An image of I was always here

Reko Rennie

(Australia 1974 – )

Melbourne, South-east region
Language group
Kamilaroi, Northern Riverine region

I was always here

Not on display
Further information

Reko Rennie is a Kamilaroi artist based in Melbourne whose works explore issues of Aboriginal identity within an urban environment. His commanding works are largely biographical and combine the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage with stylistic elements of graffiti and street art.
Rennie came to attention with his large scale site-specific works and has since employed a variety of mediums and forms from spray painted installations, to neon signage, cast metal sculptures and prints on paper. Dominant in his practice is the trademark use of the repeated diamond pattern in brilliant, hard-edge form. These diamonds are derived from the dendroglyphs (carved trees) found in Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri country in New South Wales.
‘I was always here’ – my suspended banner of hand-pressed metallic gold foil on satin incorporates the geometric diamond patterning of the Kamilaroi people as a backdrop to the words, contrasting it against a camouflage pattern to explore themes of Indigenous heritage and cultural empowerment. The banner format recalls Australia’s potent history of activism and Indigenous rights, and engages with ideas around visibility, both individual and communal, representing a statement of solidarity with Indigenous communities from around the world.’ Reko Rennie 2016

Place of origin
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cultural origin
Kamilaroi, Northern Riverine region
Mixed media painting
dye sublimation on satin, brass rod
1000.0 x 125.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Wendy Barron Bequest Fund 2017
Accession number
© Reko Rennie, courtesy of the artist and Blackartprojects