Roy McIvor

born 1934, Cape Bedford Mission
died 2018, Hopevale

Clan Group: Binthi
Language:     Guugu Yimithirr

Roy McIvor, a senior Guugu Yimithirr man made art over a period of over fifty years. His work, underpinned by the traditional art of his ancestors, explored 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 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.

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
2018      Printing as Process, Incinerator Gallery, Moonee Valley City Council, Vic.
2017      ARTNOW FNQ, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, Qld.
              ArtMart, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin, NT
2016      National Works on Paper Award (Winner), Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Vic.
Inkmasters Cairns 3rd Print Exhibition 2016, Tanks Art Centre, Cairns
Spirit: Celebrating the Culture, Vision and Skills of Canopy Artists, Canopy Art Centre, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
              Here and Now, Canopy Art Centre, Cairns
2015      Canopy Art Centre at the Terminal, Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns
              Mapping Memories, Reclaiming Culture: Stories from Far North Qld, Canopy Art Centre (Cairns Indig. Art Fair)
2014      International Print Exhibition (Australia & Japan), Kyoto, Japan
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)
               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, NSW

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
2016      Finalist, National Works on Paper Award (Acquisition)

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

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

Collections
Arts Queensland, Brisbane QLD
Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns QLD
Cape York Family Centre
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
University of Queensland Art Collection, Brisbane QLD
+ numerous private collectors