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Creature from the Black Platoon starring Gary Foley 2011


fibre-tipped pen on paper (frame: 119.0 cm x 135.0 cm depth 4.5 cm, sheet: 97.5 cm x 127.2 cm)

Gary Foley (b. 1950) Indigenous activist and historian, has written extensively on Indigenous political movements and maintains the Koori History Website, an intensive history archive and education resource. Of Gumbainggir descent, at seventeen Foley moved from his native Grafton to Sydney. There, inspired by the biography of African-American human rights activist Malcolm X, he was instrumental in establishing Sydney’s Aboriginal Legal Service and Aboriginal Medical Service, and in 1972 he came to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. The first Indigenous Director of the Aboriginal Arts Board, he was Senior Curator for Southeastern Australia at Museum Victoria from 2001 to 2005. Since 2005 Foley has lectured and undertaken postgraduate research at the University of Melbourne.

TextaQueen’s (b. 1975) portrait of Gary Foley is from a series featuring ‘people of colour as outlaws of their post-apocalypse, drawn as if posters for fictional movies. As an artist of colour … I’ve sought out peers from various sociocultural and racial backgrounds to propose characters, costumes, and fictional surrounds to represent themselves as survivors of their Armageddon.’ Gary Foley launched the exhibition of the series in Melbourne.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Accession number: 2011.113

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

TextaQueen (age 36 in 2011)

Gary Foley (age 61 in 2011)

Subject professions


Performing arts

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