Warwick Keen – Curriculum Vitae


2023 PROJECTS

REFRAME – PAINT THE TOWN

April May 2023.
Mural painting initiative in Bowral NSW.
Developed by SOUTHERN TABLELANDS ARTS and supported by ‘REFRAME’ Community Links.

MIND-MAPS & OTHER FRAGMENTS

SHAC GALLERY BOWRAL
Log-Carving Project. Solo exhibition.
“Gundungara” theme  for SHAC – Southern Highlands Artisan Collective. Installed on premises.

OPEN FIELD – ART FESTIVAL

June 2023
My 3 dimensional artwork entitled “SUSPENDED” was selected to be installed during this inaugural  Art Festival @ Berry NSW.

MOYEAN HILL MURAL

I also created the design for the MOYEAN HILL mural, which was commissioned to celebrate Aboriginal culture and the Wodi- Wodi people from this area on the south coast of NSW. Uncle Noel Wellington approved the design and Glenn (DUFF Riley) Duffield completed the installation of the mural.

LIGHTSCAPE – ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS MELBOURNE

July 2023
My work “NURA”, created for VIVID Sydney 2022 was featured in the LIGHTSCAPE Festival.

VIVID FESTIVAL SYDNEY

May 27th – June 18th 2022
A section of the walkway situated at North Barangaroo, highlighting the 150 cylindrical poles (NURA) symbolising the south-eastern Australian Aboriginal cultural practice of tree-carving. I was commissioned by Mandylights in Sydney to develop this work for the 2022 VIVID festival.The poles/columns illuminated during the evening, with the colours of each individual pole constantly changing to create a magical, luminous effect.

150 designs were developed to create my installation “NURA”, in conjunction with MANDYLIGHTS – Sydney. My poles were erected around the foreshores of North Barangaroo – viewers were able to experience an ever-changing and continual light show after dark, during the festival.

ELEVATE SYDNEY SKY SHOW

January 1st – 5th 2022
I was commissioned by AGB Events to develop 2 Aboriginal based concepts to be included in the ‘ELEVATE’ Sydney sky show. My 2 concepts; the emu in the night sky and the boomerang (which rotates, spinning) were the 2 opening themes that commenced the 7 minute duration of this show, utilising 500 remote controlled drones to create varying aspects and icons of the city of Sydney.

Also from ‘ELEVATE’ (not Warwick’s work)

2022 – 2020 PROJECTS

THE DINGO PROJECT             

October 2022
Group exhibition – 1 of 25 artists commissioned to exhibit Conceived and curated by Djon Mundine OAM. Ngununggula Gallery, Bowral – Retford Park.

NGUNUNGGULA

Retford Park, Bowral 2022.
Eddie Gilbert memorial mural – I was selected to paint this commemorative mural in the foyer of the Ngununggula Gallery, working with other members of the local Aboriginal community. Concept developed by Mr Djon Mundine (OAM).

NRMA Fast Ferries Centenary Project    

In conjunction with URBAN ART PROJECTS (UAP).

Towards the end of 2019, I was one of 6 Aboriginal artists shortlisted to develop 2 design concepts for the NRMA Centennial Project, celebrating 100 years of their continued service to the motorists of NSW. Urban Art Projects (UAP) guided all artists through the design and development of ideas process. In February/March of 2020, COVID 19 struck and this project was placed on the shelf for 12 months. Only one Fast Ferry made it into the water and it was launched on 9th June 2021. My design incorporates patterning derived from the once traditional, south- eastern Aboriginal art practice of carved trees (dendroglyphs) and the text utilised here identifies the different ‘mobs’ of Aboriginal people that lived/live in and around Sydney Harbour.

SHOALHAVEN ARTS CENTRE & REGIONAL GALLERY

‘The TERRA Within’ – Invasion, Resilience, Survival. 2020.

AN ABORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE OF SYDNEY HARBOUR – Gordon Syron

I was approached by Bronwyn Coulston, the Director of the Shoalhaven Arts Centre & Regional Gallery in late 2019, who then commissioned me to curate. “The TERRA Within” an Aboriginal Artist Exhibition held from 9th October – 5th December 2020. The exhibition consisted of over 30 Aboriginal Artist responses to the past 250 years of colonisation, well known Artists and those lesser known. A major $10,000 commission was offered to all local Aboriginal Artists to develop and create a concept/ artwork that would become an acquisition of the Gallery. Peter Hewitt’s work – ‘GURANGUBA the Pelican’ was awarded this commission. 3 other smaller commissions worth $3500 each were awarded to: Jazz Corr – “A true Australian flag”. Noel Wellington – “Shield”. Kirli Saunders – “Re-gentrification”.

BOMADERRY COMMUNITY INC. in association with SHOALHAVEN CITY COUNCIL

Bomaderry Indoor Sports Centre – Exterior mural.

Photo – Warwick Keen, Kylie Knight (Bomaderry Community Inc.), Duff Riley and Andrew Walker (in front of Warwicks painted image).

I was commissioned by Bomaderry Community Inc. to develop a design for a 40 metre long mural to showcase the Aboriginal heritage and landscape of the Shoalhaven region. The mural graces the western wall of the recently built Bomaderry Indoor Sports Centre. The text utilised in this design promotes the positive personal impacts of participating in sporting pursuits and lifestyle while the colours reflect the sky, mountains and river within the immediate landscape. Andrew Walker, a former Bomaderry boy, and dual international Rugby League and Rugby Union player leads a cast of different sporting personalities painted in the mural. The mural was installed by Simon Thomas (CHALK TALK) and Glenn (Duff) Duffield (aka) Duff Riley.

