IDEN-DEFY brings together a collection of portraits by First Nation artists that engage in the discourse around individual and communal identity. Portraits of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are inherently political, the act of identifying as such defies the last 200 years of forced assimilation and asserts the living continuum of blood lines of the Traditional Owners of our continent.
IDEN-DEFY explores the threads that connect us to our ancestors, to country, to history and to inherited responsibilities. Together they represent the diverse community discourse around defining what modern indigenous identities are.
Sam Harrison is an early-career curator and artist who recently completed the Blak Curatorial Exchange program, organised by Blaklash Projects. Harrison has accessed the art collections of Moreton Bay Regional Council and University of the Sunshine Coast, to curate an exhibition, supported by Blaklash Projects. 'IDEN-DEFY' is the result of this project.
This project is part of 'Connecting Stories' an initiative of Creative Arts Alliance as part of the Regional Arts Services Network and is presented in partnership with Blaklash Creative and the SEQN Regional Gallery Network.
This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
Image credit: Bianca Beetson, Warrior Woman - Martuchi (Maroochy), 2016. Digital Photograph. USC Art Collection, acquired 2017. Courtesy of the artist.