ReDot Fine Art Gallery is honoured to host Lindsay HARRIS’s first ever international and solo show titled ‘Koort Boodja’ (Heart Land); a fitting recognition for a man that has been recently selected as one of the top 20 indigenous artists in Australia for the upcoming exhibition ’unDisclosed’: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial’ to be held at the National Gallery of Australia just ahead of the opening of this show.
Lindsay Harris is a contemporary Indigenous Australian artist who lives and works in Lesmurdie, situated in the Perth Hills, on the south coast of Western Australia. He is from the Nyoongar people, who have lived in parts of Western Australia for at least 45,000 years. The Nyoongar lived in balance with the natural environment; the main source of food and water came from the sea, and the extensive system of freshwater lakes in the area.
Lindsay Harris states: “I am a Nyoongar artist and my interest has always been finding ways of representing my lands (Kwolyin). I see through my eyes which invoke memories of Kwolyin in the central wheat belt of Western Australia and of the surrounding districts where I once lived. As a Noongar I have and I share in a special relationship to the country of my forebears. Overarching this relationship is the respect for my country and my involvement in its care and representation.
When making my art, I introduce both memories and images of granite rocks, tracks and salt lakes. The bold brush strokes in my paintings hide an underlying current of past tensions experienced by my people and their lands. I paint using resin which gives me a feeling of marking and being connected to the land. I like to compare the markings I make to the tracks and paths that have criss-crossed my land since ancient times. I feel that my art has to give a sense of intimacy and connection to my boodja (Land).I paint using sticks which gives me a feeling of scarring the land. I like to compare the markings I make to the ceremonial scarring of the body, still practised by Aboriginal people today.”
Since his first exhibition in 2006, Lindsay Harris has developed through his art, and under the guidance of emerge art space, his technical skills as a painter and his works almost seem sculptural! Combined with his deep passion for his country, the viewer feels they see an object, which allows them an intimate insight to boodja, his land.
His simple yet powerful compositions are the result of his unique placement of shapes and motifs, combined with a rich, organic palette of colour. His application of a variety of pigments, ochre and resins creates the effect of earthy texture, which he feels connects him with the land. Lindsay’s intensely personal affiliation with his country is powerfully conveyed through his paintings, and creates a universal dialogue that draws the viewer into his world.
Lindsay adds ‘At the heart of it, a meeting place where Noongars always gathered. The idea of being koort is the heart place. Health, happiness, family, good times when coming together. My paintings come from physical and spiritual nourishment created from having an intimacy when in my country. This is possibly why an explanation to the viewer is necessary about my art as it is difficult to fully appreciate the meaning if one has not been there and breathed and rested in these lands as I have. ’
Lindsay’s work has received public and critical acclaim and he was a finalist in the 25th National Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Art Award in 2008, culminating in his selection for ‘unDisclosed’ opening in Canberra in May 2012. His work is also held in numerous private collections in Australia and internationally as well as the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
The exhibition opens on Wednesday April 4th and runs till Saturday May 19th 2012, opening reception on Wednesday April 11th. ReDot Fine Art Gallery invites anyone fascinated by indigenous art and culture to step into a world that is familiar in its simplicity but mesmorizing in its depth and wonder. The living stories virtually leap off each canvas.