The first exhibition of its kind, ‘Hand in Hand’ featured Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Maori, Samoan, Niuean and Fijian Artists based in Aotearoa, USA and Australia.

The 2008 annual Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative’s Sydney Mardi Gras exhibition was an opportunity for Indigenous artists across the Pacific to participate in a celebration of international standing through a program that openly challenged dominant views on sexuality.

The exhibition was also held in collaboration with the Performance Space @ CarriageWorks in Australia.

The artwork featured was a focus on non-conventional media including: the moving image, installation and also inter-disciplinary media including performance art, music and adornment. The artists: Jeffery Samuels, Tracey Moffatt, Arone Raymond Meeks, r e a, Darrell Sibosado, Clinton Nain, Adrian Wills, Dianne Jones, Gary Lee, Moana Nepia, Niwhai Tupaea, Sionelagi Falemaka, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Claudine Sartain, Salote Tawale & artist / curator: Jenny Fraser (AUS) & invited guest artist / curator Shigeyuki Kihara (NZ).

The opening program at Boomalli and the Performance Space, and the closing at Boomalli were all very well supported with a family feeling predominant. This doesn’t just refer to the general goodwill between the artists, but the fact that the show drew many families (even Preists!) as new audiences members. This made it an exciting vibe. The closing event also featured a lamb on the spit for a truly cultural feel.

The 2Dimensional works for Hand in Hand were featured at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Leichardt, and as a gesture to the screen based artists a designated screening room was built especially for this show. Boomalli was established in the 80s and this is the first time they have had a screening room which was a great attempt to honour the moving image works by half of the artists.

The screen based component was also installed as the special feature at the Performance Space at Carriageworks in Eveleigh. Bay 19 is a large warehouse style room and large walls were built to screen individual works. Additional 2 dimensional works were also hung on one large wall and lit. Because the room and floor was painted black this meant that so all the works were coming out of the black, shining.

The work of r e a had its own screening room off the back of Bay 19. A grande difference to the usual white cube.

Very few kweer exhibitions are produced in Australia, even fewer are Indigenous and in fact, Aboriginal sexuality in general is Taboo subject matter in Australian society with relentless bad raps in the mainstream media. Consequently it was not covered by the press properly (in the way that other exhibitions would be) but fortunately the installation of the exhibition and opening celebration at Boomalli was covered comprehensively by Takataapui for Maori TV. This includes indepth interviews with artists and is a testament to innovation and good feeling developed between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Nations.

download the catalogue here

read the review here

view some opening and install pics here


- Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co operative:

Opening reception 8th Feb 2008
Closing reception: 28th Feb 08 / 6pm – 9pm
Exhibition duration 8th Feb until 4th March 08

- Performance Space: ‘Hand Over’ performance night: 15th Feb 2008
Exhibition duration 16th Feb til 15th March 2008


'Ceremony' DVD by Jenny Fraser at the Performance Space

'Love' DVD by Tracey Moffatt at the Performance Space


'Hand in Hand' toured to Plimsoll Gallery in Tasmania, 2008, which included:
Adrian Wills, Claudine Sartain, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Dianne Jones, Jenny Fraser, Niwhai Tupaea, Salote Tawale, Shigeyuki Kihara and Tracey Moffatt