The Newcastle Art Gallery Youth Advisory Group acknowledges the Awabakal and Worimi people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and pay our deepest respects to Elders past, present and future. The Youth Advisory Group is dedicated to honouring the culture and traditions of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the visual arts.
NAG Collection Artist
Reko Rennie is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary media. Through his art, Rennie provokes discussion surrounding Indigenous culture and identity in contemporary urban environments.
Largely autobiographical, his commanding works combine the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage with stylistic elements of graffiti. Merging traditional diamond-shaped designs, hand-drawn symbols and repetitive patterning to subvert romantic ideologies of Aboriginal identity.
Rennie received no formal artistic training but as a teenager discovered graffiti, which would become an all-consuming passion. He quickly began producing original art on the streets of Melbourne. Subsequently, Rennie has matured into an interrogative and highly innovative artist. His art and installations continually explore issues of identity, race, law and justice, land rights, stolen generations and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in contemporary society.
Rennie's work can be found in major collections across Australia, including the Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and Newcastle Art Gallery. He has been the recipient of many major awards including the 2009 Cite International des Arts Australia Council Residency, Paris.