Local artist Digby Moran is holding a new exhibition at Southern Cross University which has already had visitors describing a deep connection with the work. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Local artist Digby Moran is holding a new exhibition at Southern Cross University which has already had visitors describing a deep connection with the work. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Unique exhibition acts as a link to the past

REVERED local artist Digby Moran is holding a new exhibition at Southern Cross University, and visitors have already described a deep connection with the work.

It is Mr Moran's first exhibition in almost two years.

He created 12 new paintings over three months and has used a new technique in the artworks to tell his Dreamtime stories.

The series of paintings are all linked to individual memories and manage to capture the mood, time and place of his past.

"When I was a kid growing up on Cabbage Tree Island we used to go swimming round the area," Mr Moran said.

"We used to sit around squeezing mud through our fingers.

"It is playing with paint and squeezing it through the canvas with all different colours.

"It is taking me back to my childhood."

It has been a busy time for Mr Moran, as he has also been working on a commission to paint a mural for the $3 million Ballina Aboriginal Child and Family Centre at West Ballina's Porter Park.

But the process has inspired him to create more art next year.

"I love looking at people walking around looking at the artwork," he said.

"It just gives me a good feeling that I am making other people happy."

Mr Moran said painting created a bridge and connection between him and his past and history.

"It is just the peace and quiet and the spiritual feeling I get by doing it," he said.

"Thinking about all the times growing up, thinking about the old people who have passed on and the good times I had with them."

He said that while working on one painting he would often be thinking of what do on the next artwork.

Southern Cross University library curator Libby Pownall said that the exhibition was important to the library because Mr Moran, as a Bundjalung man, had chosen to exhibit at the university which sits on Bundjalung land.

"It is important to expand the students' curriculum to embrace local culture and to be able to display this fantastic art," she said.

Digby Moran's exhibition, Past and Present, will run until December 23 at Southern Cross University's Library Gallery Space.

The exhibition opening will take place today at 3.30pm.



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