographer. Her work takes her around the country consulting for various Aboriginal community organisations and government departments. Spirit of Country at one level, then, is a kind of still photography equivalent of the road movie. Kerry records with a sensitive eye for composition places across Australia she has been and the way she has travelled there - by air and by road. But there is more to it than that and it is this that lifts the work from a mere travelogue to something truly evocative, poetic and profound. As an Aboriginal woman committed to the sovereignty of her people, Kerry has a deep connection with country. Kerry’s totem is the white cockatoo - the messenger. Just as her writing allows her to be a messenger and address issues relevant to Aboriginal people today, so too with this exhibition of photographs Kerry points to the significance of the land in this bigger story. Every picture is a story not just the capture of a fleeting moment, but rather a proud acknowledgement that she is a representative of the oldest living culture in the world. In NAIDOC Week we are invited to celebrate this culture, history and heritage. At the same time the wider Australian community is also invited to recognise and share in this knowing. Kerry is a long-time member of PhotoAccess and has participated in a number of group shows here. PhotoAccess is particularly proud to present the first solo exhibition by Kerry Reed-Gilbert in the Huw Davies Gallery as part of NAIDOC Week 2014.

2pm Sunday 27 July 2014 - Join us for a special closing event for Kerry-Reed Gilbert's Spirit of Country exhibition at PhotoAccess Huw Davies Gallery. Kerry has organised a poetry reading by Us Mob Writing Group, which Kerry is part of. The Us Mob Writing Group's book of poetry and prose By Close of Business will be available at the event. Us Mob Writing Group is a group of First Nations Australians peoples’ with both emerging and established writers, poets and playwrights.

Megan Cope | The Blaktism
a NAIDOC Week screening in the PhotoAccess Huw Davies Multimedia Gallery
Opening speaker David Broker (Director Canberra Contemporary Art Space)

Megan Cope is a Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland. She is an artist, curator and a member of the Brisbane-based Aboriginal Art Collective proppaNOW. Megan’s work has been been presented in Australia and abroad, and in 2013 she was commissioned to create a major site-specific work for the My Country, I still call Australia Home exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Megan recently exhibited The Blaktism at Screen Space Gallery in Melbourne as part of the Next Wave Festival, Metro Arts Gallery in Brisbane and Care of Gallery in Milan Italy. PhotoAccess is delighted to present The Blaktism in the Huw Davies Multimedia Gallery as part of NAIDOC Week 2014.
The Blaktism is a satirical new media work about the artist’s recent experience obtaining her 'Certificate of Aboriginality' and the overwhelming sense of doubt experienced at the thought of being legitimately certified at 30 years of age. This eight-minute video presents a baptism-like sacred ceremony whereby a young Quandamooka woman receives the rite of authenticity validated by cultural authorities (everyday Australians) ever present in the Australian cultural landscape. The sacred ceremony itself results in a satirical cultural assimilation rave party whereby all Australians are liberated, celebrated equally and transgressively renewed through physical and gestural adjustments. The Blaktism seeks to challenge audience members with subterranean racism within popular culture. It shows the absurd nature of racial classification and disdain for cultural self-determination in 21st century Australia. This work translates issues of citizenship, power, prejudice and interrogates issues on cultural authority in 21st century Australian political and cultural landscape.” Megan Cope

(Images: Kerry Reed-Gilbert The Colours of Life and Looking Glass)