Southampton – This past Saturday, Aug. 8 the Keszler Gallery in Southampton was the epicenter of a cultural and societal reconciliation with the exhibit Nomad Two Worlds” a collaboration between Australian photographer Russell James and Aboriginal painter Clifton Beiundurry.
Innocence Larlugunangu,” one of the works on exhibit. The exhibit was a collaborative effort inspired by the Australian Prime Minister’s apology to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
The exhibit, which was created to foster reconciliation through art,” came about after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a public apology to the Aboriginal people for almost 200 years of genocide and mistreatment. I grew up in the outback of Western Australia and we have a very divided culture out there, which is a repetitious story all around the world: ancient cultures colliding with modern cultures in a big mess,” said James on the opening night of the exhibition. A couple of years ago our government, after a lot of pressure, apologized to the Aboriginal people for a lot of the genocide and other atrocities. Because of this, an artist that I’m closely connected with, Clifton Beiundurry, who is an Aboriginal artist, and I decided it was the right moment to get together and create a collection.”
The collection consists of photographs taken by James overlaid with the traditional Aboriginal painting done by Beiundurry. I literally photographed things within the concept of the past, the present and the future, and then he the draws story back into the art,” explained James. If I photographed something that represents the past and the beautiful reign of the indigenous culture, he’d draw something that represents that. If I do something that represents where he came from, he’d draw the blood line of his family and that’s how the collection developed.”