Indigenous artists from the Mount Alexander Shire will soon put their work on display in Castlemaine, as part of a new exhibition in celebration of NAIDOC Week.
Seeing what other communities did for NAIDOC, organiser Kerri Douglas decided it was high time Castlemaine had its own Indigenous art exhibition.
So she put out the call to artists all over the Mount Alexander Shire, and the Djaara Djandak exhibition was born.
Read more: ‘What’s on’: NAIDOC celebrations in Bendigo
Daikota Nelson is one young Dja Dja Wurrung artist who has taken up the opportunity.
Her work taps into her twin passions, art and Indigenous culture.
In this show she has artwork on canvas, but in the past she has painted everything from corrugated iron, to wall murals.
She tries to keep the Indigenous themes as strong as possible in her work.
NAIDOC week is the perfect chance to show her pride in her culture and heritage.
“To me that it’s the most important that I keep the culture around, and keep people aware that there are Indigenous people here, and we’re going to stay here, and the culture will be kept and passed down for generations to come,” she said.
“The fact that I can get out and paint and show people what I love is pretty important to me.”
For Ms Douglas, creating art is a way of connecting to her culture.
She is from Dja Dja Wurrung and Bangerang people.
It’s also a conversation starter, helping her engage with others about culture.
“I seem to be able to stop and have conversations with people when they see my art,” she said.
“Conversations about education about what an Aboriginal person is start happening from there.”
And because they’re technically residents, Ms Douglas has invited prisoners at Tarrengower and Middleton prisons to contribute.
She’s thrilled with the results, which she says are amazing.
Djaara Djandak Aboriginal Art Exhibition will open on Saturday June 30, at 6pm, at Phee Broadway Theatre Foyer, Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine, it is open July 1-15, closed Sundays
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