Last week Blayney community artist Nyree Reynolds found out she had just missed out on having her artwork adorn the cover of the next telephone book for the region.
However, as some consolation, one of her works has been short listed for the NSW Indigenous Art Prize second year running.
She is one of 45 finalists chosen from 120 art works entered into the competition. She is in the running for a $20,000 prize “ the winner will be announced on October 22.
The works will be displayed at the NSW Parliament House from October 5 to November 5 then the finalists’ art works will tour the state this and next year.
Her acrylic and natural ochre work called Mr Speaker, I commend this motion to the House is a response to the apology given in February by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Ms Reynolds says this of her painting:
As I sat with many, many other Australians on February 13th this year and watched through eyes filled with tears as our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, offered The Apology to the people of the Stolen Generations this painting formed in my head.
I saw the children standing in their Sunday best dresses looking at Sorry written in the sky, as it was quietly being written in their hearts.
I reflected on how their lives should have been had they been able to stay with their families.
They would never have been alone, never unwanted.
They would have always had somewhere to go where they were loved and nurtured and taught within their own family and clan unit.
Aboriginal children were never alone.
They would not have lost their language and their culture.
I could see a young traditional boy symbolically leading the children back to a life that once was theirs.
He is leading them with gum tips, representing healing, back to their Belonging
Country, back to their own Traditional Land and back to their People.
February 13th was the First day the people of the Stolen Generations knew acceptance of who they were and their stories were finally becoming a reality.
Ms Reynolds works often on the theme of the stolen generation, feeling the issue strongly as she has cousins who were removed from their biological families.
It’s extremely good that I’ve been chosen as a finalist. It means my voice can be heard because I can tell the story of the stolen generation to a larger population.
A lot of people say my works remind them of the move, Rabbit Proof Fence, she said.
Ms Reynolds hails from the Gamilaaray nation in the Warrambungles region of NSW.
Her works can be viewed on her website, www.caminka.com.au. In addition, her four works on the Aboriginal Art Co-op website have been registering the most hits in an online vote.