studio artist

Thea Anamara Perkins

Above: Thea Anamara Perkins, Photo: Jacquie Manning

Thea Anamara Perkins (b.1992) is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist raised and based on Gadigal Country. She uses images from her family’s photographic archive as departure points for portraits and landscapes that question Western painting traditions as well as the media’s representation of First Nations people. With a delicate hand, Perkins answers heavy questions about what it means to be Indigenous in contemporary Australia, and how Aboriginal people can and should be portrayed.

Perkins is commited to what she calls ‘strong and ready communication’, and her work continues the incredible Perkins family legacy of activitism. The artist investigates representation as a powerful tool to articulate contemporary experience, redress misinformation and revise historical narratives. She believes engaging with the collective imagination can precipitate shifts in perception and values that allow us to move forward.

Perkins has worked in a broad range of community projects, particularly through her family ties to the Redfern community. She was the recipient of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ (AGNSW) La Prairie Art Award in 2023, the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2021 and the Australia Council’s Dreaming Award for Emerging Artists in 2020. Recent solo exhibitions include Stockwoman, Carriageworks, Sydney and That Which Endures, Verge Gallery, University of Sydney (2022); and group exhibitions The National 4: Australian Art Now, AGNSW, Sydney (2023); Wynne Prize, AGNSW, Sydney; I will tell you my story, UTS Gallery, Sydney; and InlandSee, Grafton Regional Gallery (2022).