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Veil rises on student’s Portraits of Country exhibition

By Patrick Nelson

Ms Taylor with one of the landscapes in the “Portraits of Country” exhibition Ms Taylor with one of the landscapes in the “Portraits of Country” exhibition

An exhibition of oil paintings by a Creative Arts student as part of her doctoral studies is about to be unveiled in Darwin.

Jennifer Taylor’s “Portraits of Country” exhibition features landscapes of the Inteye Arrkwe / Ross River region east of Alice Springs, and portraits of people who have lived there during the past 100 years.

“I researched the cultural, social and ecological history of the Inteye Arrkwe / Ross River region in “Portraits of Country: a plein air painter in Arrernte Country,” Ms Taylor said.

“I used painting to explore relationships with country, the presence of the past, and the effects of colonisation on people and country.

“I hope that the paintings will help people to connect with the cross-cultural histories of this place.”

Ms Taylor, who last year won the first $15,000 Nan Giese Scholarship, said the ideas that land was a living entity, and that land and people were always entwined, were important in the context of the study.

“The paintings document the continuity of relationships between people and place in the face of dislocation and change.

“A landscape painting can be as searching and intimate, and as full of life and empathy, as a good portrait.”

The exhibition will be displayed at the Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin for three weeks from this Friday, September 5.