B_Line Bus Project (North Shore Sydney Bus Route)          

TRANSPORT NSW in conjunction with GIL MINERVINI CREATIVE

Margaret Tucker (OAM)
During the latter half of 2019 I was commissioned by Gil Minervini Creative to create and to then further develop 3 Aboriginal orientated designs that would be utilised by TRANSPORT NSW to promote First Nations people and their place and linkages within the north shore region of Sydney, NSW. Three of my designs were selected for the B-Line Bus project (21 overall) and they were then installed onto the infrastructure cabinets adjoining the bus stop at Neutral Bay, the Spit Junction and Warriewood. Aunty Margaret Tucker worked as a servant for affluent families living within the Neutral Bay and Mosman area, sometimes treated appropriately and at other times inappropriately. Aunty Margaret went on to become an inspired and dedicated advocate for the betterment of Aboriginal people and their rights.


2019 – 2015 PROJECTS

TRANSPORT NSW (Illawarra) – Anti-graffiti project

The humpback whales that migrate up and down along the NSW south coast are very significant spiritual totems for the Aboriginal people who live here.

‘UMBARRA’ the black duck is another significant totem for Aboriginal people living on the south coast of NSW.

I was commissioned by Transport NSW to design and paint 7 large murals, measuring 8 metres long X 3.2 metres high. Contemporary Aboriginal designs were created and presented to the local selection panel based in the northern suburbs of Wollongong for appro This initiative was an Anti-graffiti project aimed at decreasing the amount of ‘bad art’ and text that had become an irritation for the residents living nearby who regularly walked the footpath immediately adjacent to these concrete sound barriers. A second artist, Anthony Jones (Urban Art Australia) also painted 7 murals concentrating on more colonial themes and images.

WOLLONGONG ART GALLERY

Originally, I was commissioned to design and paint this 187 square metre mural entitled “Cultural Conversations” on the north facing wall of the Wollongong Art Gallery. Because of personal reasons I was unavailable to complete this dynamic work and another artist, Simon Thomas worked from my designs to complete the task at hand. This design has become loved and embraced by the city of Wollongong. The mural project was initiated to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wollongong Art Gallery.

SHELLHARBOUR CIVIC CENTRE

Customer Service Centre “People of the Sky and Tide” – Acrylic on board – 5m X 4m

I was commissioned by Guppy and Associates on behalf of the Shell Harbour City Council to design and create a 4m X 5m mural, reflecting the theme of ‘PEOPLE OF THE SKY & TIDE’. My installed work is comprised of 20 separate panels joining together to produce a contemporary 3D representation of the theme. The mural is located in the Customer Service area of the now 5 year old SHELL HARBOUR CIVIC CENTRE. All panels are installed 15cm out from main back wall creating the 3D effect, as mentioned.


2015 – 2010 PROJECTS

COUNTRY

24 carved poles installation Mosman Art Gallery Sculpture garden.
Installation at Mosman Art Gallery of “COUNTRY”, a collection of 24 carved poles originally commissioned for ‘BUNGAREE, the first Australian’ – Mosman Art Gallery (2012) and ‘Bungaree’s Farm’ – Disused diesel tank located at George’s Heights (2015). I was assisted by Noel Wellington in the contemporary representation and production of these poles. Original concept developed by Djon Mundine (OAM).

“BUNGAREE’S FARM” Exhibition         

Project conceived and developed by John Cheeseman (Mosman Art Gallery 2015), Djon Mundine (OAM) in association with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. The exhibition was held in a disused diesel storage tank located at George’s Heights.

My ‘COUNTRY’ installation formed the centrepiece for the exhibition. Video, singing, photographs, a chalk wall mural and a theme song , also featured for the short duration of this amazing conceptual masterpiece. Approximately 21 other Aboriginal Artists participated in this Award winning show. Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNA’s) awarded the “Bungaree’s Farm” exhibition with the major National Award in 2015, the show also won the award for best Indigenous project.


THE ‘BURRA BEE DEE’ EXHIBITION

“Back to Burra Bee Dee” is visually portraying the history and development of a “parcel of land” that was bequeathed to the Aboriginal people living in and around the township of Coonabarabran in north western New South Wales.

In the latter part of the 19th century my Great, great grandmother Mary Jane Cain continued to advocate for the rights of her people so that they could be regarded and treated more equitably within the general community of Coonabarabran. Mary Jane (self-educated) wrote letters to Queen Victoria’s representative in NSW asking for assistance so that the Aboriginal people could commence living their own lives on a more equal footing with the general community.

Mary Jane travelled by Coach to Sydney to speak to the Governor of NSW in person and she was given a fair hearing. As a result of her persistence in advocating for the betterment of her people the Governor initially handed over a 400 acre “parcel of land” which was further added to by another 200 acres over the next 20 years or so. Mary Jane Cain like many other Aboriginal activists of the time was a leader in the Land Rights arena. Outside of Coonabarabran itself Mary Jane’s story is mostly unheard and untold.

The old photographic images that I have utilised and merged with my own recent pictures were taken by members of the Barrington family in 1951. James and Joan Barrington managed the Burra Bee Dee Reserve between 1949 -1952. The Barrington family gave these photographic images to my Uncle William Robinson to utilise in any way that he saw fit. Initially Uncle Bill utilised the images to assist in creating information plaques that are now placed at significant sites around the “Burra Bee Dee” landscape. These information plaques have been installed within a project that commenced to bring “Burra Bee Dee” into existence as a place for visitors to Coonabarabran to come and visit and to gain a sense of the Indigenous heritage of the ‘Coona’ area. Uncle Bill Robinson passed away over 3 years ago and I was granted access to these images by his wife, my aunty Mrs Margaret Robinson and their granddaughter Ms Paris Norton.

By blending the older images with my new photographs I have been able to create a sense of what it might have been like to live back in that era and then to bring that era back into a more contemporary setting aided by the utilisation of coloured photographic imagery.