Richard Bell – A Native Australian Artist

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African Americans live in a bubble because our focus is almost exclusively the United States of America.  No surprise, since we live in a huge country of 50 states, 3.8 million square miles, with a population of 328.9 million people. Given our busy lives, most of us will not have time to visit 50 states. It is unlikely that we’d travel across the ocean to someplace like Australia, where the artist Richard Bell lives.

Luckily, the internet enables us to research any person, place, or thing, anywhere in the world.  With a little effort, we can learn about our kinfolk of the African diaspora.

Look to Australia for Art

I love to explore and learn about people.  I recently came upon an interesting painting, “We Can Be Heroes”, that stopped me. “We Can Be Heroes” depicts the 1968 Mexico City Olympics medal ceremony where John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists. It is a collaboration by Australian artist Richard Bell and Emory Douglas.  Richard Bell is a contemporary artist of Aboriginal origin.  He is descended from the true natives of Australia – the Kamilaroi, Kooma, Jiman and Gurang Gurang communities.

Two examples of Richard Bell's Liberation Art
Left: Richard Bell – The Peckin’ Order, 2007. Image via Milani Gallery / Right: Richard Bell and Emory Douglas – We Can Be Heroes, 2014. Image via Art Gallery NSW
© 2017 rainbow serpent Pty.Ltd – Richard Bell photo

Richard Bell defines himself as more of an activist than an artist.  He calls his art “Liberation Art”. His themes revolve around the exploitation of indigenous people by the colonists – which still takes place today thru racism, stereotyping, absorption of ethnic culture.

Check out Richard Bell’s website to see more of his art. Website:

Other Interesting Posts

If you missed my earlier article on filmmaker Michael Adeyemi then click this link to view a short film that I love! –

As always your comments are appreciated!