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Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello: 2021 Ngunnawal Centre Pillar

Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, 2021 Ngunnawal Centre Pillar

The Artist

Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello is an award winning multidisciplinary artist of Aboriginal (Southern Arrernte), Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. As an internationally recognized glass artist her works are held in major private and public collections in Australia, the UK, USA, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific.

Her awards include the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award 2013, the Bay of Fires Arts Prize 2016. She has been a finalist in the Tom Malone, Hindmarsh, Fuse Art Glass, Ranamok and Waterhouse Prizes. She has received Canberra Critics Awards for both Literature and Visual Arts and received Creative Arts Fellowships from artsACT and the Australia Council for the Arts. Jennifer is an Australian Design Award Honouree 2015, and has been recognised for her community arts and cultural  development work with an ACT International  Womens Day Award 2010, inclusion on the ACT Centenary Honour Role 2013, ACT Womens Honour Role 2014 and ACT Senior Australian of the Year nomination in 2018.

In literature her poetry, short stories and essays have been widely published journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. Her work has been included in the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, she has judged both the NSW and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, including the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Literature, and represented Australia as an Indigenous Australian writer at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Palau 2004 and the Solomon Islands in 2012.

Jennifer also has a close connection with the University of Canberra going back over thirty years. Jennifer taught in Adult and Community Education from 1994 to 2002 in subjects such as Contemporary Aboriginal Societies and Cultural Diversity in Educational Settings and also taught Foundation Studies at the Ngunnawal Centre.

Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello

The Work of Art:

The first pillar painted  to mark NAIDOC Week, 2021,  is made of three designs. In the words of the artist, the work spans 3 Healing Country dimensions:

1. The Base represents healing land:  The main motif is the Ancestral Women's Creation Hand with the seeds of all life in the pod in the palm of the hand from which green shoots of life emanate. The background colours represent the red, purple and yellow ochres of ceremony which symbolise, physical, communal and spiritual dimensions.

2. The  Centre, represents healing waters: The main motif is the Ancestral Terrain Hand which refers to the traditional concept that we know our land like we know the palm of our hand. It  links the places of the land to their saltwater and freshwater counterpoints, and those to their celestial counterpoints in the sky. The flow of energies through these linking pathways form the 'always there continuously present' regeneration forces that move from land and water to sky and return.

3. Ancestral Sky Hand and Constellations:  Our traditional stories link us, the land and waters to the Milky Way and the Universe in a reciprocal relationship that reinforces the concept 'Always Was, Always Will Be...'

This is the first pillar to be decorated  as part of NAIDOC  Week. Look out for new designs in  the years to come.