An image of Brutalities 9

Vernon Ah Kee

(Australia 1967 – )

Brisbane, Northeast region
Language group
Waanyi, Gulf region, Kuku Yakanji, Gugu Yimithirr/ East Cape region, Koko Berrin, West Cape region, Yidindji, Rainforest region

Brutalities 9

Not on display
Further information

Vernon Ah Kee completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, majoring in drawing and screen-printing. Today, his diverse artistic practice also includes photography, painting, video and installation. Ah Kee is a founding member of proppaNOW, a Brisbane-based Indigenous art collective that includes artists such as Richard Bell, Tony Albert and Gordon Hookey. ProppaNOW, was established in 2003 to give Indigenous artists living and working in Brisbane a voice. They present a unique perspective of historical and social Australia which is sometimes confronting and always thought provoking.

Earlier in Ah Kee’s career, he reclaimed Indigenous portraiture through his hyper realistic depictions of historical photographs. His highly political motivations have been also been expressed through his use of text and language, informed by war propaganda posters and advertising imagery.

Brutalities 9 2014 is informed by Ah Kee’s travels to Turkey and knowledge of the genocide of the Armenians living in Turkey one hundred years ago. In Brutalities 9, Ah Kee examines the face of this cruelty itself, giving visual form to the person one becomes when they subject others to such acts. This menacing assailant is identifiable in the violence, intimidation and aggression it presents. However, the abstract depiction of facial forms eludes identification - this could be anyone.

Place of origin
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
150.0 x 120.0 cm
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2015
Accession number
© Vernon Ah Kee courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane