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Ken Done gifts iconic artwork to CDU

By Leanne Coleman

Ken Done gifts his artwork “Iconography” to the CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery Ken Done gifts his artwork “Iconography” to the CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery

One of Australia’s most prominent and iconic artists Ken Done travelled to Darwin recently to personally gift one of his artworks to Charles Darwin University.

The artwork “Iconography” is a welcome addition to the CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery, which since its creation by the gift of an art work in 1980, has grown to become the third largest collection of art held by a public institution in the Northern Territory.

Mr Done said he was honoured to make the gift to CDU. The work was painted in reference to three great Australian icons.

“The top third of the work was painted with great respect to Aboriginal artists and the markings they make as part of their traditional paintings,” Mr Done said.

“It is representative of the Bungle Bungles [in the Kimberley region of Western Australia] which is one of the most astounding places I have had the opportunity to visit in outback Australia.

“The bottom section of the work is in reference to the Australian outback and the Sydney Opera House.”

When asked what advice he would give to emergent CDU art students, the 73-year-old who began his study of art at age 14 said that art was like life’s journey.

“Art is like a journey,” he said. “And like any other journey you learn from everything you see along the way. In Australia we are in a unique position to travel and observe the world around us.”

Mr Done is recognised widely as holding a unique position in Australia’s cultural heritage. In 1992, he received the Order of Australia (AM), for services to Art, Design and Tourism. His paintings are in collections throughout the world and have been entered in the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne, Blake, and Dobell Prizes.