Power, anger, humour — Fiona Foley confronts racism

February 19, 2010

Fiona Foley: Forbidden
University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane.
Showing February 19-May 2

Fiona Foley's work is intense, vibrant and tackles issues of racism, sexism and history head on. Forbidden is the first retrospective of her art practice, which covers over 20 years.

Her work includes photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, video, installation and public art. Her exhibitions have featured uncompromising titles such as No shades of white and Lick my black art.

"We can't keep placing Aboriginal art within romantic notions of the primitive, traditional or urban", Foley says. "These categories are no longer true or valid definitions."

While her art is described as strongly political it has also been called unflinching, witty, and possessed of quiet beauty. She is also interested in humorously reversing ideas of race, identity, and history.

Foley's work traces the ongoing significance of Australia's colonial histories. Individual works explore a broad range of themes that relate to frontier violence, race relations, sexuality, and the historical use of opium in Queensland as a tool of enslavement.

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