A new exhibition by nationally renowned Ballarat Aboriginal artist group, the Pitcha Makin Fellas will open to the public at Federation University Australia’s Post Office Gallery, on Wednesday.
The powerful exhibition called blackface (realface): Indigenous Faces of Ballarat of large-scale images, coinciding with NAIDOC Week, celebrates the indigenous people of Ballarat.
Ballarat-based, Myles Walsh, Ted Laxton, Adrian Rigney, Joe Lee, Thomas Marks and Peter-Shane Rotumah, known as the Pitcha Makin Fellas, have worked on diverse projects from local school houses to the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne, to Bunjilaka at the Melbourne Museum.
Post Office Gallery curator Shelley Hinton said: “While the university gallery traditionally incorporates a special exhibition into the program to celebrate and acknowledge NAIDOC Week, we are very excited to be presenting new and compelling work by local Ballarat indigenous group, the Pitcha Makin Fellas.
“Having collaborated on many very significant projects to date, here and in Melbourne, The Pitcha Makin Fellas are a unique local group. It will be a very special and powerful show.
Having collaborated on many very significant projects to date, here and in Melbourne, The Pitcha Makin Fellas are a unique local group. It will be a very special and powerful show.- - Post Office Gallery curator Shelley Hinton
The Pitcha Makin Fellas’ manager Peter Widmer described the group’s style of working as unique. “They came together to express a strong presence for themselves and their community at a time when Aboriginal people are kept away from the centre of things.”
Meeting for the first time in 2013, The Pitcha Makin Fellas started collaborating on paintings, gradually building relationships with each other, developing a unique style of working. Their work has now been collected by private and public institutions, including the National Gallery of Victoria.
Recently presenting a major work for White Night, collaborating with the Portuguese creative studio OCUBO, the artists’ large-scale spectacular contemporary reinterpretation of traditional Indigenous storytelling was projected onto the face of the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
For the Pitcha Makin Fellas the new exhibition at FedUni’s Post Office Gallery is an opportunity to recognise people from their community and the contributions they make.
The exhibition will be held from June 29 to July 23.
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