Painting with respect
Wiradjuri artist Nyree (Ngaire) Reynolds has opened ‘Yindyamarra’, a new exhibition of her paintings, at the Kew-Y-Ahn Aboriginal Gallery.The gallery is located at Hartley Historic Site east of Lithgow. The works go on show from Tuesday 5 July.
Yindyamarra is a Wiradjuri word meaning respect, be gentle, polite, honour and do slowly. It is an appropriate title for the artist’s whole approach to telling the Aboriginal story through painting.
“It is a powerful word, a word that says many things which can take us into the future with confidence. We need to respect each other for our Wiradjuri Nation to grow,” Nyree said.
There are 12 paintings in the ‘Yindyamarra’ exhibition. Nyree has written up short background stories to accompany each work. “These works are about living on country…The stories behind the images, behind the figures, are very important to me too,” she said.
In her last exhibition ‘identity’ the figures of girls and women, a frequent image in Nyree’s work, were faceless. In ‘Yindyamarra’ many now have faces. “They are coming forward, they are able to identify more, they have a place now,” Nyree explains. “After the apology a lot more has been reconciled. There is more to do but we have moved closer.”
This is Nyree’s first painting exhibition in two years. Other than making works for a few key prizes such as the NSW Parliamently Aboriginal Art Prize, for which she has been a finalist, the artist has been busy running painting workshops in the region working with schools, young women and other community groups.
Nyree has recently been working with Blayney Shire Council on the artwork for a set of ‘Welcome to Wiradjuri Country’ signs for the Blayney Shire. The artworks will be launched in Blayney on Thursday 7 July and installed in September. Nyree also collaborated on the design of the logo for the Kew-Y-Ahn Aboriginal Gallery and is active in the local community, sitting on the Blayney Health Council and representing Blayney on the board of Arts OutWest.
The Kew-Y-Ahn gallery is a partnership between regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Environment & Heritage. The gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday. ‘Yindyamarra’ will run to the end of July (unless works are sold out earlier).