Natasha Best (Wakamin), Leah Brideson (Kamilaroi), Megan Daley (Ngunnawal and Wiradjuri), Kayannie Denigan (Luritja), Krystal Hurst (Worimi) and Kristie Peters (Wiradjuri)
9 July – 15 August 2021
Opening 6pm Friday 9 July
Heart Strong features new works by six strong Aboriginal women who currently reside on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, where their individual stories come together. Each artist uses their unique perspective to tell stories of Country, care, connection and strength.
Coming together from regions across Australia, and all at different stages of their artistic careers, these women share their individual stories and well as their shared experiences as strong women who lead, create and love in support of their families and community.
This exhibition is supported by the ACT Government through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Grants program.
About the artists
Natasha Best is a Canberra based artist who was born in Mareeba, a small town on the Atherton tablelands at the base of Cape York Peninsula, Far North Queensland. She is a proud Wakamin woman whose Country stretches out from the Chillagoe area. She is an Aboriginal artist whose style varies from traditional to contemporary artworks, depicting the flora and fauna from far North Queensland area.
Leah Brideson is a descendent of the Kamilaroi people from her Grandmother’s Country around the Gunnedah region. She is a self-taught contemporary Aboriginal artist and has been practicing in a professional capacity since 2012. Art is important platform to share her culture with the wider community, where Leah refers to her practice as ‘visual yarns’. A great deal of Leah’s artistic vision and inspiration comes from the changing landscapes in her home town, on Country and from her journeys to ocean country and beyond.
Megan is an emerging Ngunnawal & Wiradjuri artist from Canberra. Her work is often inspired by nature and the landscape of the places she’s called home. Megan spent her childhood in Wellington NSW on Wiradjuri Country and then moved back to Canberra in 1999 and has been living here ever since. Megan has completed artwork for several local services in the ACT including YWCA Canberra and ACT Emergency Services Agency, and more of her work can be found at Burrunju Art Gallery.
Kayannie Denigan is a Luritja artist. She grew up in the remote Cape York community of Hope Vale and has strong connections to the community and its peoples. Kayannie works predominantly in acrylic on canvas and her painting style was passed down to her from her grandmothers, utilising the iconic dots of Central Desert art. Her art combines the desert way with the colours and stories of the Bagarrmuguwarra and Kuku Yalanji people of Far North Queensland. She is able to merge the contrasting styles of her heritage and upbringing to create her own unique style.
Follow Kayannie on Instagram.
Krystal Hurst is a Worimi woman from Taree, on the NSW mid-north coast. She is a multi-disciplinary artist focusing on contemporary jewellery making, weaving and painting. Krystal’s storytelling derives from her Worimi culture interwoven with critiques of colonisation and other issues important to her. She was awarded ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year and has been a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Kristie is a Wiradjuri artist who runs Yarrudhamarra Creations – an Aboriginal owned and family-run business that has been providing opportunities for people to learn and experience the rich beauty of Australian Indigenous art and culture since 2018. The name Yarrudhamarra is a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘dream,’ which underpins Kristie’s mission to make dreams into reality, coming together and creating positive futures.