Artist Niketa Law with her latest work … the large circle, at top left, represents Cherbourg while the open circle, top right, is a bora ring; farmland is shown with red and green parallel lines; the small circles (in the school colours) are St Mary’s students and staff members

June 24, 2020

Murgon artist Niketa Law has created a new mural at St Mary’s Catholic College in Kingaroy as part of the school’s Bunya Dreaming Garden.

Niketa – who is the Indigenous Support Officer at the school – wanted to repaint the site as a gift to the new college principal, Carmel O’Brien, who began work this year.

The former mural, unveiled in 2013, had not weathered well over the past seven years.

Niketa worked on the new painting during the COVID-19 shutdown in January.

It was officially opened and blessed by local Catholic parish priest Fr Chukwudi Chinaka during the school’s recent Reconciliation Week activities.

Because of gathering restrictions, the ceremony was livestreamed to students in their classrooms.

“The mural is my interpretation of our surroundings here on Wakka Wakka country,” Niketa said.

“The top left hand corner pays homage to Cherbourg. There are five lines, which reminds us that Cherbourg was created by five tribes.

“Farming is an important way of life here, so that needed to be on the mural.

“Water plays an important role in my culture and we are blessed to have many rivers and dams in our local area.

“I included a bora ring because in my culture they are special places and we are lucky to have a few bora rings locally.

“The traditional Aboriginal symbol in the bottom left hand corner is what we do here at school: sharing, listening and learning.

“The circles represent the students and staff at St Mary’s.”

Footnote: Kingaroy Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of Niketa’s work in September. This will be her second exhibition; her debut in 2018 attracted lots of positive reactions.

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