Artist Profile

RICHARD BELL AT TATE MODERN

IN LATE NOVEMBER I WAS TALKING with Indigenous Australian contemporary artist and political activist Richard Bell in the back room of Josh Milani’s Gallery in Brisbane. Milani had been called away on business and Bell had come over from his studio to meet me. He was wearing paint-splattered shorts and a blue button through shirt. Several days of white stubble seemed to have been spray-painted onto his chin while his head was framed by a halo of wiry white hair.

A conversation with Bell is anything other than predictable. His opinions are strong, as one would expect of a long-standing activist for Indigenous rights. He doesn’t suffer fools easily. Bell eschews labels and prefers to describe himself as ‘an activist who masquerades as an artist’, a line

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