Emerging artists’ work on show at Nathalia’s G.R.A.I.N. Store

By John Lewis

The work of four emerging artists will be on show at Nathalia’s G.R.A.I.N. Store later this month to celebrate the economic and cultural power of art in rural communities.

G.R.A.I.N Store founder and Four Picture Makers exhibition curator Bill Kelly said the four artists had entered a stage in their careers where their work was being increasingly recognised.

‘‘The word ‘emerging’ is used because each of these artists has already entered and committed to the profession of being someone who wishes to express themselves through their art,’’ he said.

He said although the four already had a wide body of experience between them, the exhibition would be the first chance each has had to have significant representation in a professional exhibition space.

He said the work was a celebration of the arts culture of Nathalia and the northern Victoria area.

‘‘They are making a significant contribution to our rural and regional arts,’’ Mr Kelly said.

‘‘There was a time whenever the word ‘culture’ was used in this region it was usually preceded with the prefix ‘agri’.

‘‘Now, with the rise of the arts, not just as a pastime, but also as an economic force of equal significance to sport for social cohesion in our area, we can highlight the achievements of these early career artists, celebrate their accomplishments and help further introduce them not only to a wider audience in Nathalia and the northern country, but also, due to the internet and social media — the world,’’ he said.

The artists are:

Belinda Briggs — a Yorta Yorta and Wamba Wamba woman and self-taught photographer, much of her work documents the Murray River and celebrates indigenous sport and life.

Kristen Retallick — a figurative artist who grew up in the Goulburn Valley and studied at Ballarat and Melbourne universities, her use of simple drawn lines reflects her own act of self-care and confidence to boldly record the female form in a baring way.

Jacinta Scadden — a filmmaker born in Nathalia, she trained in New Zealand and is now at the Victorian College of the Arts. She creates stories centred around grief, and/or the importance of sisterhood between women. Her work includes stills from some of her short films and projects (shown in New Zealand and Australia) and photographic portraits.

Anna Willoughby — a fine art printmaker born in Western Australia, she received her education at RMIT, Sydney College of the Arts and in Spain. Initiated by the passing of a beloved family member, her project explores notions of memory as an ever changing collection of images and senses, and examines the connection to people and places.

Shepparton News journalist Tara Whitsed will open Four Picture Makers — Emerging Artists in the Northern Country on Sunday at 2pm. The opening includes a chance to meet the artists and hear from them in a 45-minute panel. The exhibition runs until March 30. The G.R.A.I.N. Store is at 24 Blake St, Nathalia.