As RECONCILIATION WEEK draws to a close I enjoyed watching the AFL match last night for the Dreamtime Round. It’s great to see indigenous recognition and reconciliation in all forms and in many industries.
This years theme is MORE THAN A WORD, RECONCILIATION TAKES ACTION, urging the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.
At Lauraine Diggins Fine Art we have been welcomed into the artistic community at Utopia. As strong supporters of the artists from this beautiful area, Lauraine and Gallery staff have travelled often to spend time working with Emily Kam Kngwarray, the Ngal sisters (Kathleen, Poly and Angelina – and extended family) from Camel Camp; Cowboy Loy Pwerl, Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray and Genevieve Kemarr Loy from Iylenty (Mosquito Bore); and with the Morton sisters from Rocket Range. We have benefited from the generosity of the community and learnt about and participated in cultural activities of the community.
The Gallery actively promotes the artists of Utopia, who in connection to their land share their cultural knowledge and stories with the wider world through their art.
Gaining appreciation for and recognizing the importance of Indigenous art promotes Indigenous people and their culture and is part of the process of building stronger relationships as a Nation.
In her landmark 1989 Indigenous catalogue Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art: A Myriad of Dreaming Lauraine introduced artists of the calibre of Rover Thomas and Lin Onus. The Gallery further brought artists to international attention through art fairs in Paris and Moscow; participated in collaborative exhibitions both in Australia and worldwide, in particular taking Emily to exhibit in Hong Kong and China at the legendary China Club, Hong Kong in the early 1990s; and showcased Emily’s monumental Earths Creation in a stunning 1998 exhibition Earth’s Creation: The Paintings of Emily Kame Kngwarreye; the Gallery further brought gallery represented indigenous artists and their art to recognition at art prizes in which Angelina, Kathleen and Elizabeth have been finalists in the Wynne Art Prize; Cowboy and Genevieve in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Churchie Emerging Art Prize; Angelina, Cowboy, Elizabeth and Genevieve in the Blake Art Prize; Elizabeth and Genevieve in the The Alice Prize; Genevieve in the Fleurieu, among others. Lauraine was instrumental in the international fashion house Hermès commissioning Gloria Petyarr to create a design for their famous scarves.
The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, is an annual prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established female artists in Australia. It is the highest value professional artist prize for women in Australia and Genevieve succeeded in being a finalist in 2020.
As stated on their website, although up to 70% of art school graduates are female, less than half of represented artists in exhibitions and prizes around Australia are female, with State museums showing 34% of female artists amongst their collections. This is something many galleries are continuing to address. The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize provides a platform to promote female visual artists, assisting in career development, providing opportunities for greater connections.
Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy AO
to Genevieve Kemarr Loy and Lorraine Kabbindi White
at the Next Generation exhibition 2017
Lauraine Diggins Fine Art continues to commit support by profiling Indigenous artists and their art, support accountability towards Indigenous people and the ethical sale of art. We further achieve this as members of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia.
If you would like to take a step towards reconciliation, visit an Indigenous art exhibition, or have a look at these suggestions by Reconciliation Australia https://nrw.reconciliation.org.au/actions-for-reconciliation/