First Nations artist from Greenbank Jessica Skeen-McKinnon has organised to bring the talented members of her artistic family together for a special exhibition at the Logan Art Gallery in June and July 2022.

The Skeen family exhibition would feature new paintings, photography and wood craft focused on how Aboriginal culture and knowledge is passed down through family connections.

Jessica Skeen-McKinnon said the exhibit would be the first of its kind for her family.

“All of my family – my brothers, sisters and dad – operated from word-of-mouth; we all made a living from our art, but we’ve never actually had an exhibition before,” she said.

Many Skeen family members learned art and craft skills from their father Joseph Skeen, a renowned artist and second-generation Aboriginal artefact maker.

“Dad’s in his 80’s now, and it would be a really cool tribute to him and the legacy he’s leaving with all of us as well,” Jessica said.

Joseph Skeen 1 IMG 0051 002m

Joseph Skeen made many artefacts including clapping sticks and didgeridoos, but his main focus was making boomerangs and passing on his knowledge.

“My dad’s a stolen generation, so I’m going to have a collection of photos from his early years growing up in Cherbourg Mission as well.”

The photos would shed light on her father’s beginning, but also carry on the story of his resilience and strength that came through family connections and his inspiration to others around him.

Jessica planned to create a timeline to demonstrate how her father’s art had transitioned and improved over the years.

Her siblings were also working on new artworks to be displayed in the exhibit.

“I’m really proud of all my brothers and sisters too, because they are very talented; we’ve all grown up watching mum and dad paint art and make a living doing art and craft.

“We’ve all got our own unique style that stems from them, so I’m really excited to see how they portray the stories we grew up with in their style as well.”

Jessica Skeen McKinnon 2 1

Jessica Skeen-McKinnon

Jessica was the artist behind the eye-catching designs featured at the Logan Gardens water play area in Logan Central.

She said the art aimed to tell the story of the diverse community in Logan and celebrate the people that call Logan home.

“The community in Logan is so multicultural and there’s families all over the place moving to the Logan area,” she said.

“What that brings with it is the differences, and it’s the difference that makes things beautiful.”

City Lifestyle Committee Chair Councillor Laurie Koranski said the 2022 program would offer the gallery’s visitors some interesting experiences.

“We have already locked in some amazing exhibitions for the year and look forward to sharing them with the community,” Cr Koranski said.

“We are especially keen to highlight the wealth of talent we have within the City of Logan with a diverse range of talented artisans, designers, and makers.”

The exhibition will be part of a diverse program of artwork by local and visiting artists and touring exhibitions at the gallery.

Next year’s Bespoke: Made in Logan exhibition will showcase contemporary jewellery and small objects by well-known and emerging local artists.

This year’s Artwaves exhibition features 241 students from 30 secondary schools in the City of Logan and adjacent areas, and is currently on display until Saturday, October 16.

Artwaves celebrates the creative excellence of young artists from the region and would celebrate the 30th anniversary of the student exhibition next year.

The Southside Upcycling Stitchers Collective is busily working on its Stitched Together exhibition, showcasing the use of fabric waste, donated clothing and sewing to transform garments and create jewellery.

Other highlights of the 2022 program include:

  • The 20th annual Workshop wonders exhibition highlighting student works from the gallery’s practical art workshop program.
  • A touring exhibition of works from the last 30 years of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.
  • Rochedale South artist Christina Lowry’s first solo photography exhibition Remember to live drawing parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and plague outbreaks which influenced the still-life paintings of 17th century Dutch artists.
  • Young Boronia Heights artist Oliver Murdoch exhibiting illustrations of his superhero characters.
  • The Queensland Wildlife Artists Society Inc’s return exhibition of wildlife-themed paintings, pastel works, drawings and sculptures.
  • Established fashion designer Helen Miller’s series of textiles, theatrical masks, costumes and digital prints highlighting themes like multiculturalism, cultural identity and sustainability.

The gallery will be closed next year between January 18 and February 26 for essential maintenance to bring it into line with Australian standards for exhibitions.

During this period, access will be provided to virtual gallery programs such as online art making workshops and creative industry talks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: