Kent Morris: Unvanished
“We are here, we were always here but often we and our history are unseen. We have not vanished…” - KENT MORRIS
Unvanished was a series of digitally constructed photographs by contemporary Melbourne-based Barkindji artist Kent Morris. His photographs explore the relationship between contemporary Indigenous Australian identity and the modern built environment, highlighting the resilience of Indigenous people in the face of constantly changing circumstances and their ongoing connections to place amidst urban and suburban development.
Kent Morris visited Kluge-Ruhe for a residency March 30 – April 29, 2019. He presented his art practice to UVA students in a Space, Knowledge and Power capstone class, a course titled Photography and the Uncanny, and Contemporary Aboriginal Art, in addition to lecturing at the Decolonizing the Digital Humanities symposium. He presented two tours of his exhibition, one to the public and another to members of the UVA Parents Fund, and discussed the breadth of his art practice in an Artist Talk. He presented at the 2019 Virginia Docent Exchange and he connected with Professor Andrew Kaufmann and the Albemarle County Regional Jail to discuss his leadership of The Torch, a non-profit that serves Indigenous Australian offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria. He visited the Fralin Museum of Art, the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, McGuffey Art Center, the Embassy of Australia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU and Monticello. He also spent time in Washington, D.C. exploring the art storage facilities of the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History. He also built relationships with a number of environmental scientists in Virginia and went on three birding expeditions and numerous hikes in the Shenandoah National Park. Read this article by Erin O’Hare in the Cville Weekly about Kent and his time in Charlottesville.
Kent Morris’s residency was sponsored by Australia Council for the Arts, the UVA Parents Fund and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts at UVA.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kent Morris is a Barkindji artist who lives in Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Monash University and a post-graduate Diploma in Fine Art from Victorian College of the Arts. In 2013 he completed the Indigenous Arts Leadership Program at the National Gallery of Australia and his work was featured in the 2017 Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. His work has been included in many exhibitions, such as the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, and is in numerous major public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Koorie Heritage Trust and the Parliament House Art Collection.