Thancoupie Bursary Fund: Fundraising art auction

Thancoupie Bursary Fund: Fundraising art auction: Canopy Art Centre 18th – 27th May
A couple of months ago in Cairns an art event honoured one of the country's most pre-eminent ceramicists and arguably Australia's foremost Aboriginal artist, the late [and recognised Queensland Great] Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher James AO, known fondly as 'Than' by most. In her will Thancoupie left behind an endowment fund, a trust of sorts to be utilised as a scholarship programme for young or emerging Aboriginal artists from the Western Cape, Cape York Peninsula (her home region). Since its inauguration the Thancoupie Bursary Fund has raised a sizable amount due to the assistance of the Queensland Government and countless benefactors as well as support from the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation. Events such as the recently held fundraising art auction have been crucial to the Bursary's sustainability and also presents a great and interactive way for the community and those who admired Thancoupie to contribute. This is the latest of a number of fundraising auctions held over the past few years, one at the Cairns Regional Gallery and another at KickArts Contemporary Arts.
While the Bursary has been growing, building its profile and advocating for Indigenous arts advancement in the Far North, artist Paul Bong became the first recipient of the bursary last year. The funds awarded to Paul- and all future recipients- goes towards supporting either their arts practice or arts education. In a time where public funding to the arts is restricted and restrictive, this initiative from the private sector, from the community, is a great step forward. Supporting artists, especially Indigenous artists, and advocating for arts education (aside from her arts practice) were some of Thancoupie's lifelong passions.
Held at the Canopy Art Centre in Cairns, the auction featured over 40 eclectic works of varying mediums and schools, including works by prominent Indigenous artists such as Dick Roughsey, Arone Meeks, Glen Mackie, Brian Robinson and Janet Fieldhouse– along with two very specially gifted works by Ray Crooke and Thancoupie herself! Other artists, as featured in order in the catalogue include: Paul Bong, Craig Hoy, Mollie Bosworth, Samuel Tupou, Teho Ropeyarn, Rick Beresford & Phil Johns, Kerry Trapnell, Ian Whittaker, Jill Symes, Geoff Crispin, Angus Nivison, Jenny Fraser, Roland NancarrowHeather Koowootha, Theo Tremblay, Zoe De Jersey, Daphne De Jersey, Marsha Hall, Pamela Griffith, Lynn Bates, Peter Thompson, Serena Kuring, Nina Dawson, Margaret Genever, Mark Cochrane and Joseph & Ian Skeen & Family.
While the definite figure of what was successfully raised at the auction has yet been officially announced by the Thancoupie Bursary Fund committee, from my estimations the figure is impressively into the early tens of thousands of dollars mark. To keep updated on any future announcements follow the Bursary's official Facebook page.
*Jack is the Tribal-Grandson of Thancoupie and is himself a contemporary artist & writer from Cape York & Far North Queensland.


Jack Wilkie-Jans 
Aboriginal Affairs Advocate
Artist & Artsworker
Dick Roughsey, 1972, The Emu and the Turkey, 47cm x 37cm, bark painting
Dick Roughsey, The Emu and the Turkey, 1972, 47cm x 37cm, bark painting
Heather Koowootha, 2016, 'Kubarra Fire Storm' (etching)
Heather Koowootha, Kubarra Fire Storm, 2016, (etching)
Ian Whittaker, Fiat, 2015, ceramic
Ian Whittaker, Fiat, 2015, ceramic
Jill Symes, 1996, Coral Vessel, ceramic
Jill Symes, Coral Vessel, 1996, ceramic
Left,Rick Beresford&Phil Johns,2015, Kunangurra,digitalprint on board,Right, JennyFraser, Where'sMurri, 2016,digitial printoncanvas
(Left) Rick Beresford and Phil Johns, Kunangurra, 2015, 90cm x 61cm digital print on board, (Right) Jenny Fraser, Where's Murri, 2016, 76cm x 51cm, digitial print on canvas
Margaret Genever, 'Disparate Supper Dance', 2011, 26x37cm archival pigment print
Margaret Genever, Disparate Supper Dance, 2011, 26 x 37cm, archival pigment print
Ray Crooke, c.1986, Sandstone Outcrop Cape York, 52cm x 39cm, screen print (2)
Ray Crooke, Sandstone Outcrop Cape York, c.1986, 52cm x 39cm, screen print
Roland Nancarrow, 2015, Licuala Deluxe, 3D sculpture
Roland Nancarrow, Licuala Deluxe, 2015, 3D sculpture
Thancoupie, c.1985, Beug crab, Negwerre bandicoot, Guiree flying fox and fish, 23cm diameter
Thancoupie, Beug crab, Negwerre bandicoot, Guiree flying fox and fish, c.1985, 23cm diameter

The Dirty Dozen: Prevaricated Frequencies

I reguarly go through the Flinders Street Station underground (Degraves Street Underpass) and see the gallery, which was once called Platform now called The Dirty Dozen (<- click link to apply for this free exhibition space through creative spaces). The exhibtion on now is ‘Prevaricated Frequencies’ (24 June – 5 Septetember 2015) by Skunk Control. I love seeing things with moving parts and work that make you think…"How did they do that?"

