Townsville Artist selected for Telstra


Umbrella Member and Townsville based artist, Gail Mabo will exhibit her artwork for the first time in the prestigious 30th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. The exhibition is held annually in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin. The Award attracts a range of Indigenous artists from all parts of the country and about 100 works are selected each year from around 300 entries.

Mabo’s monoprint titled, Before Time was created during a master class at Umbrella Studio, facilitated by Theo Tremblay for Murris in Ink Printmakers. Gail is a founding member of Murris in Ink, a collective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists who live and work in North Queensland. The group have been working with various printmaking techniques and learning from some of Australia’s greatest printmakers since 2008.

The Award was established in 1984 as the National Aboriginal Art Award by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. The aim of the Award is to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists and to promote appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from regional and urban based Indigenous artists throughout Australia, working in traditional and contemporary media.

The Award is an important showcase for both established and emerging artists and has come to be regarded as one of the premier national events in the Australian Indigenous art calendar.

Umbrella Studio Director Vicki Salisbury entered the work in consultation with Mabo, “Gail has come of age as an artist, producing some of extraordinary and sophisticated artwork in our print studio. My belief in her significant artistic talent was confirmed the letter when I received the week informing us the print was selected.”

Before Time is one mono print from a collection of works on paper that Gail completed this year. The series was based on her impressions of the land and the meaning of land and sea for Indigenous people.  She imbedded traditional information into this work, such as that for thousands of years; the country around Townsville had been a healing place for Aboriginal people.

Gail Mabo