AustLit logo
Courting Blakness : Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University

(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AustLit Flinders Team
  • 14 Nations by Archie Moore
    Source: Courting Blakness

    Courting Blakness was a groundbreaking exhibition curated by UQ Adjunct Professor, Fiona Foley.

    Located in The University of Queensland’s Great Court between September 5-28 in 2014, the project brought together works in different media by Ryan Presley, Archie Moore, Natalie Harkin, Karla Dickens, Christian Thompson, Megan Cope, r e a, and Michael Cook.

    This AustLit website gathers all of the digital footprints of the exhibitions and surrounding events in order to allow this powerful experience to live on, becoming a part of the rich resources in the BlackWords project of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. (

  • Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University

  • Ryan Presley Maneater 2012. Silk-cut linoleum print on Magnari paper
    Source: Courting Blakness

    The project responded to a number of urgent questions, many of which were formulated by the curator, artists and UQ academics in a one day event sponsored by the Equity Office and hosted by the University of Queensland Art Museum in 2013. As research collaboration and teaching migrate to online platforms, what is the unique space and potential of the university campus? What is the place of art in the global university? How does art shape academic knowledge and how does academic knowledge shape art? What does contemporary Aboriginal art allow us to see? What does it prompt us to think and feel about the ways we occupy spaces of knowledge? Over two weeks in September Courting Blakness invited us to observe and participate as art moved through spaces and practices of learning at the University of Queensland.

    Courting Blakness approached the university as more than a brand in a global marketplace. It considered how the university embodies a specific history and set of relationships between people and place. The architecture of the Great Court describes a meeting place of different academic disciplines, artists and thinkers through the ages. Courting Blakness invited staff, students and members of the public to engage this space through new conversations about issues that matter to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

    Ideas about humanity and racial difference often find expression in spaces of public art and cultural heritage in Australia. Courting Blakness invited us to consider how much or how little these ideas have changed since the Great Court was designed and built. Such consideration generated more complex and layered understandings about how local, national and transnational spaces of knowledge and education are formed and reconfigured over time. In addition to the resources on this website, the Courting Blakness project generated an illustrated, edited collection of essays with UQP and digital archive.

  • Acknowledgments

  • Courting Blakness was supported by The Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information, Technology, Innovation and the Arts. It also benefited from continuing and significant contributions from the University of Queensland Art Museum.

    Special thanks to our other sponsors:

    Alumni Friends of the University of Queensland

    Copyright Australia Ltd

    Professor Fred D’Agostino

    The National Indigenous Research And Knowledges Network (QUT)

    The National Tertiary Education Union

    Interns, volunteers, and assistants: Bobbie Chew-Bigby; Anabella Bray; David Burgener; Leah Carr; Anna Efstathiadou; Helen Evans; Edin Fleming; Leon Li Guangchuan; Kathryn Halliday; Madeleine Hickey; Sophie Hickey; Franki Jenkin; Ashley Kerrison; Carolin Klinger; Dr Catherine Lawrence; Geoff Lawrence; Duncan Lowes; Wei Luo; Jiangliu Luo; Lisa Lee Sha Man; Carol Masel; Al Amin Nathani; Dominic O’Donnell; Kristy Parker; Alice-Anne Psaltis; Therese Carmel Richards; Linda Rylands; Molly Shields; Amber Stewart; Teagan Thompson; Sorcha Tormey; Natalia Torres; Huong Lien Tran; Jacob Warren; Warraba Wetherall; Tracy Wong.

    The project benefited from the work of many UQ staff members including: Dr Chelsea Bond; Dr Morgan Brigg; Dr Maureen Burns; Dr Paul Harnett, Dr Sylvie Shaw, Professor Cindy Shannon, Associate Professor Jon Willis, Professor Iain Watson, Professor Jennifer Coren; Professor David Carter; Chris Abbott; Carl Warner; Jo Besley; Dr Fern Dactyl; Kate Cuddihy; Tracy Davies; Professor Heather Douglas; Professor Tim Dunne; Professor Carole Ferrier; Dr Campbell Gray; Fergus Grealy; Dr Kelly Greenop; Michele Helmrich; Associate Professor Jason Jacobs; Dr Michelle Nesic; Gillian Risdale; Dr Barbara Sullivan; Dr Zala Volcic; Dr Daniel Walker; Stormy Wehi; Brent Wilson.

    Organisations associated with the project who donated time, resources and expertise include: The Blackcard (Mundanara Bayles, Mary Graham, Lilla Watson); Brad McCrystal; The Design Embassy (Dr Morgan Richards); Merlos cafe; UQP and Urban Arts Projects,

  • Archive of the original site

  • 195

    The National Library of Australia has archived the original Courting Blakness website on the national digital archive, Pandora.

  • Courting Blackness on AustLit

    All of the images and photographs used in this website are copyright of the artists and photographers. Any concerns or copyright questions should be directed to the publisher, AustLit: email

    The contents of this website have been derived from the original Courting Blakness website and the NLA's Pandora Archive copy. The original website will be decommissioned by the end of 2017. Some images of artists have been derived from other sources.

You might be interested in...