#About the event
Duration: 60 minutes
A celebrated First Nations author joins their book cover artist for an inspired conversation about the story behind the cover and the role of First Nations art and design work in contemporary literature.
Panel: Jenna Lee, Tony Birch
Chair: Dub Leffler
This is now an online session. Content will be available to watch from May 3rd to June 30th, 2022.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels and four short story collections, in 2021 he released two new books, a poetry book, Whisper Songs and a new short story collection, Dark As Last Night. His website is: tony-birch.com
Jenna Lee is a Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and KarraJarri Saltwater woman with mixed Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Anglo-Australian ancestry. Using art to explore and celebrate her many overlapping identities, Lee works across sculpture, installation, and body adornment. She also works with moving images, photography and projection in the digital medium.
With a practice focused on materiality and ancestral material culture, Lee works with notions of the archive, histories of colonial collecting, and settler-colonial books and texts. Lee ritualistically analyses, deconstructs and reconstructs source material, language and books, transforming them into new forms of cultural beauty and pride, and presenting a tangibly translated book.
Driven to create work in which she, her family, and the broader mixed First Nations community see themselves represented, Lee builds on a foundation of her father’s teachings of culture and her mother’s teachings of papercraft.
Lee was honoured to be the recipient of several awards: the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA); the Australia Council’s Dreaming Award; and, the Libris Artist Book Prize. She has been a finalist in national awards, including the prestigious John Fries Award for emerging and early career artists, the Footscray Art Prize, the National Works on Paper Prize, and the KWM Contemporary First Nations Art Award.
Represented by MARS Gallery in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), Lee has exhibited in several national and international museums and galleries, including the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford UK, the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, QUT Art Gallery, and Griffith University Art Gallery. Formally trained as a graphic designer, Lee has a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Museum Studies.
Dub Leffler, is one of Australia's most sought after illustrators of children's literature. Descended from the Bigambul people of South-West Queensland, Dub has written two books for children and illustrated over 25 titles including the award winning picture books Once There was a Boy, Sorry Day with Coral Vass & the much lauded Bindi by Kirli Saunders.
His work is known across the globe and his illustrations are now in permanent collection at The Library of Congress in Washington Dc. as well as the esteemed Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection in Virginia, United States.
Dub's latest offering is Our Dreaming written by Kirli Saunders & published by Scholastic in 2022.