Tony Albert, We Can Be Heroes, Pigment print on paper
An artwork based on a police shooting in Sydney has become the first photographic work to win the first prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.
We Can Be Heroes is a series of photographs of young Aboriginal boys staring at the camera, defiant and proud, with red targets on their chests.
Artist Tony Albert said he made the work after Sydney police shot two Aboriginal teenagers who drove into a Kings Cross footpath in April 2012.
At the announcement of the $50,000 award at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, he said young Aboriginal men were targets for prejudice.
“We are kind of walking targets in society, whether that be through police violence or brutality, or being followed around in shops,” he said.
“It even transfers to things like the intervention in the Northern Territory, where without naming anyone or anyone imprisoned, there was blanket statements about men being paedophiles and women-bashers.