May 1st - July 31st, 2022 Utilising predominantly acrylic aerosol and paint pen on her recognisable portraits, Amanda Wright is a Melbourne-based, Palawa artist who comes from a family of artists, including her mother who comes from Bruny Island Tasmania, her maternal grandfather, Amanda’s sister, and her mother’s cousin.
Amanda sees her practice as being linked to her state of mind, and represented by stages throughout her artistic life. At university she used a palette knife composing full-length bodies on large canvases. Now her work is focused on tenderly conceived portraits of Aboriginal people that give a window into the subjects’ spiritual and emotional worlds.
Amanda doesn’t always know the people that emerge in her compositions. The current period of prolific painting she believes was triggered by a family reunion where she learnt more about her family and began researching her family history. Amanda’s painting is inspired by her thoughts of her mother, grandmother and her great-grandmother, the circumstances they survived, their strength and their resilience. Amanda says, ‘ I found family and now I’m trying to find spirit. I just have to paint every day. I have so many ideas. Painting is all I have ever known.’ Amanda studied Fine Arts at RMIT and Visual Arts Education at Deakin University.
CONTESTED SPACE GLENN LOUGHREY
Wiradjuri artist, Glenn Loughrey, explores his relationship to Country in this opening exhibition at Murnong Gallery, Glen Iris. Loughrey is known for his probity and commitment in exploring the dynamics between the dominant culture and the oldest living culture on the planet. He doesn’t shy away from making political statements, as according to him all life is political if lived consciously and mindfully. He sees his work as an invitation to engagement and listening, a body of work that forms an anthology of being.
‘The Australian landscape is a contested space where the two competing stories of First Peoples and Colonialist vie for recognition or dominance. Every space has at least two stories and it depends which one we preference as to the story that gets told.’