Mavis Ngallametta found a new home in her painting

Prior to commencing painting, Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019) was a renowned weaver. An elder of the Putch clan and a cultural leader of the Wik and Kugu people of Aurukun, Ngallametta was one of the most well-regarded senior community-based artists in Australia. She made a profound contribution to arts and culture nationally before her passing. Over…

Mavis Ngallametta: Show me the way to go home

Respected elder and senior painter Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019) passed away mere months after QAGOMA confirmed her solo exhibition for 2020. True to her generous character and larger-than-life personality, Ngallametta was determined for the show to go on, even as her health declined. In late October 2019, the artist’s friend and artistic advisor, Gina Allain, spoke…

Installation takes the oyster shell as its subject

Before colonisation, the coastal shellfish reefs in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay — fostered using aquaculture techniques — were a major source of food for Aboriginal people of the region. Over centuries of feasting, towering middens created from discarded shells and bones were impressive sights on the local islands and beaches of the mainland. Megan Cope’s RE…

Michael Cook introduces us to his dream-journey

Michael Cook’s photographs have become well known for a whimsical and unique interplay of surrealism and political potency. The ‘Broken Dreams’ series 2010 was one of the Queensland Indigenous photographer’s most important breakthrough works, produced in the first year of his artistic practice. Coming from a commercial background, Cook had long entertained moving into art photography and had been incubating many…

Vale: Mavis Ngallametta

On 28 January, Mrs Waal-Waal Mavis Ngallametta (1944–2019), one of Queensland’s most esteemed senior artists, passed away at the age of 74, surrounded by family at her home in Aurukun, in far north Queensland. A traditional owner, elder of the Putch clan and cultural leader of the Wik and Kugu people, Mavis Ngallametta is remembered…