Sydney-based artist Tony Albert has won one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards for his series of photographs critiquing the treatment of Indigenous men by the police.
His series, We Can Be Heroes, was awarded the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award and depicts young Indigenous male students who each have a target painted on their chest. The work is inspired by the shooting of two Indigenous teenagers by local police in 2012; the boys were only wounded, but the incident incited a series of protests. Albert wanted to use his photographs to give the young men a voice and a way to control how they were represented, contrary to the often negative portrayal Indigenous males receive in the Australian media.
The prize, which this year welcomed 306 entries from across the country, demonstrates the diversity of contemporary Indigenous artists.