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WEAVING ANCESTRAL THREADS

JULY 5-21

RENEE GAY FORD – KAYLENE BROOKS – ELLY JANE CHATFIELD – JO ALBANY – NICOLA MASON – JESSICA ANN LEFFLEY – PETER SWAIN – CHERYL McCOY – NYREE REYNOLDS

A beautiful and diverse collection of works by Australian and First Nations People

OPENING EVENT – Saturday July 6th from 2pm

Officiated by Gill Nicol (Former Director of Audience Engagement at MCA) with Special Guest Speaker,Glenn Albrecht (philosopher)

RENEE GAY FORD – Weaver

As my pathway was interrupted by the Stolen Generations issues, my art and work are my link to who I am and where I fit in the world. I have had to peel back the raw layers of emotion and find a niche where I can create my own unique sense of belonging.

I believe that my spirit is bound by a thread that links me directly to my Family and Ancestors.

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KAYLENE BROOKS – Weaver

A multi media artist living and working in the picturesque Kanimbla Valley where inspiration is plentiful. “Shape and form is explored in this collection incorporating natural fibres, textures and of course drift wood with a muted pallet of colours with a whimsical twist, no prethought was put into each piece, like driftwood I let each work dictate its own design and form. I really enjoyed the relaxed process this allowed.” 

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ELLY JANE CHATFIELD – Painter

As my pathway was interrupted by the Stolen Generations issues, my art and work are my link to who l am and where I fit in the world. I have had to peel back the raw layers of emotion and find a niche where I can create my own unique sense of belonging.

I believe that my spirit is bound by a thread that links me directly to my Family and Ancestors.

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JO ALBANY – Painter

Jo is an Iningai Kalkadoon woman living on Dabee Wiradjuri Country.

Jo is the First Nations Curator for the Cementa Festival.

Jo studied Visual Art at Southern Cross University Lismore and in Italy. Jo has worked as a Curator and Artist in the Aboriginal Community of the Southern Highlands for 20 years prior to moving to the Central West. Jo works using collage, found objects, installations, weaving and painting.

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NICOLA MASON – Painter

My every-day and ways of seeing are reflected in my work where domestic scenes intersect with ecological themes.

There are the nanna blankets lovingly handmade by my children’s great gran and gifted as a wedding present. Draped on second-hand chairs – with their own stories, these subjects are poised to be in conversation with the burls and hollows before them.

Inspired by my daily walks with pooch friends in the regenerating post goldmining landscape around me, these burls, and hollows are front and center in the paintings within the paintings. During these daily bush schoolings, I am conscious of my presence, with my non-indigenous ancestries walking within unseeded Wiradjuri Country. Like the nanna blankets, the burls and hollows are portholes for me to thinking about notions of past present and future – all connected.

With furniture and paintings staged like theatre props, the bookshelf wall backdrop, and the ever-present electrical cords of my life, I set up this get-together in my studio. Here, I am utilizing painting as an agent to mull over how to be and live with the land. I play with how all these elements and thoughts can work together to make a resolved painting. And through the act of painting these paintings, like most of my paintings before them, I go through a roller-coaster of emotions.

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JESSICA ANNE LEFFLEY – Painter

Jessica Ann Leffley is a Lithgow based Wiradjuri woman, artist, author, teacher, who expresses her imaginations and interactions of Australian native birds through drawing and painting. Her birds have been exhibited at various galleries and to her delight, have found homes throughout Australia. Leffley sees her birds as her friends, she talks to them as she peers outside her studio window admiring the Black Cockatoos, King Parrots and Satin Bowerbirds that sing to her while she creates. Her birds bring her comfort and joy, while also challenging her to explore her creativity and to appreciate the landscapes she knows as home.

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PETER SWAIN – Painter

Peter Swain is a Dabee Wiradjuri Man, he is a direct Descendant of Peggy and Jimmy Lambert from  the Dabee people of Rylstone.  Peter was born on Country in Rylstone Hospital and moved to Cooma for school where he grew up. He has continuous Cultural Connections to Rylstone and Ganguddy (Dunn Swamp).

Peter has been sharing his Aboriginal Culture and expertise in Schools for the last ten years. He is a practising Artist having exhibited in Galleries across NSW the A.C.T and Victoria showing works of Mixed Media and Sculptures in wood. Peter has been playing the Didgeridoo his whole life, he performs and instructs students in making and playing.Peter makes tools, Artefacts and teaches Boomerang making and throwing. Peter has completed seven Public Space large scale Murals.

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CHERYL McCOY – Print Maker

For some people weaving is simply a process, the making a functional item but it is so much more. For Cheryl McCoy, a printmaker living on Darkinjung Country, weaving is symbolic of the role of Aboriginal women’s responsibilities to share cultural knowledge and nurture the health & wellbeing of Community.

Women over the various stages of life teach their families about their responsibilities, language & culture. They also teach us about the harvesting of materials when Country is ready to provide. The importance of this process should not be understated as it builds a strong sense of humility, gratitude & respect for every living thing. Women’s role is essential to the survival of culture of which the woven basket is simply a metaphor.

In this work, Cheryl attempts to capture the essence of our ancestral threads and the reciprocal relationship necessary for the continued existence of Country and Community. As an artist she draws her inspiration from her own ancestry (Gamilaraay, Dharug, Scottish & Irish descent), her connection to Country and her cultural mentors.

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NYREE REYNOLDS – Painter

As an Aboriginal woman of the Wiradjuri Nation I like to tell stories through my paintings.

As part of my art practice I paint the Aboriginal children of the Stolen Generations blending into the landscape, their own Country from which they were removed. My hope is that when people view my work they will leave with a new understanding of people who have been taken away from their family, home and Country. That they are real people with real stories to be told.

Then I know my painting narratives have achieved what I hoped they would. NSW Parliamentary

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