Artists: Brenda L. Croft, Lyndy Delian, Tjanara Jali Talbot, Jonathan Jones, Gary Lee, Jenni Kemarre Martinello, Rachel Perkins, Kerry Reed Gilbert and James Tylor
First Light is an exhibition of work by Indigenous Australian artists conceived as part of a special program for the Canberra Centenary. First Light focuses on artistic practices guided by light, from natural light to the many kinds of artificial light or effects available to contemporary artists. These artworks shed light on the past century in the national capital from an Indigenous perspective. In acknowledging Indigenous sovereignty and the ongoing effects of colonialism, the show examines relationships of light and shadow, of day and night, of black and white, of colonized and colonizers. The works highlight a continuing relationship with light and the ways cultures and traditions have adapted to changing notions of light. First Light also reflects the influence of the city in shaping the artists and their works and the artist’s contribution to shaping understandings of the city and region. From a diversity of Australian Indigenous nations, the artists hold a connection to the ACT through their artistic and cultural practices.
Jonathan Jones, Unititled (sticks) 2008-2013, fluorescent tubes and fittings, tarpaulin, electric cables, dimensions variable, installation view, photo Brenton McGeachie