The establishment of 'Boomalli' - meaning to strike or make a mark in at least three Aboriginal languages: Bandjalung, Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri - was motivated by disappointment in the lack of action and progress on Aboriginal issues since the 1967 Referendum 20 years earlier. The founding Boomalli members were a diverse group in terms of age, gender and artistic training. Seven of the 10 were women, two of them were proudly gay men, and all of the group had attended or were attending art courses and schools at the time.
Collectively, they represented a 'next generation' of Aboriginal youth who were angered by the lack of progress in Aboriginal affairs and determined to take action. After appearing in the Koori84 exhibition at Sydney's Artspace in 1984 and visiting Northern Territory Aboriginal art co-operatives as part of their western art school courses, these younger artists decided to begin their own urban Aboriginal artist co-operative.
Many of Boomalli's founding artists have also exhibited their works in commercial galleries and achieved commercial success. This included Tracey Moffatt who represented Australia in the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The Artists were striving for recognition from the mainstream art society. This group of Artists challenged preconceptions around urban-based Aboriginal Artists.
The Co-operative's existence and continued longevity has been an enabler for hundreds of Aboriginal artists. The exhibition will be opened by Federal Member for Barton, the Hon. Linda Burney MP on November 3 at 6pm and will continue until January 28 2017.