'EXCEPTIONAL': New art prize a space for indigenous artists
THE Clarence Valley has exceptional indigenous artists in our midst, and Bianca Monaghan has created a place to show it off.
Ms Monaghan kicked off the first NAIDOC week indigenous art competition this year to rectify the lack of opportunity local indigenous artists have to be recognised for their work.
"We have really talented artists in the community and they need a platform to be able to show that. What better week to do that than NAIDOC week," she said.
"The artists are all local people from Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Yaegl, there's also some off-country people who are living in the Clarence valley.
"I was completely blown away, I knew our artists were amazing but the pieces they have put in are simply beautiful and are all gallery worthy."
Madeleine Richey took out top spot for the senior section with Gunidjarr's Yanaya or Mother's Journey.
"I wanted to paint my mother something to demonstrate our relationship, and her
story," she said.
"Every marking, every dot represents something, even the really tiny dots represents students my mum taught.
"I planned this one out, so from that process through to finishing was only a few weeks. It did take a lot of hours though."
The nursing student said painting was a way for her to "connect back to culture and tell stories, it's a way express things you can't really write down".
Ms Richey's work will be the first to be displayed on a NAIDOC week banner in the main streets next year.
Each year the winning artwork will be added to a new banner displayed for NAIDOC week.