Today I visited the several galleries in Brisbane including  Side Gallery in Red Hill, Lethbridge in Paddington and Milani gallery in West End. 

I will create a couple of extra posts about the exhibitions at Side Gallery and Lethbridge, but this post is about the current exhibitions at Milani in March 2023. 

At the time of writing this post, there is only three days left to see this exhibition of Lionel Fogarty’s work “Wungumbil Mibany Jalgany”. It ends on the 25th of March, 2023.

As my first introduction to Fogarty’s practice, I encountered a diverse array of thought-provoking and inspiring art from this Australian Indigenous artist, poet, and political activist. This exhibition shares a small portion of Fogarty’s powerful art and his impact on Indigenous rights and culture.

From my brief bit of research leading up to the gallery visit, here is a quick overview of Fogarty’s artistic career . His work took off in 1980 with the publication of his first poetry collection, “Kargun.” Over the years, he has published twelve more volumes, earning accolades such as the Scanlon Prize and the Kate Challis RAKA Award. His work has also been shortlisted for prestigious prizes like the NBC Banjo Awards Poetry Prize, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Indigenous writing.

As I stood in front of Fogarty’s artwork, I was deeply moved by the unique fusion of experimental and politically charged poetry, seamlessly weaving Indigenous languages into each piece. I think his profound love for his people and Country was at the heart of his creative expression. Through his art, I felt a connection to the resilience and rich cultural heritage of Indigenous Australians, which left a lasting impression on me.

For me, exploring Lionel Fogarty’s work at the Milani Gallery was a truly enriching experience. His art not only conveys the strength and beauty of Indigenous culture, but also reminds us of the importance of standing up for justice and equal rights. If you have the opportunity to visit the Milani Gallery in West End, I highly recommend taking the time to immerse yourself in Fogarty’s compelling world of art and activism. 

Lastly, while I was viewing Fogarty’s work today, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was announcing the wording for the vocie to parliament referendum. Lionel was at the gallery while I was there, and I spoke briefly to him about the body of work on display. I wasn’t confident enough to ask him about what this referendum might mean to him, given his lifelong activism for the rights of Australian Indigenous people, but I imagine he might suggest that its about time. 

See the news report here.