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AH KEE, Vernon

Majestically scaled, these drawings depict the artist’s paternal great-grandmother Bella Ami and daughter Annie Ah Kee. Vernon Ah Kee focuses on two family members, one from three generations back, and the other one generation forward. Ah Kee shows us that time has many measures in his comparison of grandchild and grandparent, whose experiences span two very different ages. In the networks of gently overlaid lines making up these works we can read the patterns of care and connection linking one generation to another.
 
Vernon Ah Kee was born in Innisfail, North Queensland, in 1967. He is a descendant of the Kuku Yalanji, Yidinyji and Guugu Yimithirr people of North Queensland and has kinship connections to the Waanyi people of central western Queensland.  The focus on the faces in these portraits reflects the documentary practices of anthropologist Norman B Tindale (1900–93), who photographed Aboriginal people around Australia from the 1920s to the early 1960s, building a vast catalogue of research material, including hair samples, which is highly sensitive to descendants and the basis of continuing study. In this series, Ah Kee invokes these historical forms of representation and reflects on the continuance of an Aboriginal presence into the future.

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Generated image of the artwork: Annie Ah Kee

Annie Ah Kee 2008

AH KEE, Vernon

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Generated image of the artwork: Bella Ami

Bella Ami 2008

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