Niketa “Yungi” Law with her work “Aboriginality” … “Art is my voice; it is how I best express myself”

November 8, 2018

Kingaroy Art Gallery was buzzing on Saturday morning with one of the biggest crowds seen at an exhibition opening at the venue for years.

Cherbourg artist Niketa Law unveiled a gallery full of artworks – including a surfboard! – that she has created over the past 12 months.

“Yungi – First Collection” is Niketa’s first exhibition and family and friends travelled far to congratulate her.

“The 36 pieces are basically me on show before you, which was a bit daunting at first,” Niketa told the crowd.

She said having an exhibition had always been a dream of hers, but she admitted she was amazed she had accomplished all these in under 12 months.

The exhibition was opened by former Murgon teacher Wendy Exelby – now a close friend of Niketa – who enrolled her 18 years ago at Murgon State High School.

She shared some stories about these school days which demonstrated that Niketa had always had a strong inner voice and had been “itching for her voice to be heard”.

“At school, she wanted to be a writer; it’s only in the last decade that she has seen herself as an artist,” Wendy said.

She said the exhibition provided a rare insight into the artist.

Niketa’s father, Wakka Wakka Elder Eric Law AM, did the Welcome To Country.

“My ancestors would be pleased with what they see here,” Uncle Eric said. “Niketa is trying to bring the ancient times into the 21st century.”

Niketa, who works at St Mary’s Catholic College, said her art “felt like home”.

“It is my voice,” she said.

“It was important for my first exhibition to be on the country of my ancestors.”

Wendy Exelby shared some stories from Niketa’s school days while opening the exhibition
Niketa’s father, Wakka Wakka Elder Eric Law, AM, with his old footballing mate, “Skippy” Exelby
Niketa’s sister Patricia Pedro travelled down from Thursday Island to be at the opening … Patricia is pictured with her daughter Ryanjade, right, 4; and Lakeisha Skeen, 4, from Murgon, left
Proud mum Shirley Law with Sue Domic, from Rockhampton
Former St Mary’s deputy principal Sean Erwin, his wife Amanda and sons Nicholas, 14; and Samuel, 12; returned to Kingaroy to congratulate Niketa on her work
Cr Alana Purcell and Cr Danita Potter were representing Cherbourg and South Burnett councils at the opening
Special guests at the opening were Brigidine College Indooroopilly Deputy Principal (Mission) Andrew Beiers and Year 11 students Taliah Saylor, from Erub Island; and Vaikarna McLennan, a Kuku Yalani / Jannga woman from North Queensland … Niketa completed a special painting for the school which featured St Brigid’s Cross, the school’s motto and House colours
Some of the large crowd mingling at the Kingaroy Art Gallery opening on Saturday morning
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