Arone Raymond Meeks was born in Laura in Far North Queensland. This is his tribal area.
He has had both a traditional and formal education, having been taught by his grandfather and other relatives before going to study at the City Art Institute in Sydney. He later returned to Queensland to study with various tribal elders, including those of the Lardil people of Mornington Island.
Meeks values this combination of training and experience; his work employs both traditional images and themes arising out of his concern with the issue of land rights.
A former member of the Boomalli urban Aboriginal artist’s co-operative, he won an Australia Council fellowship to study in Paris in 1989 and went on to exhibit throughout Europe and North and South America.
Arone begun printmaking in 1982 in collaboraton with printmaker Theo Tremblay. His work was also influenced by his participation in a cultural exchange to Santa Fe, in the United States, during the 1990s. He believes that: “Printmaking has given me another medium of creativity to explore. The directness and fluid qualities have made it possible to introduce a freshness and immediacy to my work. I begun to create a new language of symbols through this process”. He has a very keen eye for graphic detail and always works with several possibilities as he enters an intellectual discourse with the work.
He is well known for his illustrations for children’s books, including ‘When The World Was New’, ‘This Is Still Rainbow Snake Country’ and ‘The Pheasant and Kingfisher’. He wrote and illustrated ‘ Enora and the Black Crane’ which won the 1992 UNICEF- Ezra Jack Keats Award for International Excellence in Children’ s Book Illustration.
Aboriginal artist Gallery, Sydney
Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.
Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
Australian Museum, Sydney.
Australian National Museum, Canberra.
Biblioteque Nationale, Paris
The Bromberg Collection, Cincinnati, USA
Cairns Regional Gallery Collection
Central Collection, Australian National University, Canberra.
City Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
GOMA/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane Queensland
Institute of American Indian Art Santa Fe.
Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, USA.
Kickarts Contemporary Arts Collection
Massachusetts College of Art, Boston.
Nationale Bibliotech de Paris.
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Japan.
National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Oodgeroo Collection Qld. University of Technology.
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The Simons Foundation, Vancouver, Canada.
University of NSW.
University of Qld, OTC Australia.
Private Collections, Japan, France, USA, Argentina, Australia.
1995 Arone, Le Cake,Cairns, FNQ.
1995 Black Crane, Lizard of Oz, Taos, New Mexico.
1996 What Now – A New Direction, Adrian Newstead Gallery, Sydney.
1997 Common Ground, including collaborative works from Santa Fe, Drill Hall ANU.
1999 Cycad Dreaming, Solo Exhibition, The Tanks,Cairns FNQ.
1999 Fetish – Flinders University Art Museum,Feast Festival, Adelaide.
2000 Towards a New Dreaming, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney.
2003 Saltwater Story, Cairns Regional Gallery, Carins
2004 Artist Collection, Tanks Art Centre, Cairns
2005 New Directions, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2006 Now Time Portal to a Dream, Kick Arts, Cairns
2007 Blue Lung Breath, Australian and Oceanic Art, Port Douglas
White Coral Spawning, RM Gallery, Brisbane
2009 Cell arts space, Cairns,Canopy Ar t Space,Cairns
2010 Art Mob Tasmania, Cross Currents,Australian and Oceanic Arts Port Douglas,Mooree Plains Regional Gallery,
1978 Travelling exhibition in Germany: Munich, Dusseldorf and Kline.
1980 Seymour Centre, Sydney.
1981 Artists for Aboriginal Land Rights, Ampira, Sydney.
1982 Aboriginal Week Exhibition, AGNSW.
1983 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Bondi Community Pavilion, Sydney.
1984 Koori Art ’84, Artspace, Sydney.
1984 The First National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1986 Urban Koories, Willoughby Workshop Arts Centre, Sydney.
1987 Cooper Gallery, Sydney.
1987 Dalkuna Mnunuway Nhe Rom, Foreign Exchange Gallery, Armadale, Victoria.
1987 Art and Aboriginality, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
1987 Aboriginal Australian views in print and poster, travelling exhibition, Print Council of Australia.
1987 Coo-ee Emporium, Sydney.
1987 Australian Geographics.
1988 Craft Council exhibition, Sydney.
1988 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney.
1988 Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.
1988 Capricorn Galleries, Port Douglas, Queensland.
1988 Defacto Apartheid, Performance Space, Sydney.
1988 ANCAAA and Boomalli, Boomalli Ko-op, Sydney.
1989 A Koori Perspective, Artspace, Sydney.
1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1990 Painted Ship, Painted Oceans, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.
1990 Balance 1990: views, visions, influences, QAG, Brisbane.
1993 Ten years of acquisitions, from ANU collection, Drill Hall Gallery ACT.
1993 Commitments, MOCA, Brisbane 1993.
1994 Malu Urul, National Maritime Museum, Sydney 1995 Local Colours, Cairns Regional Gallery, FNQ.
1994 Trade Routes, Moree Regional Gallery and Armidale Aboriginal Keeping Place.
1996 Tribal Metaphysics – a Meeting Place,Grosvenor Place,Sydney Collaboration with Liz Gallie,Cairns Regional Gallery, FNQ.
