Abe Muriata is represented as one of 16 artists Australia wide in the WA Indigenous Art Awards currently on display at the WA Art Gallery in Perth.

Shortlisted from 100 entrants Abe travelled to Perth for the opening of the exhibition and the awards ceremony.

“To be chosen from such a vast sea of talent was a privilege for me,” Girramay Traditional Owner and artist Abe Muriata said.

“The whole experience was beyond my experience. The people who support and appreciate our work – it is not just a passing thing. They gave us travel money to get here from Queensland and put us up in the finest hotel. By doing this, they are saying: This is beautiful art and we appreciate it. This trip has also made me better understand why all the artists at Girringun are so widely regarded and that their work is as good as anyone else’s.”

Abe appreciated having the chance to meet and talk to other artists participating in the award, to see their work and to learn more about what art means to a variety of people, the artists, the critics, the gallery staff and the audiences.

To be able to meet the other artists helps you understand the background of the people and places reflected in the art we see, in the desert, the sea, the Torres Strait, the city and then there is me from the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

“Together as artists we bring the diversity of the way we live and show a changing culture.

“Being able to attend the awards has taught me not to stay away from boldness, to not be afraid to be loud or forward with my work or ideas.

“Being an artist has made a difference in my life.”

Abe Muriata is a Girramay Traditional Owner and is represented by the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Cardwell.