r e a

r e a  is an artist, curator, activist, academic, cultural educator and creative thinker whose work draws on a legacy of lived experience and the impact of intergenerational trauma, grief and loss. 

Dr r e a* is a descendant from the Gamilaraay/Wailwan people from the Central West NSW and Biripi people form the mid-North Coast of NSW.

Her ongoing practice-led research takes its development from new and critical discourses exploring intersectionality and positionality, through the cultural convergence of Aboriginality; within the creative arts and technology, history and colonialism, the body and identity, gender and queer politics. 

Alongside Andrew Belletty and Douglas Kahn, r e a is part of the new experimental sound collective Public Redress System, based in the Blue Mountains. Public Redress System has been selected to make new work Unsettled for the Biennale of Sydney – NIRIN, 2020.

r e a has recently completed a doctorate in Visual Anthropology at UNSW Art & Design and is a lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit at the University of Queensland. She initially studied Electrical Trades at Petersham TAFE, Sydney in 1989, and then completed a Visual Arts Diploma at the EORA Centre at Petersham TAFE in 1990, followed by a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 1993. In subsequent years, r e a completed a Masters of Visual Arts at the Australian National University, Canberra, and a Masters of Science, Digital Imaging and Design (CADA) at New York University.

r e a is involved in ongoing collaborative research projects led by Jennifer Biddle including Sensory Entanglements: New Cross Cultural and Cross-Disciplinary Directions in the Creation and Evaluation of Multi-Sensorial Experience - an innovative research-creation program which designs and evaluates artistic objects and installations that engages with all of the human senses from an inter-cultural perspective, supported by a Canadian SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) grant, and UNSW ARC Discovery Project, Cultural Sensorium: An Indigenous Ethnography of the Senses

r e a has received numerous scholarships and grants throughout her creative and academic career, including a Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, New Media Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts, and a Fulbright Scholarship. 

Her work is held in numerous public art collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Australian Museum, Powerhouse Museum and the Art Gallery of NSW.

In this video, r e a talks to NAVA about getting started as an artist, finding a way with photography and digital processes, and the impact of Marcia Langton's book Well, I Heard it on the Radio and I Saw it on the Television.

Photo by Donald Johannessen

Video production by Dominic Kirkwood

*r e a, is the artist's professional name, which is written in all lowercase with a space between each letter.