Kevin Gilbert (1933-1993), was a writer, visual artist, poet and playwright. Gilbert was a political activist - an instrumental figure in the Aboriginal land rights and sovereignty movement, participating in the 1972 establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra and the ‘Treaty 88’ campaign. He believed art was the most powerful tool to draw attention to continued injustices suffered by Aboriginal people, and to suggest ways forward.
"As a child, sitting, drawing in the ashes of the campfires with twigs and charcoal, aware of the old pieces of tin, hessian bag and canvas that formed our shanty, our humpies, I never even dreamt of being an artist. I was very much aware of the colonial attitudes, the injustice of having my land, Wiradjuri land, stolen from us, my people forced to live in refugee situations, on travelling stock reserves, forbidden to be in the white township after dark, the tens of decades of massacre, oppression, abuse of our human rights. In 1965, mature, I saw art, and writing as a way to communicate."
- Kevin Gilbert