DARREN BLACKMAN | 'Truth Hurts' | Acrylic on linen

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"Both indigenous and non-indigenous reaction to the impact of colonisation is a mixture of emotions, particularly when one is invested in their own version."

Darren Blackman is a cultural urban artist from the Gureng Gureng and Gangalu Nations of the Fraser Coast. A printmaker, painter, musician and soundscape artist, Blackman's expression is a learned and lived experience culminating into bold textured works applying the symbolic colours of the Australian First Nations Flag.

Growing up in a mainstream community on the Sunshine Coast during the corrupt Bjelke-Peterson State Government era, constant negative news cycles concerning First Nations people, biased policing and Government policy drives Blackman's expression. His work centres around circumstances evolved from a post colonial system, that censors truth while oppresses the sovereign rights of his clan.

Language is a powerful tool that is used by institutions to influence, write law and imbue false narratives into the Australian psyche. In the form of text, Blackman uses language in a variety of interpretations to pick apart falsehoods and policies, while passing on messages of elders, that he reworks into contemporary artworks for the future generations of his clan, and the wider community to consider. 

DARREN BLACKMAN | 'Truth Hurts' | 2022 | Acrylic on linen | 91.4 x 121.8 cm 

The artists in this show tell diverse stories from different First Nations cultures across Queensland, celebrating unique identities; owning the past to forge the future. REPATRIATE is curated by Darren Blackman and will premiere at NorthSite Contemporary Arts in June 2022, as part of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2022.