30 May 2023

Cultures combine in exhibition that weaves valuable message through art for Reconciliation Week

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation
two women with artwork

Indigenous artist Debbie Wood (left) with fellow artist Lindy Farley and their favourite artwork, Dancing Around The Sun. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Indigenous artist Debbie Wood and local non-Indigenous artist Lindy Farley are showcasing a collaborative exhibition for National Reconciliation Week.

Moving Forward is on display at Wagga Wagga’s The Little Yellow House Gallery and Studio.

Debbie’s traditional open and closed weavings with emu feathers and raffir have been matched to Lindy’s colourful abstract artworks. The artists have also used acrylic paint, mixed media, gold leaf, collage and oil pastels.

The Gomeroi artist of 15 years from Moree is now working in the region, creating lively pieces that celebrate her Indigenous heritage. She recently created a body of work combining her weaving with ceramic art to tell stories of country.

Wagga-born-and-bred Lindy creates vibrant abstract artworks that are playful and unpretentious and through an instinctive, free-spirited process, she experiments with acrylic paints, inks and pastels to create richly textured works that aim to evoke joy and elation, taking inspiration from the world around her.

READ ALSO Bands to come together for Junee June Jam

The artists planned to collaborate a year ago and decided to work on their joint piece earlier this year for Reconciliation Week.

“We thought about dates and Reconciliation Week came up,” Lindy said. “We thought it would be a great way to showcase two different cultures working together and moving forward in the one space, which is art.”

Debbie said: “We don’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase our work in this format and working together, we knew what we could and couldn’t do.

“We want to show that all different cultures can work together and produce beautiful work.”

The artists’ favourite collaborative artwork is their second piece, named Dancing Around The Sun.

“We call it our showstopper … it’s a combination of Lindy’s really bright artwork and I’ve done open weaves around it with the sun,” Debbie said.

“You can see the [Lindy’s] artwork through the weaves …it’s lovely.”

Lindy, whose art journey began fairly recently, said the second collaboration motivated the artist to create more pieces.

“I did a lot of bright backgrounds, but we also went into quite a neutral territory because some of the weaves are very neutral,” she said.

“The emu feathers look good amongst the neutral tones.”

READ ALSO Healing history’s scars: Wagga community unites to say sorry to Stolen Generations

Now good friends, they met at a workshop at The Little Yellow House a few years ago.

The Indigenous artist said through their partnership, Lindy had opened up to Debbie’s culture, where she comes from and what traditional weaving means.

Lindy said she felt privileged to collaborate with Debbie because she had limited Aboriginal cultural knowledge.

Lindy felt the collaborative process had been a learning curve to hear what Debbie had to say and grow from the experience.

Creating the weaves and selecting the feathers took Debbie a long time, especially when she had to start matching the colours of Lindy’s artworks so they would seamlessly blend.

The artists said their collaborative journey for the new exhibition had been fantastic, with plenty of banter.

They believe people will love the differences and the hard work that have gone into their artwork.

The pair also thanked the artist and owner of The Little Yellow House, Maggie Deall, for allowing them to showcase their exhibition.

Debbie and Lindy are planning more collaborative work.

The Little Yellow House Gallery and Studio is located at 41 Tompson St, Wagga Wagga. They’re open from 10 am until 5 pm Monday to Thursday, from 10 am until 4 pm Friday and Saturday and closed on Sundays.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.