Presented by Coconut Studios
midling (Larrakia: together) presents a selection of new and remade works by Gary Lee. Drawing on the artist’s personal archive of historic family photographs and artworks (photo-based and illustration), the exhibition brings together key strands of a practice that redefines notions of cultural identity, masculinity and beauty from a Larrakia perspective.
As a photo-based artist Lee first remade the archive in 2006 with his diptych portraits Mei Kim and Minnie and Billiamook and Shannon, which mirrored contemporary photo-portraits of his niece and nephew alongside colonial portraits by Paul Foelsche of his Larrakia great-great grandmother and the historic Larrakia figure Billiamook. In 2019 he began to work directly onto archival-based prints through the application of pencil, pastel and texta to evoke a more personal response. midling entwines both these strands.
Through his photo-portraiture Lee’s focus on concepts of beauty, ethnicity and masculinity is partly informed by a background in anthropology and fashion design. midling includes new and remade works from the series Skin (2002-03) and Nice Coloured Boys (1994-ongoing), along with a number of risograph prints based on studies in pen and pencil that echo these themes.
Coupled with the exhibition’s anthology approach to Lee’s practice is the launch of Heat – Gary Lee, selected writings, art & anthropology.
Artist Gary Lee
Exhibition Curator Maurice O’Riordan
Coconut Studios Gallery Director Stephanie Martin
Image Gary Lee, Self-portrait with Manish (detail), type-C print, from the Skin series (2002-03)
Heat – Gary Lee, selected writings, art & anthropology supported by the Australia Council for the Arts