Biblica Australis

Richard BELL

223037 Bell Biblica Australis
Biblica Australis by Richard BELL


Richard BELL
Biblica Australis
synthetic polymer and latex on canvas
triptych 200 x 60 cm each panel

copyright the artist Courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane

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Fireworks Gallery, 2002
private collection, Queensland
Lawson Menzies, Aboriginal Art, 23 May 2007, lot 58
private collection


Discomfort, Fireworks Gallery, 2002
Melbourne Art Fair, 2004
Cultural Copy: Indigenous Common Ground at Fowler Museum, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, 2004

Further Information

Bell’s artworks, including paintings, installations, videos and performances, reflect his social activism, satirising assumptions of culture, provoking and challenging viewpoints of both black and white Australia. Combining traditions and techniques of both black and white cultures, Biblica Australis uses a patchwork of linear colours overlaid with text, some playing on the words of the Jewish/Christian bible and others marking significant moments and places within the context of Australian invasion and land rights. These words and dates are given a range of orientations across the canvas, perhaps akin to the all-encompassing viewpoint of much Aboriginal art. The use of layering is another common feature, with much art of the Western Desert, for example, built up with patterns superimposed with dotting. The work is also overlaid with ‘dribbles’ of black and white paint, in the manner of abstract expressionist artists.

Bell was awarded the celebrated Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2003 and is represented in most state institutions in Australia, as well as international collections. Bell was a finalist in the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2015 and has exhibited in important group exhibitions both in Australia and around the world and most recently has opened his exhibition Embassy at the Tate Modern, London in 2023.