A Katherine artist’s portrait of celebrated elder Nellie Camfoo has been selected to be part of a prestigious exhibition in Darwin next month.
Hosted in the Main Hall at Parliament House, Portrait of a Senior Territorian recognises outstanding Territory artists and celebrates significant achievements of seniors in our community.
Artist and designer Carol Randall’s portrait ties into this year’s theme ‘celebrating 40 years of Self Government’.
The portrait captures the 86 year-old women with her hand out signifying hello, goodbye (karda bo bo) in her language Rembarranga.
Ms Randall said her portrait epitomises the “preserver of languages, the keeper of culture and women’s business”.
“Nellie has been a scrutineer for her community out at Bulman.
“She has been celebrated in books and film, travelled in submarines during WW2 and secured funding for a cattle station back in ‘72.
“She is an extraordinary character.”
The Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award began as a one off event in 1999 celebrating the International Year of the Older Person.
It has since morphed into an annual recognition of outstanding Territory artists.
This year is the second year Ms Randall has had her artwork selected for the award.
The local artist and designer of clothes and textiles said she wanted a strong and bright representation.
“Nellie usually wears very bright colours, but the clothes she ended up wearing perfectly signified her ability to work in two worlds and keep true to her language and culture.
“It was really symbolic.
“Portraiture for me is perilous and wrestling – the sitter is generous of their time, while trusting my scrutiny of them.
“Often when I think I have finished the painting I will imagine a totally different portrayal,” she said.
The award is open to artists aged 17 years and over who are residents of the Northern Territory.
The exhibition runs from October 12 to 19.
Prize winners, chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, will be announced on October 12.
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