2023 Clarence Valley Indigenous Art Award (CVIAA)

The ninth iteration of this acquisitive biennial exhibition.

Aneika Kapeen CVIAA

The 2023 Clarence Valley Indigenous Art Award (CVIAA) opened at the Grafton Regional Gallery on Saturday 16 September.

The CVIAA was co-judged by Kylie Caldwell and Luke Close, who awarded Kristal Russ the winner of the 2023 CVIAA Acquisitve First Prize of $5,000 for her work titled Ngaba. The Emerging Artist Prize of $1,000 was awarded to Jenna Rendell for her work titled Coast Country, and the Youth Prize of an art pack valued at $250 was won by Janarla Mercy for her woven raffia basket.

This year’s CVIAA is the ninth iteration of the exhibition, which showcases all entrants into the 2023 award with works by First Nations artists who reside on Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr or Yaegl Country within the Clarence Valley Council region.

The CVIAA aims to promote contemporary Indigenous art of the Clarence Valley and develop the collection of local First Nations art held by the Grafton Regional Gallery.

The exhibition showcases a broad array of artistic mediums, styles, and methods, including weaving, painting, sculpture and more, with both contemporary and traditional techniques on display. This speaks to the ongoing importance of artistic practice for First Nations people in the Clarence Valley.

Kylie Caldwell is the Indigenous Arts Officer at Arts Northern Rivers. She is a Bundjalung artist who is dedicated to regenerating weaving practices. In 2016 Kylie was awarded an Encounters Fellowship from the National Museum of Australia, and travelled to the UK and across Australia to research Bundjalung collections in museums. This experience inspired Kylie to reorientate her career to the arts after 14 years working in education.

Luke Close is a Githabal man with an arts background spanning 30 years. Passionate about expressing the powerful language of Indigenous visual arts, Close describes the exploration of this powerful language as a multidimensional experience of culture, art, connection and healing. Close has recently been commissioned to produce a number of urban art works including a mural commissioned by Lismore City Council as part of the redevelopment of Lismore Regional Gallery and The Quad.

The CVIAA is proudly supported by the Yulgilbar Foundation and is on show from 16 September to 12 November 2023.

Image credits:
Above, Homepage square and web banner: 
 Aneika Kapeen, Clarence Valley Council Local Government Area Map, 2021, (detail). Courtesy of the artist.

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