Joe Geia – Gugu Yimithirr/Kuku YalanjiEditor2019-03-10T16:02:49+10:00
JOE GEIA - Gugu Yimithirr/Kuku Yalanji
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander | Artist | Musician | Singer/Songwriter
Joe Geia’s style comes from North Queensland, clearly revealing his Gugu Yimithirr/Kuku Yalanji (Aboriginal) and Kubin (Torres Strait Islander) ancestry. He combines his heritage with a contemporary approach.
A word from the Artist
“I believe that if every Australian home had an Aboriginal artwork both the door for education and communication would be opened”. Then when you have the opportunity to meet with an Aboriginal person, respect would already be there. A conversation could have the following beginning:
“I have an Aboriginal artwork which makes me want to know and learn more about you!” “Let’s sit down in our own imaginary dot spiral, talking circle/meeting place!” Instead of today’s expression of “… let’s meet for a coffee and a yarn!”
“My paintings are about my Aboriginal and Islander cultural interpretations, because I understand that language, dance, song and visual art are the communication techniques of tribal contact with each other. Putting a visual story to my contemporary songs would be in the same context as a Kangaroo Dreaming story painted on bark. It’s a traditional communicating technique for knowledge and morality.”
I look forward to meeting you at the opening of my next exhibition at 5pm, Saturday 15 June 2019 at Macleay Island Arts Complex, 95-97 Coast Road Macleay Island.
Joe Geia is a member of the Yein artists’ group (six artists) on the Gold Coast who have been engaged in creating art for retail opportunities in a pilot scheme supported by the Gold Coast City Council.
2015 & 2016
A highly successful solo exhibition was held at St Vincent’s hospital Art Gallery, Melbourne February, 2015. The exhibition theme of centred around bush medicine “Dunkinjaka” and 15 out of 17 paintings were sold. He and fellow artist, Julie Haysom shared another exhibition at St Vincent’s Gallery in 2016.
Linden Gallery in St Kilda depicting five of his well-known songs such as “Uncle Willie” which pays homage to the leaders of the first strike on Palm island in 1957. Joe’s father, Albert Geia was one of seven leaders striking to be paid wages instead of working for rations. His renowned anthem Yil lull was also depicted in this exhibition.
2006 – 2008
Joe Geia began painting seriously in 2006 and studied for two years at the school of Arts, RMIT Bundoora campus. His first exhibition was at Kerala Gallery, High St Northcote in 2008, exhibiting fifteen paintings in a joint exhibition with fellow musician-artist, Hughie Whaling, selling a significant number to private collectors.
In 1983 Sydney Geia was one of the artists who painted a mural on Sydney’s Redfern Railway Station overpass lead by artist Carol Ruff . This mural was inspired by Geia’s lyrics from his song 40,000 years ‘40,000 years is a long, long time…40,000, still on my mind’, from Joe’s Yil lull album. This mural has stood the test of time and is well respected in Redfern. It was restored to its former glory in 2018.
Redfern Railway Bridge, ‘40,000 Years’, 1983. Courtesy of Carol Ruff.