Digby Moran
Digby Moran

Four locals named finalists in $40,000 Aboriginal Art Prize

FOUR Northern Rivers artists are in the running to win $40,000 after being named as finalists in the prestigious Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize.

The works of Goonellabah's Karla Dickens and Digby Moran, Lismore's Penny Evans and Byron Bay's Lorraine Brown will grace the halls of NSW Parliament in a free public exhibition from October 9.

The artists will compete for the prize against 33 works from established and emerging artists including Black Douglas, Eddy Harris, Nudge Blacklock and Darren Bell.

Ms Dickens said her work "January 26th, Day of Mourning" was her interpretation of the Australian flag and its meaning to contemporary Aboriginal communities.

Based on a tree carved with a kangaroo bone by his ancestors that is on display in the Australian Museum. Mr Moran's colourful work "Honey Ant tracks" is a series of diamonds depicting fingers of deceased ancestors.

"The three panels that make up my work represent my three ancestors who carved the tree," he said.

Growing up around Boggabilla, Ms Brown said she was fortunate to be raised among so much natural beauty with the river and skies offering wondrous sunsets and luminous, connective starry nights.

Her acrylic and oil on linen painting "Lunar Eclipse over the Sacred Lagoon" portrays being that beauty, grace and stillness.

Penny Evans' five panel work "The Good Vibration" represents the indigenous connection to country.

"My work depicts ceremony and dancing on country and the deep spiritual and physical connection it reinforces with the earth," she said.

The artists are also vying for artists in residence placements at the University of NSW College of Fine Art, with more than $120,000 in scholarships on offer.

The winner will have their work become part of NSW Parliament's fine art collection.

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