Tori-Jay Mordey’s commission was originally published in the Queensland edition of The Saturday Paper 27 June. Download and print your own A3 poster to have at home!
Tori-Jay Mordey, Listen, 2020.
I decided to call this piece Listen—it was mostly about me reflecting on what had been happening recently with the Black Lives Matter movement, it was an emotional couple of weeks for me personally because all I could think about was my mum, my brothers, cousins, friends, my aunts, and uncles—everyone in my life who felt targeted because of their skin colour. It's the fact that they're placed within a system that is rigged to make them lose. And we have already lost so many. I was grateful that a massive discussion was being had around the world and so many people were uniting together, but it also makes me upset to think that this isn't the first Black Lives Matter rally I've been to, and I don't think it will be the last.
—Tori-Jay Mordey, 2020
In what has been a momentous past few weeks, albeit bitter-sweet, much of the globe have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. Irrelevant of global location, the movement has resonated with an array of complex histories and experiences around the world because people are starting to listen.
This experience is central to Tori-Jay Mordey’s recent work Listen 2020, a commission for Making Art Work. Distinguished by the natural sense of hearing, listening requires thoughtful attention. In Australia, attention to Indigenous voices have long been drowned out by narratives of the dominant social group. Despite centuries of advocacy and resistance, Indigenous rights remain bound by conventional structures and processes to address systemic racism.
These scenarios exist because historically, people haven’t listened to the voices of Indigenous peoples in Australia or around the world. This new work and its simple but poignant provocation to simply listen, not only promotes the question as to why it has taken so long to simply listen… But after we become aware of these injustices, what is our individual responsibility in addressing it?
—Warraba Weatherall, 2020
Tori-Jay Mordey is an established Indigenous Australian illustrator and artist currently based in Brisbane. Growing up she openly shared both her Torres Strait Islander and English heritage, which is often reflected in her contemporary Indigenous art practice—producing work based around her family and siblings as a way of understanding herself, her appearance and racial identity. Tori-Jay also produces a lot illustrative work that conceptually explore deeper human emotions—these works are often drawn as longingly expressive, exaggerated cartoon characters. Over the years Tori-Jay has hone her skills in digital illustration, drawing, painting, printmaking, and film while also expanding her skills as a mural artist.