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Monday, July 15, 2024

First Nations art exhibition at The Cairns Institute, JCU


THE Cairns Institute at James Cook University (JCU) is collaborating with Goondoi Arts First Nations artist Nathanael Edwards for a special inaugural art exhibition, Guwal Yabala, opening on Friday, 5 July.

The event will celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage through the showcase of original artworks.

Guwal Yabala means “Voice of Country” and the exhibition will feature a series of impressionist and abstract paintings by Nathanael Edwards, offering a unique platform to share his cultural stories.

Attendees will have the chance to engage with First Nations perspectives, deepen their understanding of Indigenous culture, and appreciate the beauty and depth of Indigenous artistry.

Nathanael Edwards is a Dyirribarra and Dulgabara man from the MaMu Nation in Far North Queensland, renowned for his evocative impressionist and abstract artworks.

Drawing inspiration from his rich cultural heritage, Nathanael’s pieces are a vibrant fusion of traditional motifs and contemporary expression.

His work not only captivates the eye but also tells profound stories of identity, connection, and resilience.

Through his art, Nathanael aims to bridge cultural divides and invite viewers into a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives.

Nathanael’s artworks are often bright and colourful, inspired by the landscapes, environments, and experiences that surround him.

His narratives are shaped by the people he encounters and the places he visits, making each piece a unique reflection of his journey and cultural heritage.

Nathanael expressed his excitement about the collaboration with The Cairns Institute at JCU.

One of the vibrant artworks to be featured in the guwal yabala art exhibition
One of the vibrant artworks to be featured in the Guwal Yabala art exhibition

The Cairns Institute Director and JCU Distinguished Professor Stewart Lockie said The Cairns Institute was proud to be collaborating with Mr Edwards on this exhibition.

“Building on our university values of respect, integrity, authenticity and excellence, The Cairns Institute is proud to support Traditional Owner artists to share and teach us about the ways we develop our relationships with the environment,” Professor Lockie said.

“Traditional Owner exhibitions give us a rare insight into the detail and complexity of placed based knowing of, with and through Country.

“This understanding of Country teaches JCU to build communities and meaningfully support the kinds of ways that connect all of us to a deeper understanding of how we can contribute to the ideas future generations will need to navigate in the world.”

The art exhibition at The Cairns Institute at JCU promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees.

It will provide a platform for cultural exchange, education, and celebration, fostering meaningful dialogue about the enduring spirit of the world’s oldest living cultures.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Jam session at Men’s Day Out and Volunteers requested at Atherton Hospital.

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