by Jill Booth
(Port Douglas, North Queensland)
Laurel McKenzie 'Tasty Morsels' (detail)
Early this year a group of Port Douglas and Cairns artists, who are involved in the website, Art in Tropical Australia, were discussing the Federal Government’s decision to engage, even more fully and pro-actively than previously, with the Asia Region, terming this the Asian Century.
It seemed appropriate that artists should examine the past and present importance of Australia’s interaction with those countries as well as potential relationships with them, into the future.
The artists decided to investigate the important role that Asian visitors and residents have played in the development of our nation – from pre-European visits from Indonesian ‘trepangers’ on our Northern shores to Chinese gardeners and shop-keepers during the gold rushes, the opening of the Outback by Afghan cameleers and pearling by Japanese divers to the more recent influx of refugees from Vietnam and other countries, torn by political turmoil.
As well as in an historical context, Asian settlers have made significant contributions to our lifestyles, to research, to medicine, business, investment, trade, Tourism and the Arts, so there was a wide choice for artists’ enquiries.
Artists were invited by curators to investigate some aspect of our past, current or future engagement with the wider Asian region and to make comment on their discoveries through whatever visual medium appealed to them.
Accordingly, ten artists, working with paper, canvas, inks, paints, fabric, dyes and glass, have assembled a collection of varied and interesting artworks that comment upon the subject ‘Asian Influence’. All work is for sale.
Participating artists are Yoshiko Kirby, Terry Johnson, Sasi Victoire, Ross Bannister, Ola Hoglund, Mary Ann Runciman, Lone White, Linda Jackson, Laurel McKenzie and Jill Booth.
Curated by Jill Booth and Ross Bannister, this exhibition will be opened at Canopy Art Space, 124 Grafton Street, Cairns, on Friday July 19 at 6pm by Ms Mary Low, from the Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc, and will continue until August 3.
You are invited to attend the exhibition opening and at any time until August 3 (Gallery hours 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday).
To view more artwork by participating artists please see www.art-in-tropical-australia.com