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First Nations culture explored by emerging young creatives from the Far North

Rhiannon Clarke -

UMI Arts will present its second exhibition for 2024, titled Culture Through Our Eyes, which will highlight the unique and varied talent and narratives of young and emerging First Nations artists from Far North Queensland. 

Presenting a vibrant and diverse collection of 27 artworks, ranging from oil on canvas to charcoal, watercolours, and ceramics, the exhibition, which runs from May 24 to June 30, promises to provide a captivating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region. 

Each piece is a reflection of the artists' heritage, culture and personal experiences, and will showcase the artistic talents of 14 young artists hailing from Djarragun College, St Mary’s and St Monica’s Catholic Colleges, and Trinity Bay High School.

The artists featured in the Culture Through Our Eyes exhibition include Solace Barnaby from Rockhampton, Jasmine Davis from Torres Strait Islands and Aboriginal descent, Kaissia Dick from Gordonvale, Holly Douglas from Townsville, Charters Towers, and Mackay, Peter Levi from Moa Island, Sienna Loban from Wagadagam, Kulkalgal and Wuthathi backgrounds. 

Culture through our Eyes artworks (Image: Colyn Huber, Lovegreen Photography)

As well as Shalanna Marponndin Chloe McGilvary from Kurtijar heritage, Jahzara Michl from Kokoberrin in Cape York Peninsula, Shyanne Miller from Yirriganydji, Birri Gubba, and Dyirbal Jirrbal roots, Olivia Pootchemunka from Wik in Weipa, Kay Kay Sambo from Doomadgee, Penelope Savage from Moa Island, and Gwen Thomas from Babinda. 

UMI Arts Artistic Director Lisa Michl Ko-manggén (OAM) said that Culture Through Our Eyes is an innovative youth arts program introduced in 2022. Its primary objective is to highlight the exceptional talents of young First Nations individuals while also offering an accessible gateway into Queensland's thriving Indigenous arts sector.

“This program provides an inclusive and supportive platform and pathway for our incredibly talented young creators to explore their artistic depths as a powerful way of telling stories and sharing culture," she said.

“It is wonderful to see this collective and colourful response from our young people and, more importantly, their fresh perspectives about society and culture."

Culture through our Eyes artworks (Image: Colyn Huber, Lovegreen Photography)

The event is set to commence with a Smoking Ceremony, with Traditional Owners invited to join starting at 6 pm on Friday, May 24, 2024, at UMI Arts Gallery located at Shop 1, 4 Jensen Street, Manoora.

The exhibition is scheduled to continue until June 30, 2024 and a significant portion of the displayed artworks will be available for purchase.

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