Art graduate scores a hit with Rolling Stone cover

Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art graduate Dylan Mooney at the QCA Studios

Queensland College of Art graduate Dylan Mooney is making waves in the art industry, with his work featured on Google, at the National Gallery of Victoria and gracing the cover of Rolling Stone Australia magazine.

The proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist and illustrator created a special edition cover for a double-length issue of Rolling Stone, celebrating the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time.

“I read Rolling Stone magazine growing up and this brought together my love for music and the chance to do work that celebrates Australia’s greatest artists,” he said.

“I also took this job in the hope that this opportunity for me opens the door for more Indigenous artists.”

Dylan’s work, Stuck on You, features in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection exhibition, currently on show at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Stuck on You, 2020, Dylan Mooney

He was the youngest artist to be included in the exhibition and Dylan’s work has received critical acclaim — drawing inspiration from his queer culture, ancient Indigenous storytelling and comic book illustration.

“I always think of my past and history and am very conscious of the idea that our culture is surviving, thriving,” he said.

“We’ve always adapted to this ever-changing world: I’m Indigenous, queer and I am building my own path.”

Dylan was also commissioned by Google to create a Google Doodle celebrating First Nations activist Pearl Gibbs. ⁠

Pearl Mary (Gambanyi) Gibbs was a prominent female First Nations advocate for the rights of Indigenous Australians, women and children.

“It was important to me not only because of the work Aunty Pearl Gibbs has done for Aboriginal people, but also her work with women and children. She created change for our people to keep thriving,” he said.

“Being approached by a big company such as Google was a bit overwhelming. But I’m so proud to have worked with Google and Aunty Pearl Gibbs’ family to bring this work to life.”

Dylan said the series of high-profile commissions had allowed him to dream big.

“All of this is beyond what I thought I was going to achieve,” he admitted.

“My work is reaching new audiences and I’m excited about taking my career international.

“I hope it gives other First Nations artist a sense that we can accomplish anything and go places.

Dylan said his time at the Queensland College of Art allowed him to take his practice to the next level.

“I started in high school and really loved art and my mum put me into art lessons outside of school where I was taught portraiture.

“I then enrolled in the Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at Griffith.

“From there I was able to take my art further and really think about themes/concepts that I want to focus on.

“It’s led to more opportunities in the art industry and working with other mob.”

Dylan is now represented by the N.Smith Gallery in Sydney.

“What brings me the most joy from my work is getting to tell these stories of my people, my culture and community,” he said.