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Artist's Name: Peter Yanada McKENZIE
  Peter Yanada McKenzie was born in Sydney in 1944. He is a member of the La Perouse Aboriginal Community. McKenzie was employed as a graphic artist by Mitchell & Co., Sydney from 1961. In 1962 he commenced an art course on a part-time basis at East Sydney Technical College (undertaken over a period of six years). During this period he also studied at Sydney Technical College, Ultimo for a Ticketwriting Certificate in 1964, and in 1967, undertook an Introduction to Printing course. McKenzie was employed as a graphic artist by Fibre Container Ltd in 1968, and continued to work in this capacity with a number of companies until 1972.

He commenced work as an animation artist with Audio Visual Productions that same year, and continued to work in this capacity (with a variety of employers) as well as a Studio Manager, commercial artist, artist/designer/illustrator, and freelance musician/artist. While working in these various roles, McKenzie also studied ceramics at Randwick Technical College, Sydney from 1980 to 1981. McKenzie was granted a Commonwealth Department of Education Aboriginal Overseas Study Award the following year, which enabled him to study photography, design, printmaking and commercial illustration at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States during 1982 and 1983.

McKenzie was employed as a Project Officer at the Aboriginal Training and Cultural Institute in Balmain, Sydney from 1983 to 1984, and worked as a Public Relations Officer for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Sydney in 1984. In 1985 he received a grant from the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council which enabled him to practice as an artist for a year full-time without the constraints of other work. McKenzie was employed as Aboriginal Liaison Officer/Exhibitions Developer at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney in 1985 and later commenced work as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer/Project Coordinator with the New South Wales branch of Museums Australia in 1987. McKenzie participated in the After 200 Years project that same year, working with his own community of La Perouse. In 1990 he was employed as a Project Officer/Aboriginal Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and curated the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre with Swiss-born artist Bernhardt L�thi, which was shown in Paris, France.

McKenzie completed a Master of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 1993 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1994. His work was included in Urban Focus: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art from the Urban Areas of Australia at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra that same year.

McKenzie curated the exhibition What is Aboriginal Art? at the Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney (as part of the Festival of the Dreaming, Olympic Arts Festival) in 1997. He currently lectures part-time at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in post-contact Aboriginal history and Aboriginal Arts.

Artist statement � Peter Yanada McKENZIE

My photography is about looking, and seeing my images as well. I am just plain curious about everyday life and people. I hope my visual creativity is interesting enough for observers to experience the same satisfaction that I get from any image I create. I just like taking photos.

September 1998