Dylan Mooney<br/>
<em>What you water is what you grow</em> 2020; 2021 {printed} <!-- (recto) --><br />
from the <i>Queer, blak & here</i> series 2020–21<br />
inkjet print<br />
(118.9 x 84.1 cm)<br />
ed. 1/5<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Ruth Margaret Frances Houghton Bequest, 2021<br />
2021.603.1<br />
© Dylan Mooney
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Dylan Mooney
What you water is what you grow 2020; 2021 {printed}
Media Release • 17 Nov 23

Blak Rainbow: The Art of Dylan Mooney at the Australian Embassy in Paris

More than 25 illustrative and hyper-colourful works by First Nations artist Dylan Mooney are on display exclusively at the Australian Embassy in Paris, France, as part of the artist’s first-ever retrospective, Blak Rainbow. Presented by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) at the Australian Embassy Gallery, the exhibition opens on 15 November 2023 and runs until 1 June 2024.

A Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man hailing from Mackay in north Queensland, Australia, Mooney is a prominent figure among a group of emerging Blak artists who are using digital imaging technologies to create new forms of artistic expression. An interdisciplinary artist, his oeuvre spans painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital illustration and drawing.

Legally blind, Mooney harnesses the power of digital media to create high-impact illustrations with vibrant and saturated colours that resonate with his keen interest in politics, activism and the fusion of digital technology and social commentary.

Mooney uses his art to empower often-unheard voices and explore ideas of identity, longing and the representation of First Nations people. A recurring theme in his practice is the portrayal of queer love within communities of colour, a testament to his commitment to revitalising representation.

Fascinated by history, culture and his personal ancestral connections to place, Mooney’s creative spark is ignited by community tales, current events and the ever-changing digital world. Drawing from his rich cultural heritage, Mooney uses his work to translate the stories passed down to him into bold contemporary art.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘Dylan Mooney is one of the most compelling emerging voices in Australian contemporary art. His vibrant compositions present his unique worldview in high-octane technicolour. We are proud to share this exhibition internationally, giving Dylan a global platform and new audiences the chance to connect with his work.

‘This exhibition is a result of the NGV’s longstanding relationship with the Embassy of Australia in France, who share our passion for uplifting Australian art and culture. We are grateful for the opportunity to share the work of leading Australian artists with international audiences,’ said Ellwood.

Myles Russell-Cook, Senior Curator, Australian and First Nations Art, NGV, said: ‘Artists like Dylan are helping to reframe the way society embraces and understands what it means to be queer and blak. Having his work presented internationally through this government backed initiative, speaks to an extraordinary progressive movement. It’s amazing to see how far we have come, and the role artists continue to play in shaping contemporary thought.’

Blak Rainbow: The Art of Dylan Mooney is on display from 16 November 2023 to 1 June 2024 at the Australian Embassy Gallery in Paris, France, 4 Rue Jean Rey. Entry is FREE. For more information, please visit the Australian Embassy website.

Presented by the National Gallery of Victoria at the Australian Embassy Gallery, Paris; and curated by Myles Russell-Cook, Senior Curator, Australian and First Nations Art, NGV.

The Australian Embassy in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria present Blak Rainbow: The Art of Dylan Mooney | Blak Rainbow: L’Art de Dylan Mooney

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