May 2021 sees Onespace Gallery launch a solo exhibition entitled, Evidence, by Cairns based artist, Arone Meeks. Creating works of art that speak of cross cultural interaction, relationships, gender, traditional and modern spirituality and his environment – this body of work also delves into notions of anthropological fetishisation of First Nations people.
Paintings and prints punctuated by an intense ultramarine blue signal Meeks’ latest body of work that draws as much on his heritage and narratives as a Kuku Miidiji man from Cape York, as his ongoing personal quest of discovery.
From his early art training and considerable domestic and international success in Europe and the USA from the 1980’s onward, Meeks has continued exploring, and often confronting contemporary issues facing an ancient culture head on. A bridging point between his past work and his most recent was catalysed by the discovery that his great grandfather was the renowned English ornithologist/entomologist, Albert Meek.
Albert Meek was employed by the Rothschild family – the famous European bankingdynasty – to discover new species of animal, plant, bird and insect life from Cooktown to Papua New Guinea. One of those discoveries was the standout blue-green Queen Alexander Birdwing Butterfly, the largest butterfly in the world. The butterfly’s vibrant colours rekindled Arone’s quest to discover his own ‘blue’, as others have done such as Henri Matisse (expressing volume and distance), Yves Klein (evoking the immateriality and boundlessness of his utopian vision of the world), and Tiffany (creating iconic luxury and exclusivity).
As Onespace Gallery Director John Stafford observes, “Arone’s work addresses issues regarding health, sexuality, deaths in custody and infant mortality, and Evidence continues Arone’s ongoing concern for sustaining Country and culture while celebrating the role women play in perpetuating change. His sumptuously beautiful images speak to the ongoing resilience of First Nations culture during these uncertain times”.