Tony Albert

On being seen

As Tony Albert’s survey Visible opens at Queensland Art Gallery,
VAULT examines his career to date.

FEATURE by Tess Maunder

My first studio visit as a young arts professional was approximately 10 years ago with leading Australian artist Tony Albert. I was an undergraduate student at the time, I had seen the artist’s work in galleries prior to the visit, and I remember feeling excited about meeting the artist in his West End studio in Brisbane. I gazed around the space looking at works and materials in various stages of production as Albert shared his experiences of art and life with us. He commented on various aspects of his practice, focusing on the challenges of operating in the art world as an urban First Nations artist. As a non-Indigenous Australian who was just beginning to enter the contemporary art industry, I greatly benefited from this early exposure to First Nations art and I was grateful to Albert for his generosity and candour with us that day. Today, Albert’s studio has grown in size and is now based in Carriageworks, Redfern, Sydney, but his ability to openly communicate challenging issues to a wide audience has not changed.

It is apparent that Albert has had a relatively quick rise to fame, and this success can be attributed not only to the work itself but also to Albert’s deeply embedded role in the arts. Since his undergraduate days,
he has continued to have a strong connection to community, through platforms such as Brisbane’s Indigenous art collective ProppaNow, and through his mentorship by Brisbane-based senior artist Richard Bell. These beginnings set the artist up with ... Subscribe to read this article in full

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