A new travelling exhibition will allow children to explore the concept of real life heroes through the interactive projects of four Australian artists.
Superpowered on Tour is heading to the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery from 21 January to 26 March and features projects for kids, developed by First Nations Australian artists in collaboration with QAGOMA.
The annual ‘Kids on Tour’ program provides this content free of charge to communities throughout Queensland.
Tony Albert (Girramay/Yidinyji/Kuku Yalanji peoples), Gordon Hookey (Waanyi people), Vincent Namatjira (Western Aranda people) and Kaylene Whiskey (Yankunytjatjara people) are leading Indigenous Australian artists who use their voice and their art to empower Aboriginal people and create inspirational imagery for all children.
Together they have created interactives that focus on strong empowering messages and humour, and invite young audiences into a world full of amusing and courageous characters.
Tony Albert often works closely with other artists, communities and organisations.
He believes that one of the best ways to learn from and connect with people is to live and work together.
Albert’s activity in the Superpowered exhibition is Warakurna Warriors.
It invites children to create their own superhero identity and they can design their own costume using a template and trace a selection of outfits adding details and colour.
This activity was inspired by Albert’s photographic series Warakurna Superheroes 2017, made in collaboration with children from Warakurna in Western Australia.
“When I think about heroes in my life, it is not necessarily storybook heroes or superheroes,” Albert said.
“Heroes to me are everyday people, family members that have made a difference in my life and the world that I live in.”
Gordon Hookey’s artworks are inspired by Australian history and everyday life, often using native Australian animals to represent Indigenous Australians.
Hookey’s interactive is Make a Roo, and it invites children to choose from a number of kangaroo mask templates.
Children can customise their own design, wear the mask and ‘hop into character’.
Hookey said he often found the extraordinary in the ordinary.
“There's always something that ordinary, everyday people say or do that can be quite inspirational,” he said.
Vincent Namatjira paints lively, expressive portraits of historical figures, international heads of state, and public figures.
His activity, Power Portraits, invites children to adopt ‘power icons’ such as crowns and hats in the form of paper props and pose for a photograph in front of a fun paper backdrop.
Kaylene Whiskey’s colourful, humorous paintings celebrate strong kungkas (women).
Whiskey often paints images of herself and her heroes — pop culture icons such as Dolly Parton and Wonder Woman — having fun in her remote community or engaging in traditional activities like collecting bush tucker.
Children can draw a Super Party picture, a scene featuring their own heroes using coloured pencils and cut out pictures from a collage sheet.
Find out more about the Superpowered on Tour exhibition here.
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