Ernestine Hankin.
Ernestine Hankin.

CQ showcases next generation of First Nations artists

A NAIDOC Youth Art Exhibition has arrived in Emerald to showcase works by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The exhibit celebrates the talent and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists aged 12 to 24.

Many of these young Queenslanders are sharing their artwork publicly for the first time through the travelling art exhibit.

The youngest is 12-year-old Ernestine Hankin — a Torres Strait Islander artist with family connection to Mer and Iama Iand — who enjoys using her imagination to tell stories through art.

“When I was told I would be participating in the exhibition and meeting other artists, I was nervous, but it was very fun,” Miss Hankin said.

“I have been so happy that my painting has been going to other towns.”

The NAIDOC Youth Art Exhibition in Emerald is supported by the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Department of Youth Justice, Feros Care, and CQUniversity.

It launched during NAIDOC Week in November 2020 in Mackay and has also been to Moranbah.

Department of Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mackay Manager Rhiannon Minniecon said her team was proud to support opportunities helping Indigenous people to thrive.

“The exhibit has built a sense of pride among the young artists and will open new opportunities,” she said.

“We are delighted to take this exhibit on the road to celebrate these talented young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.”

The exhibition at CQUniversity in Emerald (Capricorn Highway) is open on weekdays until February 23, after which it will move to Dysart.

Other featured artists include:

Jermaine Blackaby

19-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist born in Mackay with artwork inspired by the stingray totem of his mother’s family from the Torres Strait Islands.

Kasey George

17-year-old Aboriginal artist originally from Mount Isa/Normanton area, now lives in Mackay with his Mum and three younger siblings and his creations include artwork on furniture.

Yvonne Emery – Gesah

17-year-old Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, South Sea Islander artist and aspiring business owner who is proud of her culture and the art she creates.

Denzel Row Row

18-year-old Iman and Kullilli man born in Mackay and raised in Blackwater who is skilled in traditional and modern-style art.

Kynan Sanderson

17-year-old Aboriginal and South Sea Islander artist from Mackay with a unique street-style inspired by basketball, music, sneakers, fashion and anime.



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