Sydney Contemporary 2017 - Art Collector

Brian Robinson, Ocean Guardian, 2017. Cast aluminium, 110cm wingspan. Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery, Brisbane.

From now until the end of June 2017, the United Nations Headquarters in New York will exhibit the works of Cape York and Torres Strait Islander artists in the exhibition, Australia: Defending the Ocean.

This exhibition is held in conjunction with The Ocean Conference (5 June-9 June) and World Ocean Day. The exhibition seeks to question and raise awareness about issues such as ocean pollution and illegal fisheries that impact both the environment and the artists’ respective cultural practices.

As the associate curator and project coordinator, Suzanne O’Connell explains, “This exhibition gives the artists, who are Traditional Owners, the chance to tell their stories and highlight their role as frontline crusaders in the fight against ocean pollution – the source of so much that is intrinsic to their culture and way of life – at the highest of echelons.”

Australia: Defending the Ocean includes linocut prints and sculptures by the Torres Strait Island artist and curator, Brian Robinson, whose art features in the collections of major public institutions like the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Also showing at the United Nations are ghost-net sculptures by artists from Pormpuraaw Art and Culture Centre in Cape York. These sculptures are made from fishing nets washed up on local communities after being illegally dumped by fishing trawlers.

Australia: Defending the Ocean will exhibit with the United Nations until the end of the month, before exhibiting in various locations until 2019.

Marcus James

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