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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:
Warraba Weatherall comes from a politically committed family. His parents Bob and Robyn took him on protest marches as a child. His father is a Kamilaroi man, active in Indigenous politics. The family now lives in Brisbane.
'I see correlations between graffiti and Aboriginal art … I see them as a cultural continuum.' – Warraba
'There are legalities that determine what is graffiti and what is street art. Even though they're two and the same.' – Warraba
Warraba's contemporary arts education has opened him to a world of exhibitions where he chooses not to be confined by one type of practice. He has grown up with a political awareness at a time in Australia's history when Aboriginal rights are being fought for. Warraba's street art and contemporary works are a response to the political climate we live in today. Through his art, Warraba courageously challenges society's notion of what a lucky country is by addressing problems that exist within our justice system, and institutional racism.
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