NAIDOC Week Exhibition

Online OnCountry Gallery – an Exhibition of Aboriginal Contemporary Artists

8-15 November

'Online OnCountry' is a new-concept online gallery showcasing the work of four professional Aboriginal artists from across NSW: Brentyn Lugnan, Frank Wright, Warwick Keen and Michael Brogan, opening on 11 November, 6pm.

Emerging as a response to the challenges of social and cultural distancing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, artistic directors and UNE researchers Michael Brogan and Dr Lorina Barker have created the concept to celebrate and help safeguard cultural and artistic practice.

The online gallery tells the story and showcases the work of NSW artists with links to the Anaiwan, Gumbaynggirr, Gomeroi, and Dhunghutti Nations, and aims to support artists making a living from their art.

You can view an overview of each artist's work below.

The ‘Online OnCountry Gallery – an exhibition of Aboriginal Contemporary Artists’ is a Taragara Aboriginal Corporation cultural initiative, funded by Create NSW through the Aboriginal artist quick response scheme and supported by the University of New England.

Each artist will have their own database to promote a portfolio of artwork to potential buyers, commissions and clients seeking contemporary Aboriginal artwork for private collections, agencies and public works.

The full exhibition, titles and artwork details will be available on the Taragara website opening on 11 November.

Brentyn Lugnan

Brentyn Lugnan is a proud Gumbaynggirr man from Urunga on the NSW North Coast. Following professional training in fine arts, he has worked as a graphic designer for television with SBS, an animator on 'The Dreaming Series' at Aboriginal Nations for the ABC and is co-founder of Bruz Design, clothing and graphics.

Brentyn has painted everything from trains to graves, and his public art appears across the interior of the Westpac building at Barangaroo, in Darling Harbour, and throughout the foyer of Coffs Harbour Court House. His artworks are also hung in private collections both nationally and internationally.

Frank Wright

Painting and drawing is something I have always enjoyed. I have extensive knowledge of the local animals and traditional stories from Gamilaroi country to inspire my painting. Growing up on the Namoi Reserve on the banks of the Namoi River in Walgett, I have listened to stories from my grandparents and parents around the campfire, stories I have begun to incorporate into my painting. The Emu features prominently in my work, along with many of the other animals found in the area around Walgett, and the river systems of the Namoi and Barwon. I work closely with other artists in schools and with young people, I to see Walgett on the map as the home of quality Indigenous art in Western NSW.

Michael Brogan 

Artist statement

Recent works on paper have become the extension of an ongoing going dialogue I have orchestrated between myself and an invisible art audience or general public who might just walk in off the street into the gallery. However, my concerns with both the medium and the subject matter are focused on the here, now and immediate future.

Though, the concepts and ideas surrounding my artwork are stark contrast to responses, encounters and engagement with other artists in between exhibitions and group shows over the last 10 years.

This particular body of work is in transition… a body of work in progress that has been fast tracked on account of a number of factors beyond my control. Most people familiar with my work will recognise that the Mock Turtle series is about returning to the nature of things and moving away from the incessant head stuff that has occupied my time working in academia over the last 20 years.

Warwick Keen

I have been a practicing Art for over 40 years and I have taught Fine Arts, Visual Arts & Aboriginal Cultural Arts at TAFE NSW for over 20 years. I create mainstream and indigenous imagery and I also like to experiment with a wide range of mediums to express my “stories”. I have worked with a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, wood carving, photography and digital manipulation. During 2015 I also created the basis for the soundtrack that featured in the “Bungaree’s Farm” Exhibition held at Middle Head Sydney, in conjunction with Mosman Art Gallery. Over the years I have been involved in the creation of a multitude of community-based art projects and I see my role as an Arts Consultant being pivotal to my professional career.