Reko Rennie (Gwaybilla) is a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gummaroi man, who was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1974. As a teenager Rennie discovered graffiti, and with no formal training in art, he soon began his artistic apprenticeship on the streets of Melbourne.Through his stencil art, Reko focuses on what it means to be an urban Aboriginal man in contemporary society.
NGV Indigenous curator, Stephen Gilchrist highly commended Reko’s work for his ‘uncompromising politics and technical virtuosity’.
His art and installations continually explore issues of identity, race, law and justice, health, education, land rights, stolen generations and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in contemporary society today.
Rennie was Highly Commended - Gumbri: White Dove, by NGV and was finalist in the Royal Bank Scotland Emerging Artist Award (formerly ABN AMBRO Award). In 2008 Rennie exhibited in, ‘Octopus 9: I Forget to Forget’ at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, curated by Stephen Gilchrist (NGV), which toured to Canberra Contemporary Art Spaces that same year. He has been the recipient of many major grants and awards such as the 2009 Cite Internationale des Artes, Australia Council Residency, Paris. Arts Grant – City of Port Phillip and was the winner of the 2008 Victorian Indigenous Artist Award.
In 2011 Rennie was invited to collaborate with Jakarta street artist, Bujangan Urban at Kommunitas Salihara at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Rennie exhibited Patternation at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia, USA. He has recently been a finalist in the 2011 Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and was commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales for a large 5 x 6 metre wall work.
His solo exhibition, Home Brand was part of the 2011 Come Out Festival at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide and he has recently exhibited at MOP Sydney and completed a public artwork, Neon Natives as part of the 2011 Melbourne Laneway Commission.