ART / NEWS
MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND THE UK’S FIRST ABORIGINAL-OWNED GALLERY
A woman inspired by her Aboriginal heritage is opening a gallery in Bristol.
Connecting with her roots, and activist father Paul Coe, the 26-year-old began to make art inspired by the history and culture of Aboriginal people.
Jasmine is now opening Coe Gallery, which will be the UK’s first indigenous-owned Aboriginal gallery.
“It is important to have a space that is Aboriginal-owned and artist-led. I want all the artists to have their voices heard and have a say in the direction and duration of the work,” she told Bristol24/7.
The space will be dedicated to display the works of emerging Aboriginal artists, including Sandon Gibbs O’Neil, a Nhunggabarra artist from Australia.
The gallery is named after Paul Coe, who has been involved in Aboriginal justice campaigns and the Aboriginal Land Rights movement since the 70s.
Jasmine said: “Activism runs through my father’s family, my art becomes a place where I can learn about the history of my culture and what my family have stood for,” she said.
She said it was important to open the gallery in Bristol as a way to “regain control” of our city’s colonial roots.
“As a culture that suffered such oppression, we want to show in the UK – the country that colonised it, it’s still a beautiful culture that is so rich, and there’s so much to learn in terms of sustainability,” she explained.
Jasmine added: “In Bristol, the historical narrative has been shifted in the last few years. It feels there’s a time of change where voices are really being listened to so now’s the time for these artists to be able to share their stories.”
A pop-up exhibition opens on July 12 to 29 at The Vestibules, with the support of Bridging Histories and University of Bristol, until a permanent space has been found.
Main photo: Betty Woolerton