····· artist statement
Our artwork is a banner with an image of an enlarged packet of matches, the kind used for publicity in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s: restaurants, leagues clubs etc., before the decline in the acceptability of smoking. The datedness of these kinds of matches is important as it marks a turning point of hope for the Indigenous peoples, but what we now see as a series of failed or half-baked promises. The logo, “Unlucky Strike” at the base of the matches means a number of things, including the “losing streak” of Aboriginal rights in Australia, which is ongoing. Note that the shafts of the matches are decorated with bullets, and the heads with nooses. While referring to violence to and amongst Indigenous peoples in an overarching sense, it also refers to previous works of ours Silver Bullet and Trophy Room, the latter an installation of red, yellow and black nooses to commemorate Aboriginal deaths in custody.
····· Adam Hill & Adam Geczy
····· artist's bios
····· Adam Geczy is an artist, writer and educator with over 25 years’ experience in these fields. Having graduated in painting in 1990, his areas of expertise have also covered printmaking, drawing and more recently photomedia, video, installation and performance.
His exhibitions across Australia and Europe have received considerable critical acclaim. With two solo/solo–collaborative museum exhibitions in Europe and many other major contemporary art venues, he has also a strong collaborative practice, including the late Peter Sculthorpe (a recognised National Treasure), Mike Parr, the Berlin–based sound artist Thomas Gerwin, and Adam Hill. As a writer, Geczy has a longstanding reputation as a critic and theorist. With over 15 books from international publishers, in 2009 Geczy won the Choice award for best academic title in art. As an educator Geczy has taught studio art and art history/theory at all levels and modes of delivery, including lectures to large audiences, practical studio courses, correspondence courses, immersive studio practice, and seminars. He is also the recipient of numerous competitive international residencies and grants.
····· ‘Blak Douglas’ was originally trained in illustration & photography and hails from a family of celebrated artisans. Soon moving into painting, ‘BD’ began operating with a sharp, highly graphic style, with political messages concerned with social justice, criticising and skewering the continuing inequities of his people. The artist’s work is collected in institutions such as AAMU (Utrecht), National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Maritime Museum, the Town Hall Collection, the Taipei Museum, and Regional Councils across Australia. The artist is a finalist of many competitive exhibitions, including the Archibald and Wynne prizes, and the Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards as well as the Mosman Art Prize. ‘BD’ has also collaborated with Adam Geczy for over ten years on numerous major projects, including BOMB at the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art (AAMU) in Utrecht, Holland in 2013, and The Most Gaoled Race on Earth at the Lock–Up Cultural Centre in Newcastle in 2016.