A powerful exhibition of artworks by leading First Nations artists Jennifer Herd (MBarbarum) and Joanne Currie Nalingu (Gungurri) opened today (July 1) at Caloundra Regional Gallery and included several debut pieces.
Veiled Histories: Works by leading First Nations artists captures the artists’ enduring careers – from Jennifer’s shields as a metaphor for strength and protection, through to Joanne’s distinctive linear patterning symbolising her deep spiritual connection to the river.
The exhibition is on until August 26 and entry to the all-access gallery is free.
Sunshine Coast Council Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the exhibition was a well timed contribution to NAIDOC and featured two exemplary visual storytellers.
“I consider it a central and critical role for our regional gallery to show new works by these well established First Nations artists,”Cr Baberowski said.
“I understand our gallery has been working closely with the artists and FireWorks Gallery to source both new and earlier works, culminating in a powerfully representative exhibition, which shows the artists journey of discovery and development.
“The exhibition program also features a free artists talk, revealing the back stories and motivation behind their works. There are also youth art trails and other family activities within the art space to help engage and inspire all members of the family.”
Caloundra Regional Gallery Manager and Curator Jo Duke said the exhibition was deeply moving, examining connections to the past for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
“Throughout the exhibition, imbedded within these beautifully visual works, you will discover elements which expose hard truths of first contact and the impact on the First peoples of these lands,” Ms Duke said.
“Jennifer’s works speak of Indigenous experiences, both from the lens of history and the now; of frontier fighting and wars; of traditions lost, revived and shared.
“Meanwhile Joanne’s layered works link rediscovered languages and patterns of her country Maranoa, anchored within the ebbs and flows of the river which drifts across the surface of many of her works.
“The river, for Joanne, continues to be an important metaphor of constant moving and changing; what is kept and what is lost and what is found.”
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Caloundra Regional Gallery is open from 10am, Tuesday to Sunday, and located at 22 Omrah Avenue, Caloundra.
About the artists
Eumundi local Jennifer Herd has lived and worked in Eumundi for many years.
Since 2005 she has had an extensive practice while also working as a lecturer at the Queensland College of Art from 1993 moving into the Convenor of Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (BoCAIA) at the Queensland College of Art (QCA) in Brisbane until she retired in 2014.
Jennifer is a founding and current member of ProppaNOW, one of the most important First Nations contemporary urban artists’ groups in the country.
Joanne Currie Nalingu lives and works just outside of Brisbane. She has been exhibiting throughout Australia and overseas since 1993. She won the Wynne prize at AGNSW and has been a finalist many times in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award.