Queensland gifts

Give a piece of Queensland with locally made gifts, vintage Queensland poster prints, or a classic work of Queensland literature and history.

Black Opium
Black Opium

Black Opium


Foley, Fiona

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This stunning, limited edition work commemorates Black Opium, an installation artwork by one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous artists Fiona Foley.

Fiona Foley’s artwork sympathetically explores both personal and collective memory, and gives visual expression to our understanding and interpretation of a dark period in our State’s history – the devastating effect of The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897, on the independence and spirit of successive generations.

The installation marries ‘collection’ and ‘space’, with 777 suspended poppy heads arranged in the shape of the infinity symbol connecting to a series of seven small rooms representing different ambiences and cultures, exploring themes of history, memory and politics through sculptural installations and photographs.

This limited edition publication creates added layers of meaning for each element in Black Opium, through photographs in breathtaking full colour and intricate detail, alongside the history of opium and race relations in Australia; the design process of the installation; and Fiona Foley’s personal reflections on libraries, history, and knowledge.

The installation was commissioned as part of the 2006 redevelopment of the State Library of Queensland building at South Bank, and now resides permanently on level 4 of the building, drawing visitors along the Knowledge Walk and acting as a prelude to the Heritage Collection Suite.

ISBN: 9780975803059
Author: Foley, Fiona
Format: Paperback
Pages: 48
Dimension: 240mm X 170mm

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