Deadly Aboriginal Artists - Vernon Ah Kee
Vernon Ah Kee, born in 1967, is an Australian award-winning artist and founding member of ProppaNOW. His art focuses on Aboriginal Australian identity and its place within a modern Australian framework.Ah Kee uses a broad range of techniques and media such as painting, installation photography, video and text-based art.
In 2003, Ah Kee, along with other Indigenous Australian artists, created ProppaNOW – an organisation dedicated to supporting urban Indigenous artists in Brisbane in an effort to dispel cultural stereotypes.
Vernon Ah Kee is a member of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidinji and Gugu Yimithirr peoples. His works include large-scale drawings of his ancestors as well as text-based works and installations. Ah Kee combines the history of colonisation with race political issues to address underlying racism in Australian society.
Ah Kee represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale in the group exhibition Once Removed. His works are shown internationally as well as domestically in both public and private collections.
Ah Kee’s work is shown in a number of private and public collections in Australia and overseas.
Vernon Ah Kee’s video installation tall man bears witness to a tragic abuse of power in November 2004 on Queensland’s Palm Island. An Aboriginal man, Cameron Doomadgee, died in police custody. In tall man Ah Kee combines local news footage of the event, along with mobile phone coverage and video filmed by police officers from inside Palm Island police station to tell a powerful story of injustice.
He was awarded the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Fellowship in 2018.
- Sonya Forrest