Gordon Bennett is one of Australia's most visionary and important artists. Born in 1955, Bennett spent most of his early life travelling with his family before finally settling in Nambour. He was an average student, but excelled greatly in art, social studies and English. Between working and studying, plus being surrounded by hideous racism, art became a tool to articulate the denial of his Aboriginal identity.
It is little wonder, then, that Bennett quickly established himself as one of Australia's most praised creatives. Though he passed away last year, he left behind one of the most significant and powerful bodies of work every produced by an Australian artist.
Now, the Institute of Modern Art is showcasing of a selection of largely unseen works by Bennett in their latest exhibition, Be Polite. The pieces on show include of drawings, paintings, watercolours, poetry and essays from the early 1990s through to the early 2000s. Be Polite exhibits works that embrace rich layers of western and Australian Indigenous art history and contemporary politics, a direction Bennett developed throughout the 1980s and explored until the end of his life.