Aboriginal artists take control
27 Nov 08 @ 08:05am
TROY Little has been the resident artist at Wynnum Aboriginal Art Gallery in Florence St for almost a decade.
Little is looking forward to his work being exposed to a wider range of buyers locally, nationally and internationally following the purchase of the gallery this month by indigenous art dealer Lisa Hughes.
The gallery opened eight years ago and was originally owned by the Wynnum Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, located next door.
With sales to overseas buyers exceeding local sales three to one, Ms Hughes is especially keen to promote local knowledge and interest in Aboriginal art.
“There’s always been a lot of international interest in the work done here but we really want to start focussing on educating local people,’’ she said.
“The gallery’s just a great place and space where people can learn about our culture.”
From the Bundjalong people, who range from Tweed Heads to Yamba and west to Warwick, Little’s paintings are very popular with international tourists.
Little has also gained a strong following because of his willingness to take commissions from buyers who want to match artwork to their property or who have a request for an artwork with a particular theme.
One of his most recent requests was from an indigenous couple from Hawaii whose totem was the turtle.
“Their colour scheme was grey and we worked on about seven different colours to get the right grey,’’ Little said.
The gallery also exhibits the works of Nancy Torrens, Elsie Randall, and Reinhard Gmeinder who paints outside his job as a sport and recreational officer.
With several international cruise ships due to dock in Brisbane, the gallery is looking forward to a busy Christmas.
Wynnum residents can look forward to events such as wine and cheese nights and a faster turnaround with new artworks to be produced every six weeks.
Wynnum Aboriginal Art Gallery is at 4/124 Florence St, Wynnum.
15 Jul 10 @ 01:12pm
A VIBRANT but little-recognised style of Aboriginal art produced in Wynnum and Manly will be showcased to the world next year.
London’s Coningsby Gallery has accepted the works of award-winning Wynnum artist Troy Little and Hemmant’s Nancy Torrens, who approached the gallery. The exhibition will be held next June, with another in Las Vegas later in the year.
Mr Little, of the Winnam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, believes the artwork could attract international tourists.
His efforts are part of a bayside push to grow tourism in the area through arts, food and leisure activities.
Themed around marine life, the paintings are some of the many artforms and events drawing visitors to the area, including Jan Powers’ Farmers Markets and Brisbane Marketing’s My Favourite Spot campaign, which showcased the area in May and June.
Chamber president David Farley said he looked forward to seeing an increase in visitor numbers.
“Indigenous art maintains a strong following overseas,’’ Mr Farley said.
Mr Little said it was time the bayside art style was given the same recognition as indigenous works from central and northern Australia.
“All of the people we speak to say that Aboriginal art is either Torres Strait Islander or Central Desert,’’ Mr Little said.
“The coastal art still carries all the significance and tradition of central desert art; it’s about breaking a stereotype.’‘
The artists will hold exhibitions to fund the trip to London.
A Tourism Queensland spokeswoman said an indigenous projects team was interested in the project.
“I’ve spoken with my colleagues and while we are excited to meet (Mr Little) and hear more about the project, it would be inappropriate for us to comment until we discuss the project in more detail,’’ she said.
The exhibition will run at London’s Coningsby Gallery from June 27 to July 8 next year, and then in Las Vegas later in 2011.
The art can be viewed at the Winnam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation at 124 Florence St, Wynnum.