Kamahi Djordon King is a Gurindji man, an accomplished multi-disciplinary artist, and a creative leader in our region. Born in Katherine, Kamahi discovered a passion for painting in Perth, Western Australia in 1994—where he worked as an Artist in Residence alongside the late Shane Pickett. Since then, he has explored visual media and gained recognition as a painter, performer, and sculptor. And Kamahi’s alter ego, Constantina Bush, continues to win awards, thrill cabaret audiences, and grace stages all over Australia.
This exhibition in the K Space Gallery is in part a reflection of Kamahi’s younger years. BLAK on a Hot Tin Roof is homage to the shanties that were built when he was a little kid: “My Grandfather, George Kruger, purchased a large block on Second Street and built two of these for his family to live in. I remember it well, and that has inspired much in this exhibition.”
The works on display at Godinymayin draw inspiration from the tin walls of his childhood home where cement floors were wet down each morning—keeping the shanties cool during the heat of the day (and into the night). The exhibition also features Kamahi’s Campdogs, canine figures made from paper clay and recycled materials, also a reminder of his childhood. The Campdogs are representative of the cheeky dogs found in Katherine and its surrounding Indigenous communities, then and now, whose antics are both adored and avoided.
All of the works in this exhibition demonstrate Kamahi’s commitment to sustainability, made from recycled materials like paper waste, discarded siding, and cotton left by road trains as they pass through Katherine: “I like to take unwanted things out of the environment, and then make something beautiful with little to no carbon pawprint.”
Kamahi’s art is also a reflection of his own cultural heritage—exploring Indigenous Australian identity and personal history: ” The word and the idea of BLAK represents an emergence from the past, and a new way that we Australian Aboriginal people represent and see ourselves. It is also the initials of my younger brother Bruce Lee Arthur King.”
BLAK on a Hot Tin Roof, created by Kamahi Djordon King specially for our Centre, is a tribute to the artist’s past and his life growing up Indigenous in Katherine. Join us in celebrating the artist’s versatility, dedication to sustainability, nostalgia, and latest body of work.
Exhibitions and Awards
2020 Two Seasons, Both Hot Solo Exhibition in the K Space Godinymayin NT 2020
2019 Artist of the year, Katherine NAIDOC Awards
2011 Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) Best Works on Paper, Victorian Indigenous Art Awards
2009 Big Story Solo Exhibition Dreaming Festival, Queensland
2008 Kamahi Djordon King Solo Exhibition at the Koori Heritage Trust, Victoria
2006 Katherine stories Solo Exhibition at the Mike Sill Gallery, Melbourne