L to R: the 2015 MAX Indigenous Art Competition Winner Belynda Waugh with NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the Hon. Leslie Williams MP
VIPs from Sydney’s artistic community gathered at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence last week to celebrate Indigenous Australian art at the 2015 MAX Indigenous Art Exhibition.
NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the Hon. Leslie Williams MP opened the event, with Indigenous artists retelling the stories that inspired their creations.
The exhibition featured twelve national finalists selected from the 2015 MAX Indigenous Art competition. Major Prize Winner Belynda ‘Bindi’ Waugh from Gladstone, Queensland said she was thrilled to be able to share her story through her submission ‘Nama Gibam II – To Hold the Moon.’
“To Hold the Moon was part of a series I worked on, it came from a train of thought I had about appreciating what you have,” Ms Waugh said. “The painting represents the light and darkness, and says that sometimes you need to acknowledge the darkness to appreciate the light.”
Ms Waugh was presented with $2,000 prize money, and said the win came as quite a shock.
“It was a lovely surprise, I wasn’t expecting to win at all. It’s a real honour to have the piece featured at the exhibition and be able to come down and have a look at all the other finalist entries,” Ms Waugh said.
MAX Employment Managing Director Deborah Homewood said the evening was a great success, and the organisation was keen to continue supporting Indigenous Australian culture and tradition.
“The calibre of submissions from the competition was extremely high this year. It’s great to see Indigenous Australian artistic culture is still alive and well.
“Minister Williams presented the MAX donation of $2,000 to the La Perouse Land Council as well, we’re extremely thankful for their ongoing support and advocacy of Indigenous Australians,” Ms Homewood said.
The exhibition also featured a Youth Art category, awarded to 24 year old Jyi Lawton from Ipswich, Queensland with his submission ‘Didgeriwho?’.
Youth Category winner Jyi Lawton with his submission 'Didgeriwho?'
“Didgeriwho? depicts how media can perceive Aboriginal Australia, and represents the way Australia recognises Aboriginal Australia through our ancient song dance and art,” Mr Lawton said.
“It highlights that Indigenous Australian issues can often be hidden from the public eye and how Aboriginal communities are almost hidden.”
The exhibition was a one night only showcase of the MAX Indigenous Art competition finalist submissions, but Ms Homewood said the exhibition will return for 2016.
“We’re excited to be able to continue supporting the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in 2016 and well into the future,” Ms Homewood said.