Alt/Text, 2023, installation view in Main Gallery at Incinerator Gallery, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Tony Albert, Uluru, 2023, vintage postcard, acrylic on ply. Installation view in Alt/Text, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Jazz Money, With textual consent, 2023, screen print on calico. Installation view
Alt/Text, 2023, installation view of artworks by Jenna Lee in Main Gallery at Incinerator Gallery, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Alt/Text, 2023, installation view of artworks by Ebony Hicks and Damien Shen in Main Gallery at Incinerator Gallery, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Mackenzie Lee, Blaze on the Collabah, 2023, laser etched hooped plywood. Installation view in Alt/Text, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Kait James, KFL (Koorie Liberation Front), 2022, assorted fibres, carpet backing fabric. Installation view in Alt/Text, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Libby Harward, ALREADY OCCUPIED, 2018-ongoing, altered construction signage, altered traffic cones. Installation view in Alt/Text, curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
Steven Rhall, The Biggest Aboriginal Artwork in Melbourne Metro, 2023, billboard installation view at Incinerator Gallery, Alt/Text curated by Jenna Lee. Photography: Gianna Rizzo.
previous arrow
next arrow


22 July 2023 - 24 September 2023

Curator: Jenna Lee

Artist(s): Damien Shen, Ebony Birks, Jazz Money, Jenna Lee, Kait James, Libby Harward, Mackenzie Lee, Steven Rhall, and Tony Albert

Location: Main Gallery

Alt/Text brings together First Nations artists who engage in acts of alteration, intervention and transformation of found objects. By deploying text, language and visual symbols, they each alter narratives of representation, identity, community and country. 

This exhibition presents diverse practices and narratives spanning across assemblage, installation, painting, poetry, jewellery and works on paper by local and interstate artists.

“Inspired by my own obsessive collection of vintage books written about us, without us - I wanted to bring together artists whose practices demonstrate how we as First Peoples use materials, processes and language to create new narratives of self-determined representation.”

- Jenna Lee, Alt/Text curator and artist.

The opening night will be held on Friday, 21 July, from 6pm, at Incinerator Gallery alongside exhibitions Collective Breath and Lomiga Lua: i Luga ‘o le Moana (Issue Two: Over the Ocean): Leitu Bonnici

Damien Shen

Damien Shen is a South Australian man of Ngarrindjeri (Aboriginal) and Chinese descent. As an artist he draws on both of these powerful cultural influences to create works of intense personal meaning. In using his artistic talent to share his story he aims to open the eyes of viewers to new ways of seeing Australian identity and Aboriginal art.

Damien Shen constantly pushes his practice across different mediums. From time consuming, labor intensive drawings and paintings to bleeding watercolors, printmaking and photography, he is constantly constructing and deconstructing the world around him. Through this imagery he better understands his identity and the identity of those that help to shape the world he lives and the content remains relevant to contemporary Australian issues around race, history and politics.

In February 2016, Damien Shen was the winner of the Blake Prize (emerging category), December 2015, the winner of the Prospect Portraiture prize, and a finalist in the prestigious Whyalla Art Prize and Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award along with being hand-picked for the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Damien Shen lives and works in Adelaide, South Australia.


Ebony Birks

A proud descendant of Kamilaroi and Dunghutti people, Ebony draws inspiration from her cultural background when creating her hand-crafted pieces. EB jewellery takes artistic inspiration from an enduring sense of identity and Ebony’s personal relationship to country. Through the minimalist, understated designs, Ebony demonstrates a contemporary and distinctive aesthetic free from influence of the commodified and short lived trends that saturate the current jewellery market and media.  

Her studio currently in Brisbane, Ebony identifies as one of an emerging class of young designers hoping to render a distinctly local aesthetic to her art and jewellery. Using recycled precious metals, all leftover cuttings are placed into jars to be melted down for later use. Ebony’s brand aims to have minimal to zero waste, as ethical and transparent practises are fundamental to the brand. She hopes to demonstrate the significance of environment, both through the jewellery design; as well as through maintaining sustainable and environmentally friendly craft and supply practises.


Jazz Money

Jazz Money (she/they) is a poet and artist of Wiradjuri heritage producing works that encompass installation, digital, performance, film and print. 

Their writing has been widely published nationally and internationally, and performed on stages around the world, including: TEDx Sydney, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Sydney Opera House, Literature Live! Mumbai, Performance Space New York, PEN International, and a wide range of arts and literary festivals in every Australian state and territory. 

Jazz's first poetry collection, the best-selling how to make a basket (UQP, 2021) was the 2020 winner of the David Unaipon Award. In 2023 she is a Clothing Store resident artist at Carriageworks in Sydney.

As a cross-disciplinary artist their work has been presented in public settings and leading institutions including: HeK Basel, Switzerland; The Shed, New York; Pivô, São Paulo; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; ACMI, Melbourne; Powerhouse, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Sydney; Carriageworks, Sydney; Fremantle Biennale; Hyphenated Biennale; and others. 

