Arone Meeks: Laura Dreaming & Muntina
Arone Meeks was born in Sydney in 1957, but grew up in Cairns. Meeks was as a founding artist of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative founded in 1987 in Sydney and initiated the annual NAIDOC exhibition at the Tanks Art Centre in Cairns. Meeks has been a prominent cultural anchor in the region of Tropical North Queensland for many years, he has left an extraordinary artistic legacy and led an impressive life of social commitment in numerous areas such as teaching, health, and First Nations issues, all of which informed the breadth and depth of his art practice.
From his early art training and considerable domestic and international success in Europe and the USA, from the 1980’s onwards, Meeks continued exploring, and often confronting contemporary issues facing an ancient culture ‘head on’. A bridging point between his past work and his most recent was the discovery that his great grandfather was the renowned English ornithologist/entomologist, Albert Meek. One of Albert’s discoveries was the blue-green Queen Alexander Birdwing Butterfly, the largest butterfly in the world. The butterfly’s vibrant colours rekindled Arone’s quest to discover his own ‘Arone Meeks blue’ – an idea seeded by Matisse, Yves Klein, Tiffany and the many others who had a blue colour named after them.
The Works of Art
Arone (Raymond) Meeks is represented with two works of art in the University of Canberra's Art Collection. The first, Laura Dreaming, is a tryptysh limited edition print of which this is edition 9 of 50. It was signed by the artist whilst in Paris in 1989 . Almost like a negative, the image shows a number of human forms and a large serpent stretching across the skies. To the left and right are what seems to be plants and animals. The intent of this image shows the human relation with the environment. The work of art combines indigenous motifs and western art and was created after Meeks' visit to the Laura Rocks in Queensland.
The second work of art is called 'Muntina' (Sea Turtles) and is a lithograph print published by the ANU Enterprises in 1990. It is a black and white image with a central area which has a line drawing outline of a large turtle.
Queensland Museums, https://blog.qm.qld.gov.au/2021/05/17/tribute-arone-meeks/