Born:                   1934
Location:            Cape Bedford Mission
Clan Group:       Binthi
Language:          Guugu Yimithirr

Roy McIvor, a senior Guugu Yimithirr man has been painting for over fifty years. His paintings, underpinned by the traditional art of his ancestors, explore the contemporary social landscape of community life.
In the community you’re never short of a problem. I wanted to give that trouble away, and wondered how can I live through this? Life was like captivity and I thought about how can we change it – how can we think differently about our life and take control of it? We had no freedom to live our own life and I wanted to liberate my people through my art. People need to know that Indigenous people can bring about changes in their life themselves.

My work often recalls the emotional feelings I experienced when I first saw the rock art that is all around my Binthi homelands, so my work is like a dance between this traditional imagery and the modern reality, punctuated by a graffiti-like urban motif.

Art is precious in life. I kept up with my culture’s traditional style because it reminds me of my old people. It reminds me of their life, they were wonderful artists too. I thought about that, and I thought about my country at McIvor River. I look at the countryside and remember how beautiful it is, and how my old people were up on the mountains, painting beautifully on the rock.

Today Roy McIvor lives at Hope Vale, 50km north of Cooktown.  He is the ex-Chairman of the Hope Vale Arts and Cultural Centre and has been a stalwart figure in the promotion of Indigenous art and culture at Hope Vale.  Until recently he was a long-term Board member of Cairns based UMI Arts (Sheridan St) and they have named one of their galleries the McIvor Gallery in Roy’s honour.

Exhibition History

Solo Exhibitions

2014    Rear Visions: Stories from Home, Canopy Art Centre, Cairns (event of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair)

2013   Reimagining Roy McIvor, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Under the Canopy, Canopy Art Centre, Cairns (Cairns Indigenous Art Fair exhibition)

2010   Roy McIvor: Design for Happiness – Bubu Garrbundhirr, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2007   Roy McIvor, Retrospective, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
2005   Playful Dreaming, Nature’s Powerhouse, Cooktown QLD

Group Exhibitions
2011   Vivien Anderson Gallery, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD
2010   Masterwork, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Exhibition, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns

2009   Cape York Art Awards, Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, Laura
Cooktown Art Society Annual Exhibition, Elizabeth Guzley Gallery, Cooktown
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Exhibition, The Tanks, Cairns
Hidden Treasures – The Postcard Show, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2008   The Director’s Cut, UMI Arts, North Cairns QLD
Blak Roots, Kick Arts Contemporary Arts, Abbott Street, Cairns
Hidden Treasures – The Post Card Show, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns

             NAIDOC Exhibition, Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
Mangal Dabaar, HopeVale Cultural Centre at Nature’s Powerhouse, Cooktown QLD
             Cooktown Art Society Annual Exhibition, Cooktown

2007   Flight, Kick Arts Contemporary Arts, Cairns
Cape York Art Awards, ‘Gunbu Wurrinu’ Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, Laura QLD
Banguu Minjaany Gallery Exhibition, Bangu Minjaany Gallery, TNQ TAFE, Cairns QLD
Hidden Treasures – The Post Card Show, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
Looking Forward Looking Blak, NAIDOC, Kick Arts, Cairns
2006   Banguu Minjaany Gallery Exhibition, Bangu Minjaany Gallery, TNQ TAFE, Cairns
TNQ TAFE Exhibition, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
New Flames, Artist in Residence Exhibition, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane QLD
Unreal Shields, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Terre de Reves, Terre des hommes, Arts d’Australie, Musee de la Prehistoire, Bougon France
2005  Terre de Reves, Terre des hommes, Arts d’Australie, Musee de la Prehistoire d’ille de France,
Nemour France
Terre de Reves, Terre des hommes, Arts d’Australie, Ambassade d’Australie, Paris France
Group Show, Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre, Townsville QLD
NAIDOC Exhibition, Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns QLD
Cape York Art Exhibition, ‘Nganjawi’ (Bora Ground), Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, Laura QLD
Quinkan Centre Exhibition, Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre, Laura QLD
Mangal Bungal (Clever Hands), Banguu Minjaany Gallery, TNQ TAFE, Cairns QLD
2003   The Post Card Show, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Cape York Art Exhibition, Laura QLD
Nature’s Powerhouse Exhibition, Nature’s Powerhouse, Cooktown QLD
Story Place, Indigenous Cape York and Rainforest Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD
Native Title Business, Regional Galleries Association, QLD (Travelling Exhibition)

2003   From Cairns to Cape York, 19th Annual Art Exhibition, Banguu Minjaany Gallery, TNQ TAFE, Cairns
Hope Vale Community Exhibition, Hope Vale Arts and Cultural Centre, Hope Vale QLD
A Place Far Away, Kingsford Smith Suite, Sydney   International Airport, Sydney

Commissions And Projects
2007   Hope Vale Health Clinic, Anodised Aluminium Screens designs
2006   Hope Vale Police Station Mural, Hope Vale
2003   The River of Life, Cooktown
1998   Milbi Wall, Cooktown

Grants And Awards
2007    Arts Queensland Small Grant
Cape York Art Award, (Runner Up)
2006    Climbing Higher, New Works Grant, Australia Council for the Arts
2005    Art Award, ‘Nganjawi’ (Bora Ground), Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
2004    Arts Queensland, Small Grant
2003    Art Award, Spiritual Realm, Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival

Professional Qualifications And Training
2006   Contemporary Landscapes, McGregor Summer School
2005   Certificate III in ATSI Visual Art, TNQ TAFE, Cairns
Certificate II Family Wellbeing (Foundations in Counselling)
2004   In and Out of Abstraction, McGregor Summer School
2002   Certificate II in ATSI Visual

Selected Collections
Arts Queensland, Brisbane QLD
Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
University of Queensland Art Collection, Brisbane QLD