Gumbri: White Dove Award

Rabbit Progress

Public Description: 

In Rabbit Progress, Peter Waples-Crowe presents the ever multiplying rabbit as a symbol of European colonisation, and highlights the absurdity of the unintended consequences of the introduction of these extremely prolific creatures that was catastrophic for the natural environment. Recognised as a critical agricultural threat, a rabbit proof fence was constructed at the turn of the 20th century to keep Western Australian pastoral areas free of the devastation caused by crop damage and soil erosion. Later drastic biological measures, including the use of myxomatosis in the 1950s and Rabbit Haemorrhage Disease (RHD) in the 1990s, were used in a semi-successful attempt to control burgeoning rabbit numbers. The long lasting effects of the original folly are the constant dangers posed by the wild rabbit population to Australia’s ecology. In contrast, the didgeridoo player featured in the artwork represents traditional Aboriginal culture in harmony with the land.

Peter Waples-Crowe is a descendent of the Wiradjuri and Ngarigo nations. He is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice examines identity, race and culture. His primary interests are the exploration of Indigeneity, dislocation, globalisation, popular culture and subculture. Using various techniques such as cut and paste appropriations and mixed media applications, his work is influenced variously by politics, sexuality, adoption, traditional Indigenous cultures, street art and humour.. Waples-Crowe has twice won the Victorian Indigenous Art award for works on paper (2013 & 2014).

Rabbit Progress © Peter Waples-Crowe

Fragmented

Public Description: 

Sharmane Maddigan traverses a broad range of creative expression; she is a painter, photographer, songwriter and musician. In Fragmented, a striking and self-assured photographic portrait, Maddigan explores the multi-layered issues of identity: physical and spiritual, conscious and subconscious, reality and perception.

Maddigan is a descendant of the Wamba Wamba and Wertigikia people of North-Western Victoria. She was the winner of the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2010) for Fragmented and was short listed for the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2009).

Fragmented © Sharmane Maddigan

Regrowth after the fires

Public Description: 

In Regrowth after the fires, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) powerfully demonstrates the devastation wrought on the landscape by the all engulfing Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. This compelling pictorial narrative is informed by Garoni’s intimate knowledge and deep connection to the land of her ancestors. The hills and valleys of her Taurgurong country are laid bare, devoid of trees and vegetation, homes are burned out and the cost of human and wildlife loss is catastrophic. In the aftermath of the worst bushfires in Australia’s history, the healing process of nature’s regrowth begins.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of Country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.

Regrowth after the fires © Gwen Garoni

Taungerong Country; View of Yea

Public Description: 

In Taurgurong Country; View of Yea, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) celebrates the landscape of her Taurgurong country, offering a personal perspective and artistic vision formed by an intimate knowledge and deep connection to the land. The vibrant hues of the distant mountains and the lushness of the uncleared land reveal a spiritual beauty that speaks of a time long before colonial settlement.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.

Taurgurong Country; View of Yea © Gwen Garoni

Wombat Dreaming

Public Description: 

Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown loves animals and has created a body of work entirely based around them. This large painting shows two big wombats and one smaller one, standing outside their dark burrow. They are surrounded by a border of white clouds in a blue sky. 'Turbo''s work may seem naïve with its simple forms, but there is a great energy and skill in his use of composition, colour and line. He uses bright colours and bold outlines, painting quickly with unmixed acrylic paint. The painting is a public favourite within the City of Darebin, and has often hung in public spaces including Darebin Libraries and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

Living rough on the Mildura streets and the Murray River bank, 'Turbo' has said that animals were his only friends. He was adopted by Herb Patten and his wife, Aunty Bunta and moved to Melbourne where he took up boxing and became a keen rapper and breakdancer. Uncle Herb and Aunty Bunta enrolled in a diploma of visual arts at the Bundoora RMIT campus and took 'Turbo' along. There he began to paint. It soon became apparent that he had a talent for expressing on canvas the stories and images from his mind.

'Turbo' holds a Diploma of Arts (Visual Arts) from RMIT Melbourne, which he completed in 2004 and his first solo exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne, was a sell-out.