Feeling a bit introspective

Rhonda Dredge

An exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust at Fed Square is providing insight into the mindset of the Blak queer artist.

Fall From Grace by Enoki (Darcy McConnell) is one of the paintings in the show.

It’s a strong work, making didactic claims on the viewer.

The visuals include adoration of the male form, high-key colour and art references to surrealism and Dylan Mooney.

But as curator Stone Motherless Cold demonstrates, the “decolonising” theme may take quite a bit of work in real life.

Confrontational art has always been part of the Fringe Festival landscape and as history has shown it generally heralds in the new.

Internationally renowned vocalist Tim Minchin performed “a dark ridiculous cabaret” in a small room to shake off the pain of all the rejections he was getting back in 2003.

And leading Melbourne playwright Patricia Cornelius posed beneath a sign saying “Lost Kids” in the ‘90s.

The Fringe, as Cornelius is quoted as saying, is “not TV, it’s not normal, everyday things. It’s celebrating the political, the dark, the outrageous, that things that you never usually see or hear”.

So, what is a decolonised Blak queer space? Stone says she’s aiming to create a casual vibe so that “people can immerse themselves” in the concept.

The walk-through art exhibition doesn’t do it for her. She’s organised food, chats, word performances, music, life drawing, and a drag show to get people involved.

A few words on the gallery wall advertise the events, all non-ticketed.

The second event in the calendar was a Hazy Lounge Afternoon and included refreshments and word performances.

After a satisfying wait, during which grumbles were exchanged, Stone introduced a poet down from Darwin who had a few pertinent things to say about Victoria.

It saddened her on the train to Moe to see how much of the land had been cleared.

“For an Aboriginal person it’s a cultural reminder of lands being occupied,” Laniyuk said.

Everyone was feeling a bit introspective after her reading and it was clear that the paintings were beginning to have their say, warriors on a decolonising spree.

A Rainbow of Tomorrows, Koorie Heritage Trust, Federation Square, until November 20. •


Photo caption 1: Fall From Grace by Enoki.

Photo caption 2: Stone Motherless Cold will perform at the closing ceremony.

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