8 March - 7 July 2019
Hand silkscreen on linen, sewn into garments and performed by artists of colour and their family members on the opening night of the exhibition at Buxton Contemporary
Kay Abude hand screen-printed one hundred garments with the word POWER and an image of herself and two other first generation migrant artists of colour, Lara Chamas and Ceren Sinanoglu. Facing the camera with fierce gazes, the three women are part of a self-initiated group of artists that have exhibited their work together and regularly meet to discuss issues of race and class that pervade the Melbourne art world. For the opening night of National Anthem, Abude invited one hundred artists of colour and their families to arrive at the opening wearing these garments. This critical mass manifested an act of community solidarity and an intention to make people of colour more visible in the art world and constructions of national identity.
POWER brings together diverse cultures that make up an ‘Australian identity.’ My identity stems from a working-class background with a relentless work ethic at its centre. It’s different from that of my immigrant parents and different from a white Australian identity. My identity has been also fostered within the creative arts sector. ~ Kay Abude