Blak Wave


A career highlight, Blak Wave was the keynote initiative of the 2014 Next Wave Festival. The project was created in collaboration with Tahjee Moar, Tony Albert and a large group of very generous Indigenous curators, writers and artists. It had three streams: a new publication featuring 28 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists exploring the future of contemporary Indigenous practice, a sold-out talks series for the general public and industry, and seven new commissions from emerging artists Megan Cope, Steaphan Paton, Ghenoa Gela, Sarah Jane Norman, Sean Jorvn, Carly Sheppard and Ryan Presley.

One of the great successes of Blak Wave was the funny, insightful and provocative conversations that were shared. Some of these were recorded. You can listen to Daniel Browning and Ali Moore in conversation with Richard Bell, Megan Cope and myself for ABC Melbourne, here. You can also listen back to the totally glorious Opening Night of the 2014 Festival, and the launch of Blak Wave, here.

In Real Time Ed 121, Jana Perkovic reviewed Blak Wave with great attention to detail, and perspective.

“Perhaps the most notable thing about BLAK WAVE is that it happened in the first place. Sexton’s foregrounding of Aboriginal art and artists in the context of new, emerging, urban and experimental art made a very strong statement about the place Aboriginal artists should occupy in Australian culture. Through talks and the book, BLAK WAVE also created its own critical and analytical commentary, forging a nuanced, discursive context not likely to manifest in mainstream media. The entire project was simply extraordinary in its scope, both educational and emancipatory.”


All photos by Jesse Hunniford