7 November 2023

Aurukun student showcased at last UMI Arts exhibition of the year

| Chisa Hasegawa
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student with artwork

Young Aurukun artist Olivia Pootchemunka was selected to appear in UMI Arts’ last exhibition of the year. Photo: Liz Inglis (provided).

Aurukun student Olivia Pootchemunka will be showcased as part of The Summer Show exhibition opening at UMI Arts in Cairns.

A collection of visual art, bark painting, and jewellery by 19 First Nations artists in Far North Queensland will be available for purchase and complete UMI Arts’ 2023 exhibition season.

Ms Pootchemunka is a student at Djarragun College in Cairns, and her Freshwater Turtle painting highlights her connection to Country when returning home to Aurukun.

“When I am home, we go out to my grandmother’s Country at low tide. We fish for black bream and barramundi, and we also catch freshwater catfish and swamp turtle,” she said.

UMI Arts’ exhibition officer Robyne Pacey said The Summer Show showcased fine art and giftware created by the organisation’s talented member artists at an affordable price point.

“The artists who created this vibrant show of works were asked to draw inspiration from the Far Northern summer and dynamic, electrical energy of the tropics. They have done that wholeheartedly; many have bravely experimented with new techniques and styles,” she said.

“With almost 50 quality artworks curated for exhibition in the UMI Arts gallery, The Summer Show will be a colourful celebration of First Nations culture and the incredibly diverse environment we experience here in the Far North.”

She explained that the exhibition would feature both established and emerging artists, including several young artists who previously featured in UMI Arts’ youth exhibition, Culture Through Our Eyes.

Painting of a green freshwater turtle on a black and green dot-painted background

The Freshwater Turtle painting showcases Ms Pootchemunka’s connection to Wik Country. Photo: Colyn Huber.

UMI Arts is a not-for-profit First Nations arts and cultural organisation managed by an all-Indigenous board of directors. Its mission is to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to participate in maintaining, preserving and protecting their cultural identity.

The Summer Show exhibition is open from 10 November, 2023, to 23 February, 2024.

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