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Colour Theory Underground is the fourth set of profiles of artists in a series showcasing the art of Indigenous Australians. This series explores the art of graffiti and street art, a culture characterised by originality and experimentation, and intended for a broad audience. It doesn't conform to the regular criteria of contemporary art, nor to the conventions of exhibition within the walls of a gallery.
Shot on location around Australia, the series heads to the streets and into landscapes where art is a highly visible form of storytelling. The featured artists create eye-catching pieces that exploit the principles of advertising but usually with an anti-capitalist stance. There are many forms of street art: ideological, colourful, peaceful and political. From discrete works to large-scale murals, they make pertinent comment on social issues that impact on Indigenous people and broader society today, often with splashes of humour and wit.
Tony Albert, artist and series presenter, opens the door to artists who are secretive by nature, often hiding their identity and codifying their work, due to the misunderstanding that graffiti or stencil works are acts of vandalism.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:
Libby Harward is a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) and the Stradbroke Islands region in Queensland. She now lives on the Gold Coast.
'I personally like graffiti … I understand the message behind it, but the people I'm working for really hate it.' – Libby
Known on the streets as Mz Murri Cod and living between two worlds, Libby Harward fuses her knowledge as a graffiti artist to develop artistic works exhibited in the modern gallery and contemporary art space. Libby experiments with natural materials from her homeland on South Stradbroke Island, recreating images of photos where her ancestors were exoticised by non-Indigenous photographers. Moving into multimedia art, Libby hopes to tell stories through her multidisciplinary art forms, not subscribing to the notion that she is solely a graffiti artist.
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