Robert Appo’s version of aboriginal art will be showing at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery until January 17.
Robert Appo’s version of aboriginal art will be showing at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery until January 17. FELICIA KOSEGI

Tweed artist's work offers insight

FORGET what you know about Aboriginal art.

One local painter is out to show people a new style of indigenous painting, one that represents life in the Tweed.

Robert Appo, from Tweed Heads, is exhibiting his work at the Men’s Business exhibition in Lismore.

Also curating the exhibit, Mr Appo said the show featured work from 24 Aboriginal artists from the Northern Rivers and was inspired by their interpretation of the land, culture, life and spirituality.

“A lot of people think aboriginal artwork just comes from the Northern Territory or Alice Springs,” Mr Appo said.

“I wanted to show people what indigenous art from the east coast looks like.”

According to Mr Appo, there is a high concentration of aboriginal artists in the Northern Rivers area, which he claims is almost a genre in its own right.

“It’s a much more modern style of painting over here,” Mr Appo said.

“So this exhibition is about showcasing contemporary artwork.”

Mr Appo said the style of painting he grew up on used more colours and more mediums than conventional indigenous art and told different tales.

“A lot of the traditional stories are lost on this side of the country,” he said.

“It’s a different place over here. It’s near the coast so the stories are different from central Australia.”

Mr Appo’s painting in the exhibit recounts childhood memories from Ukerebah Island in South Tweed, where he fished with his father and grandfather.

Mr Appo said the exhibition, organised as part of Arts Northern Rivers’ Indigenous Arts Development Program, acknowledged the male indigenous artists who took on the role of mentor in their everyday lives.

The Men’s Business exhibition will run at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery until January 17.

For more information, phone 02 6681 6167.



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