9 March 2024

Cape York mother and daughter shine at art exhibition

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Lisa Michl Ko-manggén

Respected Kokoberrin artist Lisa Michl Ko-manggén is excited to showcase Far North Queensland’s First Nations culture and art in Cairns. Photo: Lovegreen Photography.

Kokoberrin’s culture and stories will feature at UMI Arts’ first exhibition of the year, entitled You & Me.

Mother-and-daughter duo Lisa Michl Ko-manggén and Dorothy Edwards will showcase their work in Cairns alongside 13 First Nations artists based across Far North Queensland.

Ms Michl Ko-manggén, who is also the artistic director at UMI Arts, said she was excited to be sharing the experience with her mother.

“As First Nations arts and cultural practitioners from regional and remote communities, we often work collaboratively and share one voice to advocate for opportunities to create pathways which we can use to elevate and enhance the lives of our artists,” she said.

You & Me will feature a range of UMI Arts members at various stages of their careers.

“It gives member artists at all levels of their career, whether emerging, mid-career or professional, an opportunity to have their artwork curated and hung in a public gallery in Cairns,” Ms Michl Ko-manggén said.

“Several of the artists have participated in this exhibition program throughout the years, and it is exciting to see the progression of their artwork and their development as artists.”

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Ms Michl Ko-manggén will be showcasing an acrylic and canvas piece which tells the story of the pipi shell shuffle, an ancient technique used to harvest the small clams.

“I consider the time that I have spent on Country with my senior Elders a privilege, and it is our Kokoberrin cultural lifestyle, language and stories that inspire my work,” she said.

“Many of the artists are from FNQ and remote communities, and the stories of their work reflect time spent on Country with Elders in community.”

UMI Arts exhibition officer Robyne Pacey said You & Me was an annual exhibition showcasing the rich diversity of First Nations art and culture in FNQ.

“UMI is a Creole word that means ‘you and me,'” she explained.

“This is significant, because we must work together to keep our culture strong, and from an exhibition perspective, You & Me encapsulates UMI Arts’ mission and philosophy – providing artists with support and pathways to create art of an exhibition standard.”

She encouraged anyone interested in expanding their collection or investing in their first piece of Indigenous art to come along to the opening on 15 March, 2024, from 6pm.

“When artists talk to their artwork and share culture and stories with visitors and guests, a meaningful exchange occurs, and the overall experience becomes special and memorable,” Ms Pacey said.

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