Arone Meeks' final major artwork donated to JCU Art Collection

Evidence by Arone Raymond Meeks.
© Estate of Arone Meeks, 2020.
Photograph by Louis Lim
It is with pride and deep gratitude that James Cook University is pleased to announce its receipt of the donation of the final major artwork produced by significant Australian Indigenous artist Arone Raymond Meeks before his untimely death in 2021. The painting titled Evidence 
had been exhibited in the ‘Tribute’ Arone Meeks exhibition held in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library during the 30th Anniversary of the Mabo Decision in 2022.  This memorable event paid homage to both Eddie Mabo and Arone Meeks demonstrating gratitude, respect and admiration for their significant contributions to Australian culture, community and political change.

This very generous donation of artwork comes from Ernst Briet and his wife Letizia C De Rosa and is made in memory of the De Rosa family. Letizia C De Rosa has stated:

Arone was someone I met circa 2008. We understood each other's respect for culture, country and story-sharing through our respective crafts. I am glad my husband has donated this painting to the university I hold very dear, so that others may enjoy and be inspired by Arone's majestic and last major work.

This iconic painting has finally found its home where it belongs in North Queensland - where my roots and Arone's roots run deep.

Letizia C De Rosa and Ernst Briet. Photographer: unknown.

Art is a powerful, universal means of communication which crosses cultures and time.  Arone used art to communicate about Country and culture. He said:

Through the whole practice of producing my work – I feel that what I do when I am producing paintings or prints or scultpures – is I am forging links with my own Country and culture and who I am.

The JCU Art Collection’s mission is to enhance the educational, cultural, and everyday experience of students, staff and visitors - in alignment with University’s Reconciliation Statement and Action Plan, Corporate Strategy, and Sustainability Statement which reflects the University’s regional and cultural identity, our unique tropical location, environment, and society. We aim to build on the legacies within the Collection (e.g., modern Australian Art) whilst collecting and displaying the work of regional artists or artists who have worked in northern Australia, as well as artworks which reflect themes of significance or relevance to the tropics.

This new donation of Arone Meeks' artwork greatly enriches the Collection and exemplifies the capacity of art to connect people in meaningful ways which positively impact our shared future.
Detail from Evidence by Arone Raymond Meeks.
© Estate of Arone Meeks, 2020. Photograph by Louis Lim


Anonymous said…
It's such a pop of colour when you walk into the library and see that beautiful blue and gold painting. A real Stunner.