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Performing Arts: Patrick Coolwell at Karboora by David Kelly

Patrick Coolwell at Karboora​

David Kelly ​

2020 Performing Arts and Music Award

Proudly supported by
Lister Family Foundation
About the artwork

David Kelly photographed Patrick Coolwell ‘on country’ at Karboora (Blue Lake) on Minjerribah. “Karboora” means “Deep Silent Pool”. It is a sacred men’s place.

About the sitter

Patrick Coolwell is a Quandamooka man, dancer,  songman and Indigenous Ranger on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Patrick’s involvement on Minjerribah is becoming more important as he is a keeper of knowledge. As the Island moves away from it’s dependence on sand mining and towards cultural tourism, his knowledge and the knowledge of the Island’s elders will shape the future with the knowledge of the past. 

About the artist

David Kelly is a career photographer with broad experience in press photography, magazine photography and portraiture. He has long standing networks in Queensland’s artistic community as a result of many exhibits and collaborations. After a 25 year career at News Limited in Brisbane, for the last three years has maintained a successful freelance career with clients such as Queensland Theatre, Museum of Brisbane and Australian Dance Collective. He has been a collaborator with the Queensland Ballet for 21 years, documenting their rehearsals, backstage and season program photography.

Judge's Notes

David Kelly’s compelling photograph of Patrick Coolwell is a dynamic composition attracting instant attention. The expressive presence of Patrick is captured within a natural environment – pointing to the sitter’s passion and commitment to his country.

David Kelly conveys a powerful presence and gives us an insight into the performer’s passions, portraying a holistic picture of the subject.

The balance of photographic crispness of the subject and the blur of the landscape creates a powerful tension and giving us an arresting image.

Nick Mitzevich
Director, National Gallery of Australia 
2020 Judge

“Patrick Coolwell is a Quandamooka man, dancer, songman and Indigenous Ranger on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).”