Working across different mediums, Jazz’s practice is centred around questions of narrative and legacy: place memory, First Nations memory, colonial memory and the stories that we tell to construct national and personal identity. 


Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee is a Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and KarraJarri Saltwater woman with mixed Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Anglo-Australian ancestry. Using art to explore and celebrate her many overlapping identities, Lee works across sculpture, installation, and body adornment. She also works with moving images, photography and projection in the digital medium.
With a practice focused on materiality and ancestral material culture, Lee works with notions of the archive, histories of colonial collecting, and settler-colonial books and texts. Lee ritualistically analyses, deconstructs and reconstructs source material, language and books, transforming them into new forms of cultural beauty and pride, and presenting a tangibly translated book.
Driven to create work in which she, her family, and the broader mixed First Nations community see themselves represented, Lee builds on a foundation of her father’s teachings of culture and her mother’s teachings of papercraft.
Lee was honoured to be the recipient of several awards: the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA); the Australia Council’s Dreaming Award; and, the Libris Artist Book Prize. She has been a finalist in national awards, including the prestigious John Fries Award for emerging and early career artists, the Footscray Art Prize, the National Works on Paper Prize, and the KWM Contemporary First Nations Art Award. 
Represented by MARS Gallery in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), Lee has exhibited in several national and international museums and galleries, including the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford UK, the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, QUT Art Gallery, and Griffith University Art Gallery. Formally trained as a graphic designer, Lee has a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design and a Postgraduate Certificate in Museum Studies.
As a proud Wadawurrung woman, Kait’s work explores her identity as an Australian with both Anglo and Indigenous heritage. Her work asks questions relating to identity, perception and our knowledge of Australia’s Indigenous communities.
Utilising Punch Needling techniques, she embroiders kitsch found materials, such as souvenir tea towels, that reference colonial settlements and histories, and subverts them with Indigenous imagery and familiar references.
Through the use of humour and vivid colours, Kait addresses the way white western culture has dominated Australia’s history, and her personal reflections on her Indigenous heritage.

A descendant of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka, Libby Harward creates artworks that break through the colonial overlay to connect with the cultural landscape, which always was, and always will  be here. Her political practice, in a range of genres, continues this decolonising process. Libby describes her practice as a process of simultaneously listening, calling out to, knowing and understanding Country.

Libby’s arts practice spans over twenty  years, initially as a community, street and graffiti artist. During the past 7 years her focus has been on developing a conceptual arts practice, resulting in regular invitations to exhibit works both nationally and internationally. Major recent works include the ALREADY OCCUPIED series on Yugambeh Country (Gold Coast), and DABIL BUNG (Broken Water) with First Nations along the Bidgee and Barka (Murray-Darling River system). 

These works engage a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing – re-mapping – re-contextualising – to de-colonise, cultural landscapes, utilising low and high-tech media with elements of sound, image, installation and performance,  engaging directly with politically charged ideas of national and international significance.


Mackenzie Lee

Mackenzie Lee is a writer and editor currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. Having been passionate about writing for all of their life, Mackenzie has accrued over ten years of evolving knowledge and experience in both personal and professional writing that has allowed them to grow as an author and as a person. As well as writing, they also have a strong passion for editing, and have experience in proofreading and editing multiple forms of writing; creative, academic, and professional.

Though they am open and able to conform to nearly all forms of writing–whether it be fiction, non-fiction, professional or academic–Mackenzie's greatest strengths lie in creative writing. They personally enjoy challenging themselves by trying different styles, topics, and genres, however they favour fiction and creative non-fiction, as it allows for expression of their creative side.


Steven Rhall

Steven Rhall is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, genderqueer, positionality. Rhall's interdisciplinary practice responds to the intersectionality of First Nation art practice and the Western art canon. He interrogates modes of representation, classification and hierarchy using installation, performance, process lead methodologies, 'curatorial' projects, sculpture, and via public & private interventions. Rhall exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts, is a PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).
Steven is represented by MARS Gallery and is currently a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary.
Over the past 10 years, Tony Albert has achieved extraordinary visibility and much critical acclaim for his visual art practice, which combines text, video, drawing, painting and three-dimensional objects. Examining the legacy of racial and cultural misrepresentation, particularly of Australia’s Aboriginal people, Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice. In 2014 Albert was awarded the Basil Sellers Art Prize and the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. This year he was awarded a prestigious residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York and unveiled a major new monument in Sydney’s Hyde Park dedicated to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military service. He was also awarded the 2016 Fleurieu Art Prize, with his winning work, The Hand You’re Dealt. Albert’s work can be seen in major national and international museums and private collections.

Public Program
Saturday, 16 September, from 2pm
Free – registrations preferred

Join Alt/Text curator Jenna Lee and participating artists as they discuss how the act of altering found objects becomes an act of resistance and reclamation, celebrating First Nations’ artistry.