Jus’ Drawn: The proppaNow collective—

Artists: Bianca Beetson Gordon Hookey Jennifer Herd Laurie Nilsen Richard Bell Tony Albert Vernon Ah Kee

Drawing is something that we do. As Aboriginal people, as Blackfellas, drawing is something we all do. For proppaNOW, it is an action, a tool, and a mechanism that we use to communicate our feelings and ideas and it is the beginning of our art-making processes. It is a human trait to recognise or sense the personal in Drawing. Engaging in and with drawing is to acknowledge the uniqueness we each possess as people and as individuals. But spending time with these works is really a window into how we, as a group of artists interact and engage with each other. As proppaNOW, Jus’ Drawn is about the energy, easy dialogue, and enthusiasm that our friendships and familiarity with each other generates. Jus’ Drawn is then an idea of who we are, where our ideas are drawn from, where we position ourselves in the scope of what we think is ‘Australia’. Jus’ Drawn is what we do and how we imagine ourselves.

Vernon Ah Kee, proppaNOW, 2010.

Jus’ Drawn: The proppaNOW Collective was the first exhibition of drawings by the Brisbane based collective proppaNOW to be shown in Victoria. ProppaNOW consists of urban Aboriginal artists who have already won individual acclaim; Richard Bell, Vernon AhKee, Gordon Hookey and Laurie Nilsen, as well as formidable emerging artists such as Jennifer Herd, Bianca Beetson and Tony Albert. ProppaNOW dispels the notion that indigenous art needs to be from a remote area to be ‘authentic’.

When exhibiting individually, these artists have their own established methods, styles and positions within the Australian art world. But as proppaNOW, they collaborate and work with different materials to characterise a challenging new Aboriginal voice within contemporary art.

In this exhibition the artists dealt with a range of subject matter and emotions. From the raw personal reflections of Jennifer Herd who responded to personal loss and grief to Gordon Hookey’s animal drawings which are comments on the environmental destruction of the planet.

Interview with Bianca Beetson:

Interview with Gordon Hookey:

Interview with Jennifer Herd:

Interview with Laurie Nilson:

Interview with Richard Bell:

Interview with Tony Albert:

Interview with Vernon Ah Kee:

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