Mentors

Arone Raymond Meeks

Arone Raymond Meeks was born in 1957 at Laura in Far North Queensland. This is his traditional country. Arone has had both a traditional and formal education, having been taught by his grandfather and other relatives before going to study at the City Art Institute in Sydney. He later returned to Queensland to study with various tribal elders, including those of the Lardil people of Mornington Island. Meeks values this combination of training and experience; his work employs both traditional images and themes arising out of his concern with the issue of land rights. A former member of the Boomalli urban Aboriginal artist's co-operative, he won an Australia Council fellowship to study in Paris in 1989 and went on to exhibit throughout Europe and North and South America. Arone produces paintings, sculpture and prints that express a passion for country, spirituality, sexuality and politics. His path is one that redefines his connections through art mediums. The spiritual is actualised through art and his response is one of ‘working it through' an intuitive process. Arone is able to express a unique spiritual response to country that has a harmony in connecting disparate worlds.

Arone's art is not governed by the same barriers and protocols that govern traditional Aboriginal art, but is placed in the context of the contemporary urban. His subjects are sourced in nature and represent a cultural responsibility with an expression of contemporary art. Arone's indigenous links are with the Kokomidiji of Cape York, around Laura, the site of renowned rock art galleries filled with graceful drawings of quinkans. Laura is known as a place of Aboriginal magic and sorcery. Walking through this country has a powerful effect on Arone. He feels a physical reaction to the country that builds his sense of self and ‘renewing the dreaming'.

He is represented in many public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, and the Queensland Art Gallery and in international collections including the Institute of American Indian Art, Sante Fe, USA and the Bibliotech National de Paris, France.

 

Adam Rish

Adam Rish has exhibited around Australia over the past 35 years. He is represented in many of the major collections in this country and has won numerous awards.He has worked incollaboration with Aboriginal painters like Fred Tjakamarra from Balgo, and Hector JandanyandLily Karadada from the Kimberley. He also designs textiles, includingkilims from Konya, Turkey, ikat weavings from Sumba, and tapa cloth, in Tonga. Since 2004 he has worked with Mexican potter Lino Alvarez in Hill End, Australia. For the past 3 years his main body of work has been wooden sculpture, based upon Southeast Asian tribal imagery, made in collaboration with I Wayan Sumantra, in Ubud, Bali.

The artist's interest is in cross-cultural collaboration as "world art" (like "world music") to affirm indigenous culture, regional diversity and the possibility of productive intercultural relations. He takes traditional techniques and adapts them by employing modern images, so for example, cars, planes and television sets may take the place of traditional abstractions of flowers, birds and clouds.

While Rish's work revels in both exotic and graphic elements, in fact these forms are not exotic to the tribal societies from which they come. This art is integral to their collective, cultural consciousness and as such draws spiritual and visual authority from this certainty of meaning.

 

Theo Tremblay

Theo Tremblay completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts at the Boston Museum School in 1977 then studied drawing and printmaking at Oxford University for a year, where he was a founding member of the Oxford Printmakers Co-op. In 1977 he migrated to Melbourne where he was founding member the Australian Print Workshop and worked with printmakers John Robinson and Neil Leveson before establishing his own press Editions Tremblay NFP, now thirty-three years in operation.

Theo taught printmaking at the State College of Victoria from 1977-80, Canberra School of Art, ANU from 1981-91. Northern Territory University, Studio One Canberra from 1993-97. During this time he has consistently worked in partnership with Indigenous artists which include: England Bangala, Banduk Marika, Gordon Hookey, Gordon Bennett, Treahna Hamm, Arone Raymond Meeks, Fiona Foley, Emily Kngwarreye, Judy Watson, David Malangi, Indulkana Artists cooperative, Tiwi Artists of Pularumpi, Melville Island, George Milpurrurra, Namiyal Bopiri, Balgo Artists, Naminipu Maymuru, Pooaraar, Jimmy Pike, Dennis Nona, Alick Tipoti, Karen Casey, Bede Tungatalum and many others. Exhibitions Mara Maru (1989), New Tracks - Old Land (1992), Inklines - Mapping the Printer (1994) and Groundworks (1995) earned him a Canberra Times Critics Circle Award and a citation from Mick Dodson of the National Council for Reconciliation the same year. Theo has recently curated UNREAL SHIELDS - Northern Queensland etchings with attitude which has recently been shown at the Cairns Regional Gallery, to tour Australia starting next year and is currently assisting Kick-Arts develop an artists printing and publishing workshop. He is on the Arts Nexus Board, helping to develop artist-run-space.

Theo has been teacher in charge of Printmaking, Drawing and Arts Business Studies at Banggu Minjaani Art & Culture Centre, Tropical North Queensland TAFE, Cairns from 2003 to 2008. He and his wife Paloma Ramos currently operate a printmaking studio in Cairns under the name Editions Tremblay - No Fixed Press, visiting communities for specialised in printmaking and publishing workshops.