31 May 2024

Young artistic talent on show at second UMI Arts exhibition of the year

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Shyanne Miller with her painting

Young artist Shyanne Miller explored the significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a voice for Indigenous people in her artwork. Photo: Chisa Hasegawa.

Through the eyes of young artists, Cape York and Torres Strait culture is currently being showcased at UMI Arts’ second exhibition of the year.

Culture Though Our Eyes kicked off in Cairns last week at the First Nations gallery with 27 works from 14 artists aged 14-17.

UMI Arts artistic director Lisa Michl Ko-manggén said the youth exhibition celebrated young talent and was an opportunity for them to connect with their culture.

“In the past 20 years that UMI Arts has been around, we’ve found that it’s crucial to engage young people in art, because it creates a pathway for young people to speak with their families and talk to their Elders and uncles and aunties about culture,” she said.

“I feel that our First Nations art industry is on the up and I feel as though [by] providing opportunities for young people to get engaged, it provides them with a platform to showcase their work from a young age.”

Cape York artist Shyanne Miller said she was excited about her first exhibition with UMI Arts, though she had previously showcased her work.

READ ALSO Aurukun student showcased at last UMI Arts exhibition of the year

“This is my first time getting with an Indigenous organisation; it’s very nice to show my Indigenous culture with my art,” she said.

“It’s very special to get an opportunity to showcase [my] culture and share it with everybody else, because that’s mostly what culture is, it’s sharing your history and your beliefs.”

Ms Miller based her work on the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the 2023 Reconciliation Week theme, Be a Voice for Generations.

“[It shows] its significance to Indigenous people in Australia, and how it created a voice for us in Parliament,” she explained.

“It’s very good for our generation and for me to self-express and have these opportunities to speak and be heard.”

The exhibition also features work by Cape York and Torres Strait artists Jasmine Davis, Peter Levi, Sienna Loban, Jahzara Michl, Olivia Pootchemunka and Penelope Savage.

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