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By GLENN ELLARD
THE Shoalhaven's indigenous artists
have been in the spotlight in recent
months, sharing their talents and skills
around Australia and even overseas.
During October emerging artists
Glenn Duffield, Noel Wellington, Marie
Stewart, David Nolan and Jasmine
Haby-Atkinson joined their TAFE
teacher Warwick Keen for a visit to
China to promote Aboriginal art and
gain new artistic perspective.
"It's an opportunity to not only
promote Aboriginal art to another
country but also give us the chance to
experience their culture," Mr Wellington
says. Mr Keen says China has an
emerging presence as an influential
player in the art world.
Mr Keen and Mr Duffield also have
pieces included in a travelling
exhibition for finalists of the 2010
Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize,
along with fellow Shoalhaven artists
Mark Willers Ponakim, Clyde Groves
and Natalie Bateman.
Fellow artist Julie Freeman explained
the emphasis on visual expression
during the recent launch of the
Pallingjang Saltwater Exhibition at
Shoalhaven City Council's offices in
Nowra: "Art for Aboriginal people is
much more than pretty pictures."
"The works on display are part of
something much more ancient."
Ms Freeman has a simple message for
people viewing the exhibition including
from fellow artists Loretta Parsley,
Steven Russell, Mally Smart, Jodie
Stewart and Phyllis Stewart.
"I hope you have a little bit of a deeper
understanding of where you're coming
from, of your land, and who was here
before," Ms Freeman says.
"It's really important that people
understand the areas they live in,
because the land helps shape the
people who live here.
"We are really products of our
Local artists are moving beyond
traditional expressions, with
Bomaderry's Aroha Groves teaching
three-dimensional art at linked schools
in Alice Springs and the Shoalhaven.
With work included among the world's
best digital artists in an international
exhibition of art in emerging media in
Istanbul, Turkey, Ms Groves says she
wants to teach people about all the
possibilities computers open to them.
"I want to show young people how
there's a whole lot more to engaging
digitally in the online world than
Facebook," she says.
"Computers are tools, and they're a
great tool for creativity.
"To me, the digital world is all about
freedom, where the only thing that limits
you is yourself."
Local indigenous artists Noel
Wellington (sitting), Glenn Duffield
and Warwick Keen are part of a
cultural exchange program that has
six local indigenous artists travelling
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