1996 Cairns International Airport Commission.8 Panels, 56 metre Sculptural Frieze.
1997 Children’s Art Exhibition touring Italy, Germay, France to 1999, Ashton Scholastic.
1998 Large commissioned work, Bulletin Place, Sydney.
1988 Selected work, Blake Prize for Religious Art, Sydney.
1999 Body, Group Show, The Tanks, Cairns FNQ.
1999 Meeks and Company,Mardi Gras Exhibition, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney.
1999 Love Magic Group Show, SH Ervin Gallery, National Trust, Sydney.
1999 Private Commission, Synergy Telecommunications, Germany.
1999 Commission, Cairns Convention Centre, Sculptural Frieze, 8 panels.
1999 Respect, Group Show, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
1999 16th NATSI Art Award, MAGNT, Darwin
2000 Journeying the Same Land, Cairns Regional Gallery
2002 Local Colour, Local Lives, Cairns Regional Gallery; Shades of Pink, Manly Art Gallery & Museum; Accommodating Differences, Tanks Art Centre and Centre of Contemporary Arts New Zealand
2003 Story Place, Qld Art Gallery
2004 FNQ Souvenir, Kickarts touring exhibition toured to Gab Titui, Thursday Island; Gallery Hinchinbrook, Ingham; New Land gallery, Port Adelaide; Millicent Gallery, South Australia; Hervey Bay Regional Gallery
Recent Work, Bath Street Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Post card Show, Cairns Regional Gallery; Glare, Kick
Arts Insider Exhibition, Cairns; NADIOC Regional Exhibition, Tanks, Cairns; Touch of Mandela, Collaborative Work with Nelson Mandela; World and Cultural Heritage, International Group Exhibition with Global culture Centre of Japan; Hitting on and Kicking Off, KickArts inaugural exhibition for KickArts Contemporary Arts in the new Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns
2005 Homefront, KickArts; Post Card Show, Cairns Regional Gallery
Men Under, Gallery 53; Works on Paper, Bowen Galleries, Wellington, NZ
2006 Black Pink and Delicious, Mardi gras, Boomalli, Sydney
2007 Hidden Treasures, Cairns Regional Gallery. Edge Kickarts Gallery
2008 On the Edge, Tanks Art Centre, Cairns (Travelling Exhibition)
2009 This is Cassowary Country, Cairns Regional Gallery; Vivo Group Show, Palm Cove; Hand in Hand, Boomalli, Sydney
2010 Boomalli Group Show ,Sydney. Vivo, Palm Cove, Black Friar, Sydney,
1986, Urban Koories, exhib. cat., Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby, New South Wales.
1989, Nothing to Celebrate? Australian Aboriginal Political Art and the Bicentennial, exhib. cat., Flinders University Art Museum. 1989, Australian Perspecta 1989, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. 1989, A Koori Perspective, exhib. cat., Artspace, Sydney.
1990, Balance 1990: Views, Visions, Influences, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. (C)
Aboriginal Arts Management Association, 1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 – from Australia (presented by the Aboriginal Arts Committee, Australia Council and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow), exhib. cat., Redfern, New South Wales. (C)
Berndt, C. H., 1987, Pheasant and Kingfisher, illustrated by Ray Meeks, Bookshelf Books, Horwitz Grahame Pty. Ltd., United Kingdom.
Boomalli Five Koorie Artists (d: Michael Riley) 1988. (C)
Butler, R., 1986, ‘From dreamtime to machine time,’ Imprint 21(3-4), 12,13. (C)
Johnson, T. and Johnson, V.,1984, Koori Art ’84, exhib. cat., Art Space, Sydney. (C)
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Aboriginality: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings and Prints, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland. (C)
Johnson, V., 1987, Art and Aboriginality, exhib. cat., Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
McCulloch, A., & McCulloch, S., 1994, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, St Leonards, New South Wales.
Lambert, A., 1984, ‘Shattering the myth that Aboriginal art exists only in traditional forms,’ Australian Artist, 1(4), 24-25. (C)
Meeks, A.R., 1991, Enora and the Black Crane, Ashton Scholastic, Sydney. (C)
Samuels, J. and C. Watson, 1987, Australian Aboriginal Views in Print and Poster, Print Council of Australia, Melbourne.
Stamp Bulletin – Australia, Jan 1986, Melbourne, No. 182.
Scott-Mundine, D., 1990, ‘Black on Black: an Aboriginal perspective on Koori art,’ Art Monthly Australia Supplement (The land, the city – the emergence of urban Aboriginal art), 7-9. (C)
Watson, C., 1987, Dalkuna Mnunuwuy Nhe Rom, exhib. cat., Foreign Exchange, Armadale, Victoria.
Watson, C., 1990, ‘The Bicentenary and beyond: recent developments in Aboriginal printmaking,’ Special Double Issue Artlink 10(1&2), 70-73. (C)