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Melbourne Art Fair 2022: Trailblazing Indigenous women in Australian c...

Melbourne Art Fair 2022: Trailblazing Indigenous women in Australian contemporary art

Melbourne Art Fair 2022: Trailblazing Indigenous women in Australian contemporary art

Kaylene Whiskey in her studio | Courtesy of Iwantja Arts, Photography: Meg Hansen.

Melbourne Art Fair returns in February 2022 with the goal of providing a platform for Indigenous women that are redefining Australian contemporary art.

Melbourne Art Fair 2022 will bring new and iconic work from artists represented by 63 of the region’s leading contemporary art galleries and Indigenous-owned Art Centres to the Denton Corker Marshall designed Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne’s South Wharf.

As Australasia’s most progressive forum for contemporary art and ideas, Melbourne Art Fair continues its role in shaping the future of art in the region. With a focus on solo shows and works of scale and significance, this year’s Fair aims to highlight artists that are shifting the global conversation. In particular, it is celebrating trailblazing Indigenous Australian women who are making their mark in the contemporary art world. Featured artists include:

Kaylene Whisky (Roslyn Oxley9)

Kaylene Whiskey is a Yankunytjatjara artist from Indulkana, a remote Indigenous community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia, and the recipient of the Melbourne Art Foundation 2022 Commission. The artist’s strong connection to Indulkana and her Yankunytjatjara heritage is the foundation of the new single channel video work, responding to the Fair’s 2022 artistic program theme of ‘Djeembana/Place’.

Kaylene Whiskey in her studio | Courtesy of Iwantja Arts, Photography: Meg Hansen.

Jenna Lee (MARS Gallery)

Jenna Lee is a Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and KarraJarri Saltwater woman with mixed Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Anglo-Australian ancestry. Using art to explore and celebrate her many overlapping identities, Lee works across sculpture, installation, and body adornment. She also works with moving images, photography and projection in the digital medium.

Jenna Lee | Grass Tree, 2020, Pages of Aboriginal Words and Place Names, black bookbinding thread, florist wire | Installation view – MARS Gallery. Courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery

Kyra Mancktelow (N. Smith Gallery)

A Quandamooka artist with links to the Mardigan people of Cunnamulla, Kyra Mancktelow’s multidisciplinary practice investigates legacies of colonialism, posing important questions, such as how we remember and acknowledge Indigenous histories, through the mediums of printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture.

Kyra Mancktelow | born under a tree II–VII, 2021, Earthenware, pigment, lead glaze, woven natural fibres, emu feathers, fired 3 times, dimensions variable

Maree Clarke (Vivien Anderson Gallery)

Maree Clarke, a Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Boonwurrung woman from Mildura in northwest Victoria, is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Melbourne with a career spanning over thirty years as an artist, curator and Artistic Director working with, nurturing and promoting the diversity of contemporary southeast Aboriginal artists.

Maree Clarke | River Reed Necklaces, installation view Tarnanthi, Art Gallery of South Australia

Patsy Mudgedell (Warlayirti Artists)

Born at Ruby Plains Station in Western Australia and growing up in Balgo Hills Mission, Patsy Mudgedell’s paintings are richly textured, depicting bush food found in her mother’s Country, near Mangkayi, south of Balgo, as well as Ruby Plains Station where she was born. Her works on paper tell stories of contemporary community life.

Patsy Mudgedell | Untitled (Luurnpa) at Wirrimanu Pound, acrylic on linen, 2950x1800mm

Helen Ganalmirriwuy (Milingimbi Art and Culture)

Helen Ganalmirriwuy was born in Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island) and grew up on Langarra. Ganalmirriwuy has been weaving since she was a young girl and today is celebrated as a master weaver and accomplished artist.

Dupun with Garrawurra body paint designs | Nicky Djawutjawuku, Helen Ganalmirriwuy and Helen Milminydjarrk, ochre on eucalyptus hollow logs, 152 x 20 x 20 cm, 197 x 20 x 20cm, 155 x 20 x 20 cm. Photo: Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection. © the artist

From February 17–20, a program of conversations, special projects, video art, large-scale installations, commissions, and performance will support the exhibition and sale of art from the most stimulating contemporary artists working today. The gallery list represents the most comprehensive overview of the Australian art market at any art fair, drawing from the well-known as well as the emerging.

Set to be the first Australian art fair since the start of the pandemic, Melbourne Art Fair 2022 is once again connecting galleries and their artists with collectors and the art-loving public, resuming its role as the meeting place of the art world.

What you need to know

Melbourne Art Fair