In this latest body of work entitled Conversations with Margaret Preston, Tony Albert looks at the ideas and philosophies behind Preston’s push to create a visual national identity, her artistic influence in the branding of a nation, and the resulting spawning and saturation of a mass-market industry of kitsch objects that naively and stereotypically depict Aboriginal people and their culture, termed by Albert as “Aboriginalia”.
Using vintage fabrics from his own vast collection, Albert turns the tables on history, assertively reclaiming the designs and motifs from Preston’s Aboriginal woodblock prints, to honour the subjects and voices of the work’s original creators.
Renowned for his distinctly contemporary imagery, which engages with the tension between the visibility and invisibility of Aboriginal people across the news media, literature and the visual world. Put simply by the artist “what is seen and unseen.”
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