Julie Gough

An acclaimed artist, writer and curator, Julie Gough's research and art practice involves uncovering and re-presenting subsumed and conflicting histories, often referring to her own and her family’s experiences as Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Julie’s paternal heritage is Scottish and Irish while her matriarchal Aboriginal family line traditionally comes from Tebrikunna, far north eastern Tasmania. Her current work in installation, sound and video provides the means to explore ephemerality, absence and recurrence. A key intention of Julie's work is to invite the audience to a closer understanding of our continuing roles in, and proximity to unresolved national stories - narratives of memory, time, absence, location and representation.

Since 1994 Julie has held over 20 solo exhibitions, and shown in more than 120 exhibitions including With Secrecy and Despatch, Campbelltown Gallery, NSW, 2016; Unsettled: stories within, National Museum of Australia, 2015; The Skullbone Experiment, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and UNSW Art & Design, 2014; Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2013; unDISCLOSED, National Gallery of Australia, 2012; Clemenger Award, NGV, 2010; Biennial of Sydney, 2006; Liverpool Biennial, UK, 1999; Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995. She curated TESTING GROUND (2013), Tayenebe: Tasmanian Aboriginal women’s Fibrework, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the National Museum of Australia (2009 – toured to 2012), The Haunted and the Bad, Linden – St Kilda Centre for Contemporary Arts (2008), and was on the curatorial team for INSIDE: Life in Children’s Homes, National Museum of Australia (2011).
A former curator of Indigenous art at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Julie holds a PhD from the University of Tasmania (2001), Masters degree (Visual Arts) University of London, Goldsmiths College (1998), BA (Visual Arts) Curtin University West Australia (1994), BA Honours (Visual Arts) First Class, University of Tasmania (1995) and BA (Prehistory/ English Literature), University of West Australia (1987).

Julie’s work is held in many private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of West Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, National Museum of Australia, Queen Victoria Museum, Art Gallery Launceston, Artbank, Devonport Regional Gallery, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Parliament House collection, and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Current and upcoming (group) exhibitions include Who’s Afraid of Colour? National Gallery of Victoria, until 18 April 2017; The National 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, curated by Blair French, 30 March – 18 June 2017; Passages, curated by Emily Bullock, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, April – May 2017; Taking the Myth, The Lost Ones gallery, Ballarat, curated by Mairin Briody, 26 April – 28 May 2017; The Violence of Denial, curated by Genevieve Grieves, Arts House, North Melbourne, 6 – 14 May 2017; Defying Empire: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, 26 May –10 Sept 2017.

Julie is widely published, and is currently on the Aboriginal Advisory for Arts Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and has held Board positions with Art Monthly Australasia, AIATSIS publishing committee, and was a Director Member of the Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct.

Julie is a NAVA Premium member and represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart.

In this video, Julie chats to NAVA about her life-changing journey becoming an artist, and the important role that art has in society as a mirror of how things are, and to show what's coming, as well as what's been.

Video Production by Dominic Kirkwood

Photo above by Lucy Parakhina