Exhibition showcases Indigenous coastal collaborations


“Balance” by CDU visual arts student Nadine Lee

“Balance” by CDU visual arts student Nadine Lee

Coastal objects collected from Australian beaches will be celebrated in a unique exhibition featuring seven Indigenous female artists.

Artists from Elcho Island, Melville Island, Darwin and Tasmania will come together to showcase their works at the “Counting Tidelines” exhibition at Charles Darwin University’s Nan Giese Gallery.

From artworks made with shells and mica to a film about homeland, the artists have embraced their coastal home environments as a place of influences and creativity.

Exhibition co-curators, CDU visual arts lecturers Sarah Pirrie and Dr Amy Jackett, also asked the artists to document their processes of collecting coastal items, such as shells, seeds and shark vertebrae.

“It is very hands on and time-consuming to collect and then process from nature, as some of these artists have done,” Ms Pirrie said.

“The coastal site is a fragile ecology with the tideline symbolically repeating an eternal transience.”

Ms Pirrie said for many of the artists, the act of coastal collection was a community-engaged creative exercise signifying a continuous link with family and place through the natural environment. 

Work from final year visual arts student and Larrakia woman Nadine Lee will be on display at the exhibition, along with known artists Raelene Kerinauia (Melville Island) and Julie Gough (Tasmania).

“It is important that we encourage our students to promote their practice, and for students and staff to attend exhibitions at CDU,” Ms Pirrie said.

“Counting Tidelines” will run at the Nan Giese Gallery on Casuarina campus from 13 to 28 August, Monday to Friday from 10am until 2pm.

The public is welcome to attend the opening on Thursday, 13 August from 5.30pm. For more information, contact Sarah Pirrie: sarah.pirrie@cdu.edu.au

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