Reflections: Indigenous Art Exhibition at Parliament House

Reflections: Indigenous Art Exhibition at Parliament House

Members of the Parliamentary Service Indigenous Employee Network recently had the unique opportunity to engage with artworks from the Parliament House art collection, selecting pieces that resonated with them on a personal level. This initiative, known as Reflections, has resulted in a captivating exhibition featuring selected works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Reflections: Indigenous Art Exhibition at Parliament House

Led by program manager Lucy Dingwall, participants were encouraged to explore the diverse array of artworks, ranging from paintings to sculptures, ceramics to weaving. The aim was simple: to discover pieces that “spoke” to them, invoking a sense of connection and resonance.

Reflections: Indigenous Art Exhibition at Parliament House

“The idea was to find out if the art spoke to them and, if so, why,” Dingwall explained.

The Reflections exhibition, now open at Parliament House, showcases the works of both emerging and established Indigenous artists, including notable names like Gail Mabo, Leonard Andy, Joseph Au, Julie Dowling, and Jennifer Kemarre Martinielo.

One of the exhibition’s highlights is Gail Mabo’s piece titled “Tagai,” a bronze and tortoiseshell star map paying homage to her father, Edward Koiki Mabo. Representing the constellation used by Torres Strait Islander communities for navigation, Tagai symbolizes the journey and legacy of her father.

Another standout artwork is Jennifer Kemarre Martinielo’s “Open Weave Basket #2,” a unique composition blending hot-blown glass with cane work—a testament to Martinielo’s innovative approach to traditional mediums.

Featuring artists from across Australia, the exhibition explores a diverse range of themes, from cultural identity to environmental conservation. Each artwork invites viewers to reflect on Indigenous culture, history, and contemporary issues.

According to Dingwall, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity for visitors to engage with the Parliament House art collection, which boasts over 6500 pieces not typically on public display.

As part of the exhibition, artist Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello will be in conversation with curatorial staff on Thursday, 18 April, offering insights into her creative process and inspirations. The talk is free to attend, with bookings recommended.

Don’t miss the chance to experience Reflections: Selected works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the Parliament House Art Collection. The exhibition runs until 28 April at Parliament House, Canberra.

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