We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Brisbane Queensland Australia
    Cultural origin
    Kamilaroi/Kooma, Northern Riverine region; Jiman/Goreng Goreng, Northeast region
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    240.0 x 360.0 cm
    Purchased 2010
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Richard Bell, courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Richard Bell

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Richard Bell is recognised for his self-titled ’liberation art’ which explores the many fronts of Australian racism. In line with his 2002 manifesto 'Bell’s theorem', Bell dwells on the commercial industries that have developed around Aboriginal art. He argues that Aboriginal art is a commodity slowly being subsumed by white Australia, and white majorities around the globe, with its forms and subjects being used to further categorise and assimilate Aboriginal people.

    In 'Pay the rent' Bell reinvents a land rights protest placard as a work of fine art, demanding that the Aboriginal population be paid all that would be owed in rent since the colonial invasion of 1788. The slogan was popular in 1972, when land rights protests in Canberra culminated into what became known as the Aboriginal Embassy. This act of protest is a continuing preoccupation of Bell’s, informing later works such as 'Embassy 2013' – ongoing, which consists of a large military-style canvas tent surrounded by painted placards with slogans such as ’White Invaders You are Living on Stolen Land’ and ’...We Wuz Robbed

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 6 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Richard Bell