Aurukun Artist Keith Wikmunea …

… 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

Telstra NATSIAA Award Winner Keith Wikmunea - image © Brian Cassey
Telstra NATSIAA Award Winner Keith Wikmunea - image © Brian Cassey
Telstra NATSIAA Award Winner Keith Wikmunea - image © Brian Cassey
Telstra NATSIAA Award Winner Keith Wikmunea - image © Brian Cassey
Telstra NATSIAA Award Winner Keith Wikmunea - image © Brian Cassey

A Portrait ‘Treble’ at the Australian Photography Awards …

At the risk of sounding monotonous and repetitive … my apologies for once again featuring these three of my portrait images … but …

… all three have just been selected as ‘Honourable Mention’ Finalists in the Portrait category of the 2019 ‘Australian Photography Awards’ … pretty gratified with that.

Each of the three images have been really good for me … previously and variously being ‘mentioned in dispatches’ in the ‘Portrait of Humanity 2019’, ‘Moscow International Foto Awards’, ‘Tokyo International Foto Awards’, ‘Head On Portrait Prize’, ’12th International Color Awards’ … and the soon to be officially opened ‘Fremantle International Portrait Prize’ and  ‘IRIS Portrait Prize’ in Western Australia.

Below are the three … “Generations Aurukun” featuring Aurukun elders Silas and Rebecca Wolmby with their twin great grand children … “Tomotaro on the Block’ of Japanese paralympic swimmer Tomotaro Nakamura at the 2018 Pan Pacific Para Games in Cairns … and “Victim of Sorcery – Dorcas” of ‘Sanguma’ (sorcery) victim Dorcas Numbi Nunugi recovering from a near fatal attack at a ‘safe house’ in Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

The ‘Australian Photography Awards’ exhibition opens at Sun Studios Melbourne on October 12th and runs until October 20th. Sadly, will miss the opening as have already committed to the ‘FIPP’ exhibition event in Fremantle on the same day.

Promise that I’ll soon shut up about these three pics … and concentrate on producing some new work 😉 .

Images © Brian Cassey

 

Three Honourable Mentions in Portrait Category of the Australian Photography Awards 2019 by Brian Cassey