Wednesday March 6th, 2019

The Fairest Cape? An account of a Coloured, Firstdraft, Gadigal Country, Sydney, Australia.


I had the privilege of touring this exhibition to Firstdraft, Sydney and revisiting this series of work and works still yet to be exhibited in this research project. The exhibition opens Wednesday 6th of March, running until Friday 29th March. Artist talks will be held at 6pm on Thursday 28th March.







Artist documentation showing inside of a dark demolition site. Pile of dirt near closed bllind shutters with window showing busy traffic pass.


Inside Auden House facing De Korte street, 2017, Digital Image. Image courtesy of the artist.


Prints on 4 perspex panels of Africa continent silhoettes, text and an African woman repeated on all, sits on a pine shelf against a white wall.

Detail of Our Time, African Faces, African Unionism and Democracy, 2018.

Digital prints on acrylic with pine shelf, dimensions variable. Image Credit; Zelé Angelides.

Wednesday March 13th, 2019

Part A: It's speachy, Her Africa is Real (H.A.I.R), Seventh Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia.


Over a busy summer and start to 2019, I have been quietly working in a new and exciting collective! We have been fortunate to be accepted into ArtsHouse' Culture LAB program, receive support from Next Wave's BMI Artist Development program, and have our first public iteration at Seventh Gallery.


Her Africa Is Real is an interdisciplinary project, including Naomi Velaphi, Sista Zai Zanda and myself. As southern African diaspora identities in an antipodean context, we come together to discuss and create works that challenge erasure and assert black representation, histories and narratives. Her Africa Is Real employs contemporary methodologies of performance, literature, soundscape and installation to reimagine the “traditional” archive, and present our narratives and histories within the context of so called ‘Australia’.


Part A: it’s speachy. is about dialogue and conversation that interrogate voice, critique and response.

In this exhibition, Her Africa Is Real appropriate Reverend Alpheus Zulu’s 1972 Cape Town University Lecture, titled ‘The Dilemma of the Black South African’, as a foundation to assert their herstories. A mash up of fragmented text, loops, commentary and performance, the exhibition invites the viewer into a cacophony of conversation.


Exhibition opens Wednesday 13th March and runs until 29th March 2019.

Three African diaspora women, all wearing black, seated in a white room.

Image Credit: Channon Goodwin.

Person holding white hankerchief that shows embroidered text reading "wipe away your fragility"

Friday March 15th - Sunday March 17th, 2019

Melbourne Art and Book Fair 2019, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


This year, Bus Projects commissioned me to create a limited edition of works for their stall as part of the Melbourne Art and Book Fair at NGV. Wipe away your fragility, 2019 is an embroidery on handkerchief work available for sale through Bus Projects online shop. All proceeds go towards Bus Projects, one of Narrm Melbourne's longest running artist run initiatives.


Coming up in June, 2019

WE KOPPEL, WE DALA, Metro Arts, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Exhibition opens: 6pm, Wednesday June 26th 2019


Solo Exhibition by Roberta Joy Rich. Catalogue essay by Naomi Velaphi.

Public programs: 3pm Saturday June 29th, Spoken Word workshop with Anisa Nandula

3pm Saturday July 13th, Artist talk in conversation with Sancintya Mohini Simpson


We Koppel, We Dala presents narratives of southern African origins that explore concepts of identity, migration, self-determination and representation. Painful artefacts remind us of oppressive histories and their ongoing impacts. Apartheid continues. Disguised globally. Framed within South African Apartheid history, the exhibition seeks to consider adjacent histories of colonialism such as that of

so-called ‘Australia’ and its own histories of segregation, and to acknowledge this.


We Koppel, We Dala explores personal relationships within these histories, by occupying significant sites of reclamation and loss: the mountains where Khoi and San ancestors traversed; memorials of

the 76’ youth uprisings; sites of removed of colonial statues; and visiting homes of former family residences. Fist thrust into the air, the artist acknowledges their connection to each place and their histories. The plight of residents of District Six and many other communities who were displaced as a result of South Africa’s Group Areas Act, continues 50 years on, though not in silence.

Because we must koppel, we must dala.

Website Banner Image with orange text We Koppel We Dala on a photo of woman standing below housing with one fist raised high wearing all black.

Saturday 6th July - Sunday 28th July, 2019

Speak softly, tread heavily, Peacock Gallery, Auburn, New South Wales, Australia.


Speak softly, tread heavily, curated by Talia Smith, brings together different perspectives and experiences of navigating culture, traditions and languages within a multicultural society. The exhibition features works by Zoe Wong (pictured), Kevin Diallo, Mojgan Habibi, Naomi Segal, Nadia Hernandez, Moorina Boonini, Linda Sok, Katayoun Javan and myself.

Exhibition Flyer with Text details of the show and image of a mouth with a gold grill on teeth with a black dragon.

Friday 9th August - Sunday 18th August, 2019

The Cinema of the Past Begins with a Battle, as part of West Projections 2019.

Boonwurrung lands, (Footscray) Australia.


I had the privilege of collaborating with a dear friend and peer Narrm artist Abyss for this years West Projections video projection festival. This project was quite significant for both of us, as residents within the work's locale and the current issues we are concerned with, and subsequently propose within the artwork. I encourage you to listen to DJ Abyss' weekly radio broadcast on 3CR's Hip Sista Hop show on Sundays from 4pm - 5pm.


West Projections launches Friday 9th August at VU Metro West from 6.30pm - 9pm. There will also be a guided walk on August 15th from 6pm. For more about where you can see our work, head to the

West Projections website.


Black and White photo of a buildings roof and a silhouette of a sculpture looking toward the sky.

Image Credit: Abyss

Saturday 10th August -  Saturday 7th September, 2019

The Freedman Foundation; Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists Exhibition, UNSW Galleries,

Dharug country, (Sydney, Australia).

Woman with curly hair with arm raised showing a fist, wearing a black tshirt reading ColouredTM image sits about text detailing the exhibition.

© Copyright Roberta Joy Rich 2024. All images by and courtesy of the artist unless otherwise credited.