Fiona Foley

Wednesday 17 May
1—2pm, Black Theatre

Lismore-based contemporary artist Fiona Foley presents a lecture on the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act of 1897, and the ways in which she has explored the history behind this Act in a number of her works. In the late 1880s, Aboriginal people were often paid for their labour with opium, a drug that had been legalised and the sale controlled by the government. The 1897 Act criminalised the sale of opium to Aboriginal people, and imprisoned those that had become addicted to the drug on Fraser Island.

Fiona Foley is an Aboriginal Australian of the Wondunna clan of the Badtjala nation, traditional owners of K'Gari (Fraser Island) in Queensland. She completed a Certificate of Arts, majoring in Sculpture and Drawing at East Sydney Technical College (now NAS) in 1983, and continued her studies at Sydney College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (1986) and a Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney (1987). It was while she was a student at SCA that her work was first acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. She is known for her works across a range of media, and particularly for her interactive sculptural public works that explore a range of themes that relate to politics, culture, ownership, language and identity. Fiona is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, and is a Board member of the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.

Image: Courtesy Fiona Foley