While English has become the first language of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is far from being the only language used. A new exhibition opening this Saturday called Speaking Colours attempts to highlight how these different languages affect Indigenous art.

Speaking Colours comprises 33 artworks drawn from the collections of regional and commercial galleries and private collectors from the richly coloured canvases of Emily Kame Kngwarreye to the shell necklace and kelp work of Tasmania’s Lola Greeno and the batik and ceramic works of the Ernabella artists. There are artworks which refer to the artist’s Indigenous language in the title, as well as symbols incorporated into the painting. There are also works by contemporary urban artists who use English text (Brenda L Croft, Adam (aka Blak Douglas) Hill and Judy Watson) and European symbolism (Reko Rennie).

In all there are 33 artworks in various mediums by 30 artists: Imiyari (Yilpi) Adamson, Brook Andrew, Taparti Bates, Brenda L Croft, Nancy Dilyai, Adam (aka Blak Douglas) Hill, Fiona Foley, Lola Greeno, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kitty Kantilla, Roy Kennedy, Pantjiri McLean, Queenie McKenzie, Elsie Milindirri, Joyce Moate, Peter Nabariamari, Ningie Nangala, Marybelle Ngallametta, Kathleen Paddon Napangka, Tiger Palpatja, Carol Panagka Ronti, Eddie Puruntatameri, Reko Rennie, Elaine Russell, Nellie Stweart, Carlene Thompson, Esme Timbery, Alick Tipoti, Judy Watson and Vicki West.

Curated by Angela D’Elia, it will be opened by Amanda Reynolds at 2.00pm.

Running concurrently will be a second exhibition featuring Indigenous artworks from the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery’s own collection.