"Skunk Control is a group of engineers, educators and scientists from the college of Engineering and Science at Victoria University. The group’s aim is to communicate art through science and science through art via installations that prompt investigation and engage feelings of excitement that define the process of discovery... The exhibition expands on the team’s award-winning work at the Gertrude Projection Festival in 2014. From stalagmites and tumbling stones to butterflies and kaleidoscopic cells, their polarised worlds show that creative thought can lie at the heart of any profession."

Another interesting thing is that as they are using motors they sometimes burn out so they require maintenence every few weeks to keep this show workng.

Some times I really love a show but have such a hard time with photographing it… this is one of them. This show looks much better in person, it is a must see. Enjoy… The Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated FrequenciesThe Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated Frequencies 4The Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated Frequencies 6 The Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated Frequencies 5 The Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated Frequencies 3
The Dirty Dozen _ skunk control _ Prevaricated Frequencies 2

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2014


The Moran Arts Foundation has announced the 150 semi-finalists for its annual Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, believed to be the world’s most valuable portrait prize.

This annual competition, established as part of Australia’s bi-centennial celebrations in 1988, has grown to be one of the country’s most prestigious art awards, attracting almost 1,000 entries in 2014, up ten percent on last year’s entries.

The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize awards an acquisitive prize of $150,000 to the winner, plus $1,000 to each of 30 finalists.

The competition invites entries of original works from Australian artists, capturing Australians from all walks of life, whether a public figure or someone from their own circle of experience.

Images of the 150 semi-finalists work, submitted from all corners of the country, are now available for public viewing at

Thirty of these works will be selected as finalists and be on display at the 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize exhibition, which will be open to the public free of charge throughout the summer, from October 29, 2014, to February 15, 2015, at Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney.

Below are some of my favourite works:

Joshua Cocking, Rosie

Joshua Cocking

Prudence Flint, Spit

Prudence Flint

Louise Hearman, Bill-1383

Louise Hearman

Dagmar Cyrulla, Alice

Dagmar Cyrulla

Peter Smeeth, The Stone Sculptor (Tony McWilliam)

'The Stone Sculptor(Tony McWilliam)'
Peter Smeeth

Julian Meagher, Straight Into The Sun

Straight into the Sun
Julian Meagher

Winners announced at 2013 CONNECTED Art Exhibition

A striking Picasso-esque painting, Lady With Red Earrings by Ray Tarrant is the 2013 winner of the annual State Trustees CONNECTED Art Exhibition® which showcases new and emerging Victorian artists with a disability or experience of mental illness.

As the winner of first prize, Tarrant, from Bairnsdale’s Noweyung Art Group, will receive a $750 gift voucher. He joins 171 other artists in the free exhibition at Federation Square’s Yarra Gallery until 6 November.
Second prize ($500 voucher) was awarded to Cassie Lupo from Amicus Art Group in Bendigo for her painting Boy. Jenny Ngo from Arts Project Australia in Northcote won third prize ($250 voucher) for her painting titled Reynolds Falls.
Mr O’Brien encouraged Victorians to visit the exhibition

Taronga Wild! Rhinos project Opportunity

The call out to artists for submissions is now open – please find the artists info pack and submission form attached. Submissions close 23rd August 2013.
We welcome designs in any art form – from fine art to graffiti, new media to mosaic, embroidery to metalwork. Whatever the art form we’re keen to add drama, fun and a creative flourish to the Taronga Wild! Rhinos sculpture trail. The commissioned artists will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 upon completion of the artwork.
So why get involved?
  • By participating artists will help support our rhino breeding and in-situ conservation programs.
  • This is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the artist’s creative talents to a mass audience – Taronga Wild! Rhinos is set to generate massive community awareness, attracting thousands of visitors to the sculpture trail.
  • Connect with other artists, businesses and the community. Participants will be part of one of the most talked about public art exhibitions in Australia.
  • Artists will be invited to attend the auction event to see firsthand how their sculpture can raise funds to support this important conservation effort.
The Taronga Wild! Rhinos sculpture trail will transform the streets, parks and public spaces of Sydney and greater NSW into a fun, free art gallery taking people on a journey of discovery. With your involvement, we look forward to presenting a creative showcase this summer which will educate and inspire the public about art and the plight of rhinos.
The Rhinos are coming.  Join the charge and help make a difference.