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Photo by David Raccuglia


The extraordinary life of acclaimed Alabama-born visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley is a story of survival, endurance and triumph. Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle and hardship, furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound.  As he says in the documentary Thumbs Up for Mother Universe about his life and work, “My art was the salve for a lot of those memories.” As a visual artist, his work is in collections of major museums throughout the world, including The Met, The Smithsonian, and Art Gallery of NSW. In 2022, Lonnie Holley was named a USA Artist Fellow. In 2023, he released his album Oh Me Oh My, which was named Best New Music on Pitchfork and won universal acclaim, including Triple R Album of the Week.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.