Artist who works across the mediums of photography, digital media, film, video and installation and explores a range of themes around Indigenous identity, representation and experience since colonisation. She is a descendent of the Gamilaraay and Wailwan people of northern NSW.
r e a, an artist of the Gamilaraay people of northern New South Wales, works with photography, digital media and moving images, exploring creative environments through installation. She initially studied Electrical Trades at Petersham TAFE, Sydney in 1989, and then completed a Visual Arts Diploma at the EORA Centre at Petersham TAFE in 1990. She subsequently completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 1993. In subsequent years, r e a has completed a Masters of Visual Arts at the Australian National University, Canberra, and a Masters of Science, Digital Imaging and Design, (CADA), New York University, New York.
In 1993 she participated in a number of group exhibitions including Continuity at The Performance Space, Sydney andSayin’ Something: Aboriginal Art. She was also included in Ten Years of Land Rights in New South Wales at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, Sydney, where she commenced a short-term position as Assistant Curator.
In 1994, r e a’s work was exhibited in Localities of Desire: Contemporary Art in an International World at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Blackness: Blak City Culture! at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and the touring exhibition True Colours: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists Raise the Flag. She received a development grant from the Visual Arts and Craft Board of the Australia Council that same year, and commenced a second short-term curatorial position with the Aboriginal Art department at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. r e a held her first solo exhibition, Ripped Into Pieces Blak Body at The Performance Space in 1995, and undertook the Torque ARX4 Residency in Perth that same year. She held the solo exhibition EYE/I’MMABLAKPIECE at the Contemporary Arts Centre of South Australia, Adelaide in 1996, the same year she that participated in the 1996 Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition and Abstracts: New Aboriginalities(which toured the United Kingdom). She was awarded the “Pop, Mass 'n’ Sub Cultures” residency at The Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. In 1997 she received a Visual Arts and Craft Board grant for new work from the Australia Council and was guest curator of Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. That same year her work was included in Australian Perspecta 1997 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Telstra 14th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. Because of her experience working with new media was nominated to the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council.
In 1998 r e a exhibited with Brook Andrew in bLAK bABE(z) & kWEER kAT(z) at Gitte Weise Gallery, Sydney as part of the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. She is a Director on the Board of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, a position she held for four years.
In 2004 r e a was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake research into creative technologies, and in 2006 she received a New Media Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council. Her 2009 multimedia work PolesApart was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, and her work is also in the collections of the Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of NSW, among others.