Ace Colleges art teacher Luke Close, with students Desmond Warfe and Mark Hampton, at the NAIDOC Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Lismore Shopping Square yesterday.
Ace Colleges art teacher Luke Close, with students Desmond Warfe and Mark Hampton, at the NAIDOC Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Lismore Shopping Square yesterday. Contributed

NAIDOC Week themed art works on display

ONE of Lismore's most visited locales has been adorned with indigenous artwork to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

The Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Lismore Shopping Square honours indigenous men and women who have fought in defence of Australia, in line with NAIDOC Week's theme of Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond.

The paintings and drawings are from a course running at ACE Community College in partnership with TURSA, which nurtured the artistic talents of indigenous men and women across the Northern Rivers.

Course teacher Luke Close was amazed by the quality of his student's artistic achievements; especially as it was the first time most had put paint to canvas.

"From turning up with no artistic skills to developing these works, I'm really proud; they've all done amazingly," he said at the exhibition's launch yesterday.

"It's about communicating. It's an entry point to open up a conversation. It's also meditation and about accessing information which is held within yourself.

"Basically, I think it's fantastic. It gets me talking to my own people, to start with. And it allows them to express themselves through the medium of art."

Mr Close said the artwork allows non-indigenous Australians to get a glimpse into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and customs.

He was pleased NAIDOC Week was gaining consistent mainstream exposure and was a talking point within communities.

Jan Levy from ACE Colleges was pleased to be able to pay tribute to all Aboriginal people who have served in the armed forces of Australia.

"The students are proud to offer their work with the respect of Bundjalung people past and present who have offered their service to our country," she said. "We think it's great to have the exhibition in a space that lots of people will see."

Some of the artists, such as Desmond Warfe, were recommended for employment by ACE and TURSA following their hard work throughout the course.



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