‘Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia’ is an Australian Government-supported touring exhibition of Indigenous Australian art. Drawn from the urban art scene in Australia, the exhibition features significant works by artists at the forefront of contemporary arts in Australia. Message Stick continues the Australian High Commission’s tradition of showcasing Australian Indigenous culture in Sri Lanka and will be on exhibit until April 7 at the JDA Perera Gallery in Colombo 7.
The striking images have, at their heart, the stories of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures. These works may make visitors think differently about what it means to be Indigenous in Australia today. This art is dynamic. It presents a fresh view of contemporary Indigenous identity, reflecting the enormous contributions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities to modern Australian society.
Art by Indigenous artists living in urban areas came to prominence in the 1970s and ‘80s during a period of social change and political activism. These artists came from diverse backgrounds and communities, but what they shared was common experiences of assimilation and discrimination. In recent years, younger artists have looked to personal experiences of growing up in an urban environment in Australia in the 1980s and ‘90s.