An image of We Can Be Heroes

Richard Bell

(Australia 1953 – )

Community
Brisbane, North-east region
Language group
Kamilaroi, Northern Riverine region, Kooma, Northern Riverine region, Jiman, North-east region

Emory Douglas

(United States of America 24 May 1943 – )

We Can Be Heroes

Location
Reception
Further information

Richard Bell and Emory Douglas’ collaborative project brings into conversation their respective art practices along with the Indigenous rights movements of Australia and the Black Power movement of America.

The controversial Bell is one of Australia's most renowned Indigenous artists. With a penchant for sarcasm he explores stereotypes and racism through his self-titled 'Liberation art'. Douglas may be considered in a similar vein as the Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party who was also the art director, designer and main illustrator for the The Black Panther newspaper, creating iconic images that represented the struggles in America during the 1960s and 1970s.

'We Can Be Heroes' 2014 depicts the moment during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games when Australian sprinter, Peter Norman stood in solidarity with African American sportsmen Tommie Smith and John Carlos to protest discrimination and inequality. Although Norman is remembered as an important advocate of civil rights within America, he remains relatively forgotten within Australian history.

Place of origin
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Cultural origin
Brisbane
Year
2014
Media
Painting
Medium
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Dimensions
180.0 x 240.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Wendy Barron Bequest Fund 2015
Accession number
117.2015
Copyright
© Richard Bell & Emory Douglas, courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane