Blak Wave signals the beginning of a New Grand Narrative

Carly Sheppard_by Gregory LorenzuttiA tidal wave of new and cutting-edge ideas has crashed landed in Melbourne with the opening of the 2014 Next Wave Festival and commencing with the launch of a new 80-page book about contemporary Indigenous art practice and experiences, which sits at the centre of its keynote initiative Blak Wave.

The Blak Wave was launched at the Wheeler Centre on Wednesday 16 April and featured a panel discussion by contributors and curators Tahjee Moar and Tony Albert alongside Clinton Nain, Destiny Deacon and Virginia Fraser, with Richard Bell hosting the evening.

“I was newly inspired by artist Tony Albert at last night’s opening, who commented that a search for a New Grand Narrative could never occur without a strong collection of Indigenous, female, queer and otherwise alternative voices,” said Emily Sexton, Next Wave Artistic Director.

“This makes so much sense to me, and I’m very happy and proud to say that our 2014 Next Wave Festival offers diverse, potent new visions for contemporary life embracing the essential diversity Tony describes.”

“Blak Wave – as a book, as a series of new works, and as a talks series – is the beginning of a large and vital conversation about what kind of world we want to live in, and the role of culture in shaping that word.”

The softcover book co-curated and edited by Torres Strait Islander Tahjee Moar and Next Wave’s artistic team, Blak Wave’s eponymous publication features 28 artists from across generations and includes interviews, artist profiles, essays and articles written by both established and emerging Indigenous voices, such as Djon Mundine, Ryan Presley, Sydney collective Tiddas Take Back and Reko Rennie.

The Next Wave Festival continues to Sunday 11 May 2014. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Blak Wave featuring White Face by Carly Sheppard – photo by Gregory Lorenzutti