Galleries unite for NAIDOC exhibition

By Charmayne Allison

Shepparton's Kaiela Arts and Nathalia's G.R.A.I.N Store have partnered to present an exhibition celebrating the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

The exhibition is centred on this year's NAIDOC theme, Always Was, Always Will Be.

First Nations artists who are local or have connections to the region have been invited to contribute, alongside artists from Kaiela Arts.

Spread across the Nathalia venue's three spaces, the exhibition will also be linked to a window display at Kaiela Arts.

Originally planned as a NAIDOC celebration before the postponement of the annual week to November, artists were asked to reflect on what this year's theme meant to them personally.

“We are providing this opportunity to put forward the important voices of First Nations people and continue the work of raising artists’ profiles in the community and beyond,” G.R.A.I.N Store gallery and venue manager Kristen Retallick said.

The show also aims to nurture a relationship between the two galleries, the artists and staff.

Kaiela Arts artist liaison Tammy-Lee Atkinson and Ms Retallick have joined forces for the first time to create a supportive space for the artists to tell their stories.

“We're hoping to continue this relationship into the future,” Ms Retallick said.

In addition to liaising with artists and offering curatorial input, Tammy-Lee is also a participating artist alongside her peers, which include Yorta Yorta artist Frances Nicholson.

“Being given an opportunity to showcase my artwork during this time which acknowledges our past, present and future (is important),” Ms Nicholson said.

The exhibition at the G.R.A.I.N Store will be on display until August 22 and can be viewed from Thursday to Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm.

The window display at Kaiela Arts can be viewed at any time from the street.