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13 May, 2021

Grass roots exhibition shines light on art works with meaning

The rich diversity and artistic talent of UMI Arts’ emerging and mid-career artist members will be celebrated at tomorrow’s opening of the organisation’s annual You and Me exhibition.

Open until the end of next month, this year’s exhibition showcases the works of five Indigenous female artists and launches UMI Arts’ 2021 program of events.

Spanning the themes of old lore and new law, bush food and medicine and nature’s abundance, 13 artworks using varying styles, inspirations and mediums showcase the talent and ability of local artists, Shirley Mayo-Collins, Lisa Michl OAM, Dorothy Edwards, Trish Barnard and Natasha Davui.

UMI Arts Executive Officer, Peter Lenoy said the organisation is grassroots, community driven and the You and Me exhibition reinforces this engagement and is in line with cultural values and practice of sharing.

“To me, this particular exhibition is really special because it marks a milestone in our artists self-development and for many, is an opportunity to exhibit for the first time. I am continually being impressed by our members sheer talent and flair and it is a privilege to be able to showcase this to others,” Mr Lenoy said.

A Yambina woman from central Queensland, UMI Arts’ contract curator and artist, Trish Barnard, is thrilled to have three works on show in this latest exhibition.

“What I am exhibiting is a diptych entitled Old Ways New Ways and Marks with Meaning in acrylic combined with textural impasto.

“Old Ways New Ways draws inspiration from cultural shields and invites the viewer to consider cultural traditions from a First Peoples’ standpoint taking cue from powerful themes of protection and possession.

“How horrible it must have been for our warriors, accustomed to defending themselves during combat against traditional weapons like axes and spears, to all of a sudden be faced with rifles and bullets.”

In all artworks and particularly, Marks with Meaning, Trish has created bands of totemic symbols used traditionally during initiation to create cicatrices (scarification marks) across a warrior’s shoulders and midriff.

The exhibition runs until 25 June 2021 at the UMI Arts Gallery, 1 Jensen Street, Manoora.

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