… had the very distinct privilege and pleasure to travel to Aurukun on Cape York Peninsula recently to portray indigenous artist Keith Wikmunea. He then was soon to be announced the winner of the $100,000 Telstra Indigenous Art Award, the top prize at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards (NATSIAA) in Darwin. Images of Keith and his work were required to spread around Australia’s media in conjunction with the story of his win.
I spent a thoroughly enjoyable couple of days with Keith and Wik & Kugu Aurukun Arts Centre Manager Gabe Waterman as our winner worked on sculpting a ‘camp dog’ in the arts centre workshop … and out and about at various locations around the indigenous township. Keith was patient and a delight.
His $100,000 sculptured milkwood winning work – entitled “Ku’, Theewith & Kalampang: The White Cockatoo, Galah and the Wandering Dog” – was inspired by his ancestors, says Keith. He has already spent his prize money on a boat and a car for his family.
My images of Keith appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and many other print and web publications around Australia … and will also grace Sydney railway stations to spread the word about his win, his talent and the Telstra award.
Below are some of my favourite images of Keith in Aurukun and a mock up of the Telstra promotional banner work soon to be seen in Sydney stations.
Images © Brian Cassey