Major Aboriginal artwork by acclaimed artist, the late Mrs Sally Gabori, unveiled at BNE
20 August 2015
Brisbane Airport (BNE) is now home to one of Australia’s most significant Aboriginal art installations with the official unveiling of a major artwork by acclaimed Indigenous artist, the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori.
As part of a $45 million redevelopment of the Brisbane’s International Terminal, a selection of Mrs Gabori’s artworks were digitally rendered, reproduced in large scale and applied from ceiling to floor along the entire 750 metres of the arrivals concourse.
More than five million international travellers who pass through Brisbane Airport every year will be greeted by Mrs Gabori’s spectacular artwork on arrival into Australia.
The imagery by Mrs Gabori perfectly evokes the essence of Queensland and depicts the artist’s stories of the tropical seascape, salt pans, mangrove swamps and reefs on Bentinck Island, Queensland in lush vibrant colours.
Julieanne Alroe BAC CEO and Managing Director said the artwork was a stunningly impressive welcome to visitors to Brisbane and Queensland along with being a lasting tribute to the late Mrs Gabori and her incredible work.
“To have Mrs Gabori’s artwork as a prominent welcome to international travellers from around the globe is an immense honour for Brisbane Airport. Her artworks have been collected by leading galleries and collectors national and internationally and her immeasurable cultural legacy will continue to live on after her passing.
“BAC would like to acknowledge Beverly Knight of Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, who acted on behalf of Mrs Gabori in mentoring and bringing this project to fruition.
“We also acknowledge the family of Mrs Gabori, who travelled from Mornington Island for today’s event and for supporting us in paying homage to their late family member,” Ms Alroe said.
Having passed away in February of this year, Sally Gabori was a respected traditional Kaiadilt Elder who is remembered as one of the most significant contemporary Indigenous artists of the past decade.
Gabori began painting in her late seventies in 2005 and her interpretation of her Bentinck Island home in the Queensland Gulf is infused with the full spectrum of colour that has taken the contemporary art world by surprise. Colour and canvas became the catalyst for the creation of an entirely unique visual language for the artist; a way to explore life, landscape and memory.
John McPhee, Art Historian, said Mrs Gabori’s works contained extraordinary energy with every painting expressing her profound love of her landscape.
“With the skills of a great painter she shares the experience of her world with us through her paintings,” Mr McPhee said.
Professor Nicholas Evans, Head of Linguistics at Australia National University, added, “Her paintings all depict the landscape of her beloved Bentinck Island, looking vividly back through exile with the far-seeing eye of remembered youth in her own country.
”The official unveiling of Mrs Gabori’s artwork signals another significant milestone in the completion of the $45 million redevelopment of Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal.
BAC has one of the largest collections of public art in Australia and has a strong and long standing relationship with the arts community.
Following this momentous project at Brisbane Airport, in 2016 Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art will host a major retrospective exhibition of Mrs Gabori’s paintings.