Media Release :: 15 May 2017

Koori artwork - new acquisitions at Hamilton Gallery

The prints by Vicki Couzens are the first Koori artworks to enter the Hamilton Gallery collection. They will complement prints by Northern Territory artists Johnny Bulunbulun and David Milaybuma and a painting by Western Desert artist, Kathleen Petyarre.

Hamilton Gallery Director Sarah Schmidt said this is a significant acquisition. "It is extremely important to represent Koori art in the collection. These acquisitions address the fact the gallery has held only Aboriginal art from more remote Australia such as Western Desert art which people so readily associate with indigenous art. It is an important step to change this gap in the collection and particularly pleasing to be able to make this first acquisition of Koori art with prints by Vicki Couzens, a Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong woman. The local connection is important and Vicki is an artist of very high standing represented in several public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria. Similarly, work by Kent Morris is important in showing urban aboriginal art. Both Vicki and Kent recently exhibited together in the exhibition 'Sovereignty' at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art."

Vicki Couzens is a multi-disciplinary artist, working in a range of media including - painting, installation, visual arts, printmaking, mixed media, performing arts, language, ceremony and teaching. Through these art forms she plays an active role in promoting the culture of her people. She also previously served as the Artistic Director of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Possum Cloak Project.

Kent Morris is a descendant of the Barkindji people whose traditional lands are located in the far west of New South Wales. His photographs feature birds in both their natural and urban environment which he uses to illustrate the continued presence and patterns of Aboriginal history and culture in the contemporary Australian landscape. Kent has worked in the Indigenous cultural sector for many years as a practicing artist based in Melbourne. He is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and is an alumnus of the National Gallery of Australia's Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program.

The new acquisitions will be on display at Hamilton Gallery from the 2 July to encompass NAIDOC week, which runs from the 2 - 9 July 2017.

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