The Colour Black’ photographic exhibition by leading Aboriginal photographer Wayne Quilliam is certain to evoke a wide range of emotions by people who visit this stunning collection of work when it opens at Alliance Francaise in Canberra on November 14.>Quilliam, renowned for his bold colours and striking angles when photographing Indigenous Australia said, my people have always used intricate colours and shapes to share stories, my work is an extension of this unique art form. I have also developed a process of colouring my black & white images with traditional ochre�s and plant dyes, as far as I know this practice is a world first. The other interesting facet of this exhibition is the inclusion of photographs that wouldn�t normally be associated with Indigenous culture including provocative nudes and modern architecture, be assured these images relate to Indigenous Australia.

After buying his first camera in Hong Kong during his service in the Navy, Wayne realised the importance of recording events. I was touring South East Asia with the HMAS Melbourne, Australia’s last aircraft carrier on its farewell tour and took a heap of happy snaps of crew, aircraft and everyday activities and only realised many years later how significant these images were to become as archival records. These events made me realise the importance of collecting a visual record of everything I’ve experienced including the good the bad and the ugly and believe me I’ve seen the ugly side of things, he said.

‘The Colour Black’ exhibition was created when Wayne met with Dr Denis Viart the Chief representative of Alliance Francaise in Australia. Dr Viart explained the interest in Australian Indigenous art in France and how an exhibition of this style would add another dimension to the perception of Aboriginal art. He suggested the first exhibition be held in Australia then taking it to Paris in 2002. With this in mind Quilliam began creating a series of work that would allow people the opportunity to experience indigenous culture in an alternative form. His use of colour is breathtaking and the non-conformist angles add an air of mystery.