Iscariot Media was started in 2011 to consolidate the creative activities of Vernon Ah Kee and Leesa Watego. In 2015 it became incorporated as Iscariot Media Pty Ltd with Vernon and Leesa as Directors.
After graduating from university in 1994, Leesa started Nyumba Goori Studies Consultancy with Lisa Buxton. Operating on the Tweed for over a year, Leesa’s interest in Aboriginal education and Aboriginal studies grew. After relocating back to Brisbane Vernon continued his art practice at the Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art program at Queensland College of Art. In 2000, Leesa started Blacklines Publications to begin publishing Indigenous education resources, attempting to fill a hole in the educational publishing.
During this time, Vernon completed his studies and worked briefly as an academic at Queensland College of Art. Eventually Vernon became a full-time practicing artist represented by Bellas Gallery, which later became Bellas-Milani Gallery and now Milani Gallery.
Vernon has gone on to represent Australia at the Venice Bienale and has work in major institutions throughout Australia and overseas.
In addition to working on Blacklines Publications and working as an academic, Leesa began to experiment with online platforms in 2008. First creating Inquiry Bites (a blog on Typepad), this later evolved into The Critical Classsroom and Deadly Bloggers (first on Blogger and then moved to self-hosted WordPress).
Over time, Leesa began to take on a range of clients in graphic design, consultancy and web development. Clients over the years have included the Department of Health (Queensland), the Queensland University of Technology, the Australian Catholic University, and Brisbane Indigenous Media Association. Leesa has tentatively expanded into social media consultancy and services.
Leesa has also been active in Indigenous Business sector development as a Board member of the South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, and has written and spoken about the importance of supporting Indigenous business growth. In 2015, Iscariot Media sponsored the inaugural Indigenous Business Month creating both the logo and website.
In 2013, Dark and Disturbing, a curatorial project of Vernon’s began to take shape. Drawing on his screenprinting origins Vernon curated the proppaNOW Tshirt exhibition at the Boomerang Festival in 2013. This work continued with the proppaNOW representation at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2014 and the curation of Gordon Hookey’s Terraism exhibition at CAIF 2015. This activity has seen Iscariot Media branch further into art project work, with Iscariot being responsible for administration as well as concept development.
Driven by Vernon Ah Kee and Leesa Watego, Iscariot Media’s scope continues to evolve. It’s focus however remains on the development of its existing brands as well as working hard to provide excellent service to its clients.
Updated: 9 October 2015