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Art Leven

  • Art
  • Redfern
  1.  Artist Neil Tomkins, arts worker Rickie Tjungurrayi and artist Isaiah Tjungurrayi Lewis
    Photograph: Supplied/Art Leven | Artist Neil Tomkins, arts worker Rickie Tjungurrayi and artist Isaiah Tjungurrayi Lewis
  2. Painting by Kitty Napanangka Simon just outside Lajamanu
    Photograph: Supplied/Art Leven | Painting by Kitty Napanangka Simon just outside Lajamanu

Time Out says

Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous-focused fine art gallery has a new name and a collaborative new approach

In July 2023, Australia’s oldest Indigenous-focused fine art gallery Cooee Art relaunches as Art Leven, ushering in a new era for the gallery under the stewardship of long-term owner and director Mirri Leven. 

Although the gallery remains focused on First Nations art, in this new chapter as Art Leven, the gallery will exhibit non-Indigenous artists alongside First Nations artists, through specially curated individual projects. The new gallery vision focuses on transparent dialogue, offering an opportunity beyond the ordinary commercial relationship between artist and gallery, fostering an environment of openness and direct exchanges between artists. Art Leven will work directly with First Nations curators, art centres, and represented artists.

In the words of Mirri Leven: "This new chapter is not only an exciting development for us, but hopefully the wider Australian art community. Through this new direction, we aim to foster an environment of openness, transparency and communication that will bridge the gap and encourage exchange between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists."

"One tenet of this project is to include artists who are specifically not in an exclusive relationship with Art Leven. In an industry with a sometimes-murky past, I hope that part of the dialogue we foster can focus on what an artist can and should expect of a gallery or representative. Art Leven means to embody the evolution of Cooee, providing a pathway to new ways of working together."

Art Leven unveils its inaugural exhibition Country X Country in line with this new programming focus in July 2023 (running Jul 27-Aug 26) within its bespoke gallery space located on Gadial Country, Sydney Redfern. Curated by Gadigal artist Kate Constantine (Konstantina), the exhibition features work created in the Northern Territory Warlpiri community of Lajamanu, organically exploring themes around the craft of landscape painting and ways of seeing and translating land and Country.


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Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross


17 Thurlow Street
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 10am-5pm
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