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SCRATCHING THE SURFACE: An exhibition of works by Indigenous Australian artists working with and about the surface

Both a literal interpretation and a metaphor, “Scratching the surface” is an exhibition of works by Indigenous Australian artists who work with and about the surface. Exploring traditional and innovative mark making techniques, the use of effects of surface, the surface as a subject as well as a conceptual tool, it aims at challenging preconceptions, while rediscovering traditional practices and celebrating innovations making their mark.

The first curated Indigenous Australian art exhibition taking place at the Alliance Francaise de Sydney, it brings together an impressive selection of works of art coming from across Australia, notably including: scratched enamel paint on metal by Ngarralja Tommy May (Fitzroy Crossing, WA), marked possum and kangaroo skin works by Lee Darroch (Gippsland Lakes, VIC), tree-marking diamond designs etched by Reko Rennie (Melbourne, VIC), Aunty May Hinch (Boggabilla, NSW) etching the surface of her country, bark paintings by Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa (Yirrkala, East Arnhem Land, NT), shell and glitter work Aunty Esme Timbery and Marilyn Russel (La Perouse, NSW), Western desert painters Jakayu Biljabu and Ngamaru Bidu (Pilbara, WA) experimenting with shimmering paints, and Vernon Ah Kee (Brisbane, QLD) and Raymond Zada (Adelaide, SA) etching unsettling truths about Aboriginal art.

The exhibition is curated by Solenne Ducos-Lamotte, Director, IDAIA, with the assistance of curatorial advisor Tess Allas, Director Indigenous Programs, UNSW Art & Design, and results from the collaboration between the Alliance Francaise of Sydney, IDAIA, Cicada Press, the artists and the artist cooperatives notably Boomalli Artists, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka and Mangkaja Arts.

Image: Tommy May Ngarralja – ‘Wurna Juwal’ 2016 – 60 x 60 cm – Scratched enamel paint on metal – Courtesy Mangkaja Arts

WHAT: SCRATCHING THE SURFACE: An exhibition of works by Indigenous Australian artists working with and about the surface
WHEN: 19/09/2016 - 05/11/2016 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm)
WHERE: Alliance Française de Sydney

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