Nicole Wone is organising an Aboriginal art competition in Bundaberg. The artwork she is holding, titled Unity, is part of a two-piece work called Unity and Leadership.
Nicole Wone is organising an Aboriginal art competition in Bundaberg. The artwork she is holding, titled Unity, is part of a two-piece work called Unity and Leadership. Mike Knott

Art set to celebrate spirit

A BUNDABERG artist’s recent exhibition has led her to launch a state-wide Aboriginal art festival and competition in her home town.

Nicole Wone said she was inspired to hold the inaugural Yoorellgoo Bundaberg Aboriginal Art Festival, featuring an art competition as well as an exhibition, after receiving a lot of positive comments from a joint exhibition she participated in.

“A lot of people said to me at my exhibition that they wished they could do something like that,” Ms Wone said.

“Yoorellgoo means spirit in Gooreng Gooreng language, from my tribe local to this area. I would like this exhibition to invoke the spiritual culture within my people. Connection to culture empowers us.”

The competition will feature five categories, including one for students and youth.

“Most of the categories are painting because most artists in these areas are painters, and the main award we have left open for any medium,” she said.

Entry to the awards is just $5 per entry with prizes ranging from $200 to $700. Artists who have their work sold while it is on display at the exhibition will be charged a commission of 10%.

“We tried to keep it as low as possible to encourage as many artists to enter and we are not out to make money,” Ms Wone said.

The exhibition will be held at the HACC building on McLean Street, from 6pm on June 25 to July 1, in the lead-up to NAIDOC Week.

The festival is just the start of Ms Wone’s artistic projects, which are a part of the Youth Arts Mentorship Program.

“I will also have a solo exhibition and create portfolios for exhibitions for both the metropolitan and overseas market,” she said.

Ms Wone first started painting when she was in high school.

She described her art as “intuitive” and contemporary. She uses traditional methods mixed in with more modern techniques.

“Most of my work is about the empowerment of cultures and how they relate,” she said.

Entries for the Yoorellgoo close on June 11.

For more information, call Ms Wone on 0458 097 438.



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