TEEN Aurukun artists Mareja and Olivia Pootchemunka are following the footsteps of famous community artist Janet Koongotema, a finalist in the 2023 Wynne Prize, with their work on display at UMI Arts in Cairns.
The Culture Through Our Eyes exhibition opened on Friday 26 May and was the first time the fledgeling artists’ work had been exhibited in a professional gallery.
The girls’ work was part of a 23-piece exhibition by 15 student artists from Djarragun College.
UMI Arts exhibition officer Robyne Pacey said the gallery shone with the vibrant works which told stories from across the North as many of the students were from remote Cape York and Northern Territory communities.
“Culture Through Our Eyes is a youth arts initiative launched in 2022 to provide a user-friendly introduction to Queensland’s vibrant Indigenous arts industry,” Ms Pacey said.
“This program provides an inclusive and supportive platform for young, First Nations creators to use artistic expression to show their talent and share their culture.
“It is wonderful to see this collective response from our young people and more importantly, their fresh perspectives about society and culture.”
Culture Through Our Eyes is on show until 30 June 2023 at UMI Arts Gallery in Manoora.