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2 October, 2020

Through our eyes

Last week, UMI Arts opened ‘Through Our Eyes,’ an exhibition of photographs by Indigenous artist members Nerelle Nicol and Gertrude Davis, which will be on show until December 1.

By Tanya Murphy

Nerelle Nicol’s photographic artwork of ‘Burie” which is the Birri-Gubba language for stones or rocks, reflects the connection between landscape and people.

Curated by Trish Barnard, the exhibition at UMI Arts’ Jensen Street gallery features 15 photographic artworks which reveal the artists’ deep connection to Country. 

Nerelle Nicol is an emerging artist whose heritage is Torres Strait Islander and from the Juru clan of the Birri-Gubba people. Ms Nicol’s six exquisite photographs are a close-up study of ‘burie’ which is the Birri-Gubba language word for stones or rocks. “I am fascinated by the lines and detail in marks embedded into burie,” Ms Nicol said. 

“On the day I captured these images a messenger bird guided me to this place where Burie spoke to me; they reminded me of the strong connection and spiritual relationship we have between people, environment, animals and our landscape.” Gertrude Davis’ collection of photographs, titled ‘Our Lands Tell Stories Too’, provides an impressive overview of Normanby Station in Cape York, which is within her Guguwarra homelands. 

She has documented her country in dry season creek beds, which provide a refuge for various birds and animals before the wet season floods the landscape and fills these freshwater creeks. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to buy one or more of these unique A3 sized digital images photographs at the very affordable price of $300 each - just in time for Christmas gifts. 

UMI Arts is the peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural organisation for Far North Queensland. Membership based, UMI Arts’ members are Queensland’s First Peoples with a traditional blood-line connection to the region.

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