Large-scale inkjet print on Hahnemuhle paper titled Bearing Witness #1 2009
One of Australia’s most significant visual artists, Foley has a heroic ability to communicate powerful ideas and concepts through elegant, understated and sometimes humorous artistic expressions. Foley has been based both in Sydney and Hervey Bay but now works and lives in Brisbane. The National Museum of Australia acquired Foley’s sculpture Annihilation of the Blacks 1986, during her final year at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts. Since then, Foley’s works have been regularly collected by art museums around Australia and the world such as the British Museum and the National Gallery of Australia, as well as corporate and private collections. As a scholar, adjunct professor at the University of Queensland, writer and artist, Foley is deeply engaged with both Australia’s pre-European cultures, particularly her own Badtjala clan, and the predominately European contemporary Australian cultures. Her research and oeuvre aims to seek out lesser-known histories surrounding the interaction of Indigenous Australians and Europeans and bring them to the attention of a wider audience, through the visual arts. She sees herself as an educator and guide through the events, attitudes and histories that are often unpleasant and difficult to understand. Currently, Foley is expanding her practice by undertaking a residency in China.