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Family woven into Ivy Minniecon exhibition

Family woven into Ivy Minniecon exhibition
In her exhibition entitled manjalba ngulkurrijin minday after the names of her children, Ivy Minniecon honours the work of Ron Hurley. Photographer: Andrew Willis

In her first exhibition at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Ivy Minniecon has transformed The Vault into a space honouring her family and the work of Ron Hurley.

The exhibition is entitled manjalba ngulkurrijin minday after the Kuku Yalanji language names given to her three children by their Elders.

Minniecon incorporates her practice of weaving the balji through many mediums and spent much of her practice focusing on printmaking, in particular the indexical prints of these beautifully weaved vessels.

Ivy said she felt privileged to be chosen to respond to such a legendary artist and to exhibit her work in Bundaberg alongside her Uncle.

“I feel very honoured because it’s my father’s country, Gooreng Gooreng Country,” she said.

“To exhibit alongside a phenomenal and internationally known artist is amazing but also to honour my uncle and father who were both amazing men in their own right is just a pinch yourself moment – it’s magic.”

Ivy said the exhibition featured three of her baljis which had been cast in bronze and painted gold, accompanied by three prints with gold subtly visible in them to reference a concept integral to Ron Hurley’s work.

“My show is responding to Uncle Ron Hurley’s use of gold which spoke to the elevation of First Nations people to their rightful place, their place of royalty,” she said.

“I’ve used it to elevate my children and honour them for their patience, resilience and strength.

“Uncle Ron Hurley was all about family, community and his love for his people and culture.

“His work speaks strongly to his connections to these spaces.

“They share important narratives and deserve to be celebrated for many, many generations to come.

“I am so proud to not only share this space with him and his family but to be his blood relative too.

“He is my new inspiration and makes me so proud to also say I too am a Gooreng Gooreng artist who also believes in the importance of sharing story and keeping our culture strong for our future generations, as he has done so beautifully and evidently in his lifetime.”

Art and family

Ivy’s work was recently exhibited in the Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023 at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and she was the recipient of the 2022 Ian Turnbull Memorial Award from the Queensland College of Art for her outstanding engagement with printmaking and print culture.

She is eight weeks away from completing a Bachelor of Visual Art (Honours) after completing her bachelor degree last year through the Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art Program, Queensland College of Art (QCA).

Ivy said art had always been an important part of her life, having grown up surrounded by a family of artists.

“My mum is an amazing artist and so are all of my sisters, and my brothers are skilled with their hands and can build anything” she said.

“Art runs strong in our blood.

“There is a beautiful background of art in my family.

“My family mean everything to me even when we don’t always see eye to eye.

“That’s what family is always about, learning to forgive, to let go and move forward in love.

“My parents taught us this and I think art has been a beautiful tool to embrace this teaching.

“Art for me was always a happy place and so choosing to do an art degree was about celebrating that and strengthening my identity.

“It became my healing journey, it’s like I’m weaving away my trauma and redefining, reclaiming and rebuilding myself along the way.

“I don’t think artists get enough credit for their contribution and the impact that they have in  the world.

“Art changes lives.

“It has changed mine and I am forever grateful to have taken up this journey.”

To find out more about the Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art degree, click here.

manjalba ngulkurrijin minday

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

When: Now until 12 November

Cost: Free, no bookings required.

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