New Indigenous Textiles

Out of Queensland

17 Jul –
13 Sep 2015

Out of Queensland: New Indigenous Textiles exhibition exemplifies the fusion of digital technology and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary art practice and is presented in partnership with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

The exhibition presents textiles commissioned and designed by nine notable Queensland artists. The artists were asked to consider how the imagery of their paintings, linoprints and relief-sculptures might be reconfigured as floor-to-ceiling textile lengths.

In translating art to fabric, the essential driver was design. Each artist was inspired to rescale his or her imagery into a repeat-pattern format, imagining how this would complement the drape and movement of pure linen. These results were achieved in collaboration with the artists and Cairns-based designer, Bobbie Ruben.

Scale was also a key consideration in developing each design. The monumentality of Gordon Hookey’s Murri people as Wallaroos drives home an Aboriginal perspective of the world, while Vernon Ah Kee’s brutalities are chillingly large. Ryan Presley similarly uses repeat motifs to underline the recurring effects of oppression in Bedburners.

Cairns-based artists include Naomi Hobson, Heather Koowootha and Brian Robinson, whose designs respectively show family and country, traditional women’s building materials and agricultural fertility blooming on ancestral lands. Claudia Moodoonuthi’s Burkunda are body mark designs, Arthur Roughsey’s Lardil tradition shows Thuwathu, the Rainbow Serpent and finally Teho Ropeyarn’s ancestral story about two sister birds looking for scrub yam instructs on the destruction wrought by trickery.


Selected works


Installation images


This exhibition was initiated by the Cairns Regional Gallery in partnership with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. 


The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.