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Celebrating NAIDOC week

The Bugle App

Lleyton Hughes

10 July 2024, 5:15 AM

Celebrating NAIDOC weekKay A's paintings

To celebrate NAIDOC week, two First Nations artists showcased their work at the Old Fire Station in Kiama.


The exhibition entitled Keep the Fire Burning, was based on the theme of this year's NAIDOC week Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud. It presented the work of artists Richard Campbell and Kay A.


Richard Campbell's paintings


Richard Campbell was born in Kiama NSW, from Yuin Nation South Coast Australia and his paintings are influenced by stories and symbols passed down through time.



“My paintings are all passed down from generation to generation, every single one of my pieces tell a story. My paintings depict everyday life of the past and present. They’re about saltwater country, garden country, the south coast and what it means to our people,” says Campbell.


Exhibition at The Old Fire Station


Kay A is a proud Wiradjuri Woman of the Galari Clan, Cowra. She was born on Gadigal Land and now lives on Dharawal Land in Gerringong and this informs her paintings as she is more concerned with the present day connection with the land.


“Because I’m off-country and because I’m a guest of the Dharawal people here, I’m based in Gerringong so I tell stories based on my experiences with the land here. A lot of my stories are explaining how the work is inspired by the connection to country,” says Kay A.



Both artists believe the exhibition is a great opportunity to educate people about their culture and their history.


Photo credit: Lleyton Hughes


“The benefit for me is that it actually explains to people in a nice quiet way what the difference is when we step on country, how we connect to country, how we introduce ourselves to new country when we stand on country, when we introduce ourselves to spirit and we acknowledge the people on country. So, for me it's like getting those stories out and educating the public,” says Kay A.



“Aboriginal people have got to shine. If we don’t shine through football we shine through art, dance and song,” says Campbell.


The exhibition was from July 4 to July 10, but if you missed it you can get in touch with Richard Campbell through his website: www.gumaraa.com.au, and Kay A through her website: https://andonopouloskay.wixsite.com/.