Bindi Cole

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Bindi Cole Chocka
Born 1975
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Artist

Bindi Cole Chocka (born 1975) is an Australian contemporary artist with Indigenous heritage who works primarily with photography, video and installation as her mediums.

Born in Melbourne in 1975, she holds a Diploma in Applied Photography from the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, which she completed in 2004.

Her works have been exhibited in the National Gallery of Australia, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Victoria.[1] In 2010, Cole was named one of Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People by The Age.[2]

Early works[edit]

Cole's first major work which came to public attention was Heart Strong (2007), an exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne.[3] This work focused on the media's portrayal of Indigenous communities. Cole also photographed elite Indigenous sportsman for the calendar Men in Black. Cole's portrait of boxer Anthony Mundine, Do you like what you see, won the Boscia Galleries Award for Photography at the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards.

As well as photography, Cole's approach to art includes the use of painting, collage, hand-weaving, film, text and installation.[4]

"Not Really Aboriginal" [2008][edit]

Wathaurung Mob, 2008.

Bindi Cole's Not Really Aboriginal is a series of photographs including portraits and group photographs in which the faces of the subjects are blackened with paint. Not Really Aboriginal explores Cole's Indigenous identity and heritage, and the ways in which they are questioned by mainstream society due to Cole's fair complexion.

"Sista Girls" [2010][edit]

Sista Girls is a 2010 photographic series which focuses on the Yimpininni, a community of transgender women in the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory.

Cole travelled to the Tiwi Islands in far north Northern Territory to shoot the Sista Girls after previously photographing Tiwi Island drag performer Foxxy in 2008. This work with Foxxy was shortlisted for the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. A portrait from the series, Ajay, won the 2009 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards ‘Deadly Award’.

In this work, Cole explores aspects of indigenous identity and culture, and how that is reconciled with transgender identity with the influence of colonization.


  • National Photography Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery – Finalist (2007)
  • William & Winifred Bowness Photography Award, Monash Gallery of Art – Finalist (2007)
  • National Photography Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery – Finalist (2007)
  • Victorian Indigenous Art Award, Boscia Galleries Award for Photography – Winner (2007)
  • 25th Telstra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award – Finalist (2008)
  • Victorian Indigenous Art Awards – Finalist (2008)
  • Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, Deadly Art Award – Winner (2009)
  • William & Winifred Bowness Photography Award – Monash Gallery of Art – Finalist (2010)
  • 27th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Telstra Art Awards - Finalist (2010)