Josh Muir

Posted 18 Jul 16

By Kate Ten Buuren

Josh Muir is a contemporary artist whose has been involved with Kalinya since our establishment. Josh created our very first limited edition Kalinya poster, his piece “Wax Model” is featured on our website and our new branding.

As Josh Muir’s artwork was projected onto the National Gallery of Victoria as a part of the 2016 White Night festival, the 24 year-old artist couldn’t help but dance.

“I was just so happy. It was the first time I had seen anything like that, my artwork transformed into animation, and to see it projected onto the National Gallery of Victoria with the sound, I was stunned.”

“It was so incredible, and so I just started dancing.”

The colourful pop art Josh creates is reflective of his personality, of these outbursts of energy and pride.

He credits exposure to street art, growing up in Ballarat, life experiences and his Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara roots as major influences over his practise.

“In Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal art, we’ve always been seen to be reflections of our landscape. This is my landscape and I am reporting on what I see and how I interpret it, through art”

“There are elements to it which are traditional, but at the same time I am living in a different time, a different generation so it is what is it now.”

Muir is currently represented by MARS Gallery, has received statewide and national awards, including the Hutchinson Scholarship, in which he is undertaking a year long residency at the Victorian College of the Arts as well as receiving the 2015 Telstra National Indigenous and Torres Straight Islander Art Award for Youth.

Muir is not only uniquely talented, he is also a role model for emerging Indigenous artists. He speaks about raising the bar and about what artists can do to shift the expectations of Indigenous art in contemporary Australian society.

“How do we provide opportunities? How do we balance things out?”

“Aboriginal people from all over the country have important stories to tell, we have gifts and talents that we want to share with people. I am trying to set an example, to create pathways.”

“I’m not just doing it because I enjoy doing it, it’s more, there is purpose and vision. I guess that’s all a part of what has got me to the point that I am at, because I never lost sight of that thing that was deep inside me.”

“I am using my art as a way of saying to the young mob, ‘hey I got all these opportunities, I got these stories I want to share’. It’s doable.”

“For a long time Aboriginal people have been told to hush, that their voice doesn’t matter. More than ever I believe the younger generation have got to a point now that we’re just fed up with that. We’re not gonna be quiet no more. We’re gonna be strong, we’re gonna stand on our own, to prove that our voice matters just as much as anyone else’s.”

Photo: Kate Ten Buuren