The Brother Hoods of Fiona Foley

[Badtjala people, Wondunna clan, Maryborough Queensland synthetic inks on textile-  7 robes with hoods]

Fiona Foley (born 1964) is a contemporary Indigenous Australian artist from Badtjala, Fraser Island, Queensland. She studied at the Sydney College of the Arts, and as an artist has travelled internationally and ventured into remote communities in the Northern Territory.

  • Foley’s work refers to her history growing up in regional Queensland in a community with a living memory of their colonisation by the English.
  • Her featured work is based on the American concept of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) – being  an African-American slang term for the white man. In Australia this term is also known as a ‘honky’ or ‘white honky’. therefore the black caps on this installation have the initials HHH (a local translation of KKK, with similar meaning).

For Foley, the political and the personal are not separate entities. Her lifestyle and art both reflect a commitment to her Indigenous identity and challenge to Australian culture to reread history; and to reveal moments of strength and empowerment.

In 2000, Foley’s work was among that of eight individual and collaborative groups of Indigenous Australian artists shown in the prestigious Nicholas Hall at the Hermitage Museum in Russia. Her works are held in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery,  University Art Museum at the University of Queensland, and the National Gallery of Australia.

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