SAM presents Bindi Cole: I Am

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is proud to present a solo exhibition by Bindi Cole. Bindi Cole: I Am will open on Friday 16 May until Sunday 10 August. The exhibition presents a number of works that investigate themes of love, forgiveness and redemption in Cole’s practice.

Bindi Cole's compelling photographs, videos and installations fearlessly approach taboo topics with dignity, humour and compassion. Cole is based in Melbourne with Australian and Wadawurrung heritage, and her cultural identity and personal history feature as strong themes in her art. Cole is receiving growing recognition from art institutions across the country, with her work featured in the highly successful ‘Melbourne Now' exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and as a feature of the current 19th Biennale of Sydney.

Bindi Cole: I Am presents a new video work that reflects on current discussions around the planned repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that makes it unlawful to insult a person or group because of their ‘race, colour or national ethnic origin'.

Bindi said 'Everyone deserves the right to be free from discrimination. There is no place in our community for hateful, shaming, denigrating, humiliating and intimidating speech. It's just not on, and I'm not sure how we arrived at a destination where some believe that this type of behaviour is acceptable, or even an absolute right.'

The exhibition also includes EH5452 (2012), an installation about the ultimately redemptive time that Cole spent imprisoned in an English gaol earlier in her life. In her artist statement about this work, Bindi Cole said ‘EH5452 aims to turn something dark, hidden and shameful into something light, revelatory and beautiful.' Accompanying EH5452 is a selection of art works made by artists currently living in Victorian prisons.

Other works include a suite of photographs of clouds in the sky at dawn and dusk. Titled Clouds Are The Dust Of His Feet (2013) and Lakorra (2013), these photographs explore Aboriginal land ownership, expressions of the sublime and religious faith. Cole's powerful video work Seventy Times Seven (2011) is also presented as a single channel installation. In this work, a number of Indigenous Australians repeat the words ‘I forgive you', creating a potent reflection on the national apology to Australia's Stolen Generations, and more broadly – the role of forgiveness in personal and political life.

Curator Elise Routledge said ‘While often deeply personal, Bindi Cole's work raises broader questions about the relationship between personal identity and established power structures in society. It is unapologetically political, but grounded in ideals of love and compassion. It's very exciting to be presenting Bindi's incisive new work to audiences in Shepparton.'

Bindi Cole: I Am will officially open along with the SAM's 2014 Indigenous Ceramic Art Award and the 15th Drawing Wall by Reko Rennie on Saturday 24 May at 4pm.

On Thursday 19 June at 6pm, the art museum will also hold a special SAM Out Late! event where Bindi Cole will discuss her work in conversation with SAM curator Elise Routledge.

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. SAM is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm).
For general enquiries and bookings, please contact (03) 5832 9861, email, or visit for more information.