Sally Morgan is one of Australia’s most dynamic Aboriginal artists. Her
work is bold, vibrant and provocative. Art has always been at the core of Aboriginal culture, embodying it’s spirituality and telling its story. In this century it has also become a vital medium through which Aboriginal peoples record and reclaim their history, and in so doing define their own identity.
Sally Morgan draws on this heritage to express her feelings for the land and its life forms, and her experiences as an Aboriginal woman. Her work is imbued with the spirituality of her culture, its ways of representing the world and its traditional concern with narrative – with telling the story. In the years since 1986, Sally has developed her use of dazzling colour and her personal iconography to achieve a distinctive voice in Australian art.
Sally Morgan was born in 1951 in Perth, Western Australia. Encouraged by her family, she drew voraciously as a child. However, her high school art teachers did not understand her art and criticised her bright, unconventional style. Discouraged, Sally abandoned her art. Years later, at a crucial time of personal discovery, she encountered and was inspired by an uncle – a highly respected artist working on the edge of the desert. Ashamed that she had so easily given up her artistic ambitions in high school, Sally turned to her art again and felt her old passion and confidence return.
In 1987, Sally achieved enormous success as a writer as well as an artist with the publication of her first book, ‘My Place’, which told the moving story of her discovery of her Aboriginal ancestry. ‘My Place’ went on to become both an Australian and international success, selling over 400,000 copies. Since then, she has written a number of books as well as a successful play, ‘Sister Girl’.
Sally’s striking art has achieved international acclaim through her exhibitions in the USA, the UK, India, Japan and Germany. She has been the recipient of a number of major commissions, including one to design a stamp in the United Nation’s Human Rights stamp series for 1993, and has become one of the most recognised of Australia’s many gifted Aboriginal artists.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Campbelltown City Art Gallery, NSW.
Central Collection, Australian National University, Canberra.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
La Trobe University, Bundoora.
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Library of Australia, Canberra.
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.
1989 Birukmarri Gallery, Perth.
1989 Hogarth Gallery, Sydney.
1989 Chapman Gallery, Canberra A.C.T.
1989 Australia-wide print release – Framed Gallery, Darwin N.T.; Addendum Gallery, Fremantle W.A.; Graham Gallery, Brisbane Qld.; Steven Print Gallery, Melbourne Vic.; Framed Gallery, Katherine N.T.; australian Girls Own Gallery, Canberra A.C.T.; The Residency, Alice Springs N.T.; Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, N.S.W.
1989 Introducing Sally Morgan, Neville Gallery, Kent, UK.
1990 Sally Morgan Silk Screen, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London.
1986 A Contemporary Survey, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney.
1987 Aboriginal views in print and poster, Australian Print Council, travelling exhibition.
1987 Recent Aboriginal Art of Western Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1987 Art and Aboriginality, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
1987 Contemporary Aboriginal art, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle.
1988 Aboriginal Printmakers, Addendum Gallery, Fremantle.
1988 Right Here, Right Now, Adelaide.
1988 Aboriginal printmakers, Tynte Gallery, Adelaide.
1988 Arrhaus festival, Denmark.
1988 Australian Aboriginal Graphics from the Collection of the Flinders University Art Museum.
1989 A Koori Perspective, Artspace, Sydney.
1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1989 Prints by Seven Australian Aboriginal Artists, international touring exhibition, through Print Council and Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
1990 Balance 1990: views, visions, influences, QAG, Brisbane.
1990 Jan Weiss Gallery, New York, USA.
1990 Wenniger Graphics, Boston, USA.
1990 Tagari Lia: My Family, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 -from Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, UK.
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Lake Oswego Center for the Arts, United States of America.
1991 Through Women’s Eyes, ATSIC travelling exhibition.
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1992 Tyerabarrbowaryaou, I shall never become a whiteman, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
1992 Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo.
1992 Working in the Round, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
1993 Ten years of acquisitions,from ANU collection, Drill Hall Gallery ACT.
1993 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1993/4 ARATJARA, Art of the First Australians, Touring: Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark.
1993/94 The Streets as Art Galleries – Walls sometimes speak, Poster Art in Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1994 Urban Focus, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1995 Beyond the Picket Fence: Australian Women’s Art in the National Library Collections, National Library of Australia, Canberra.
1995 Looking West: Women-Identity-Art, Kathleen O’Connor Gallery, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle.
Aboriginal Artists of Western Australia, [n.d.] – [folios of works and biographies] , Aboriginal Education Resources Unit, Western Australia.
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)
ATSIC News Spring 1991.
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London.
Davis, J., (ed.), 1990, Paperbark: A Collection of Black Australian Writings, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia.(C)
Isaacs, J., 1987, ‘An interview with Sally Morgan’, Art Monthly Australia, No. 7, Dec. 1987, p.21-24.
Isaacs, J., 1989, Aboriginality: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings and Prints, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1992, ‘A Bitter pill for the white man (woman), Tyerabarrbowaryaou at the Museum of Contemporary Art,’ Art Monthly Australia 49, 6-7. (C)
Johnson, V., 1987, Art and Aboriginality, exhib. cat., Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth UK.
1993, Aratjara, Art of the First Australians: Traditional and Contemporary Works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, exhib. cat. (conceived and designed by Bernard Luthi in collaboration with Gary Lee), Dumont, Buchverlag, Koln. (C)
1992, Tyerabarrbowaryaou I Shall Never Become a Whiteman, exhib. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. (C)
McCulloch, A., & McCulloch, S., 1994, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, St Leonards, New South Wales.
Morgan, S., 1987, My place, Fremantle Arts Press, WA.
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)
Samuels, J and C. Watson, 1987, Australian Aboriginal Views in Print and Poster, Print Council of Australia, Melbourne.
Watson, C., 1990, ‘The Bicentenary and beyond: recent developments in Aboriginal printmaking,’ Special Double Issue Artlink 10(1& 2), 70-73. (C)
1989 Australian Perspecta 1989, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
1989 A Koori Perspective, exhib. cat., Artspace, Sydney. (C)
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings Ltd., Perth.
1990 Balance 1990: Views, Visions, Influences, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. (C)
1988 The Cutting Edge New Art of the Third and Fourth Worlds: an Exhibition for NADOC Week, Flinders Universitiy of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia. (C) Moodeitj Yorgas (d: Tracey Moffatt) 1988. (C)
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.