Featured News Local artist drawn to the Mabo Library

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020

Local artist drawn to the Mabo Library

Helen Hooper, Rob Douma, and Gail Mabo smile while standing in front of the Mabo Library
(L-R) Helen Hooper - Director Library & Information Services, Rob Douma, Gail Mabo.

Townsville-based artist and tattooer Rob Douma has been named the inaugural Artist in Residence for the JCU Eddie Koiki Mabo Library “Drawn to the Mabo Library” program.

The initiative is part of year-long celebrations to mark JCU’s 50th birthday and will see the resident artist create artworks relating to the Mabo Library.

Mr Douma said he looks forward to interacting with the students and staff as he creates his work.

“I want to create art that is authentic and truly represents the legacy of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library as a space of interaction, learning, collaboration and inspiration,” he said.

“It is vital to recognise the importance of the aptly named Mabo Library as a centre for knowledge and the impact it has had on the region as a whole.”

The theme of the program is People, Place, Knowledge, Legacy, which Mr Douma aims to portray through incorporating the Mabo Library community in his work.

“Participation and engagement with visitors to the Mabo Library will be an integral part of the process,” he said.

“My aim is to create a body of work that will explore the building’s distinct architectural aesthetics and the way people use the space, and interact in and around this iconic building.”

The Director of Library & Information Services Helen Hooper said she is excited to have Mr Douma on board.

“We had a very strong field of highly competitive applicants and are delighted to welcome Rob Douma as our first Artist in Residence,” Ms Hooper said. “Rob is an active local artist and the panel was impressed by his understanding of the role of the Mabo Library and its connection to local community.

“We look forward to seeing his vision translated into artworks, which we believe will have broad appeal engaging students and visitors to the campus over the coming months.”

Exhibition patron Gail Mabo said she welcomes the appointment.

“I look forward to allowing Rob to lead the way for a new focus for the Mabo Library Art Exhibition and to provide a path for other local artists in years to come,” she said.

Mr Douma’s work will be on display at the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library Art Exhibition from 21 May to 19 June.


Bethany Keats

JCU Media