Lander & Rogers celebrates Indigenous art and empowerment with 'Placescapes' exhibition

'Placescapes' art exhibition.
  • Lander & Rogers opens doors to second exhibition in its Gallery Project 35 series, featuring the work of Yaggerah artist Jenine Godwin-Thompson
  • Firm to house 35 exhibitions to address barriers faced by South Sudanese and First Nations artists starting or sustaining careers in creative industries

Lander & Rogers has welcomed emerging Yaggerah artist Jenine Godwin-Thompson to showcase her Placescapes collection in the firm's Gallery Project 35 exhibition series.

Exhibiting hand-painted canvases, jewellery and woven works inspired by her cultural background, Jenine Godwin-Thompson is the second artist to exhibit in the firm's gallery series since it commenced in 2022.

Displayed in Lander & Rogers' Melbourne gallery space, Placescapes is part of the firm's social inclusion initiative, Gallery Project 35.

Now in its second year, the project was first established to provide emerging artists with a platform to promote their work. "The project provides a unique and meaningful opportunity to underrepresented artists. With Gallery Project 35, artists have the freedom to curate their work within a gallery space, to sell their work to new audiences and to have the necessary support to facilitate the sustaining of a career. Using this experience as a springboard for new opportunities has exceeded our initial expectations," said Lander & Rogers' Pro bono, Community and Environment partner, Joanna Renkin.

"We are proud to work with South Sudanese and First Nations artists − two distinct groups, aligned in their shared experience of discrimination and marginalisation in Australia," said Ms Renkin.

Ms Godwin-Thompson's Placescapes features a captivating array of painted works, jewellery, and weaving. Drawing inspiration from her cultural background and a passion for architecture − both natural and man-made — Ms Godwin-Thompson explores themes of birth, bush flowers, landscape, and song spirals, seeking to uncover the narrative and emotional layers of Country.

"Earth tones are used to depict our Country's once natural rugged beauty, including landscapes such as water areas, hills and mountains – typically used culturally for many Aboriginal people as borders or sacred places of cultural relevance. Now, in its modern identity, just because there are streets, roads and houses there is still the layers we walk on, the keepers of our history," said Ms Godwin-Thompson.

When asked about what the project meant to her, Ms Godwin-Thompson said, "The project champions the creativity and representation of First Nations peoples and provides the opportunity to showcase my pieces to a wider audience. I love how the project provides a platform and network, but the heart of the project is the recognition it gives artists."

Lander & Rogers has a long history of supporting First Nations people and organisations, partnering with Indigital, Djirra, Community Spirit Foundation and the Warmun Art Centre − organisations that are leading important initiatives to address disadvantage, promote respect and create opportunities for the communities they serve.

"We are privileged to work together with organisations that allow us to contribute to meaningful change," said Ms Renkin.

Consistent with its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart − which calls for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament, truth-telling about our nation’s history, and a treaty with First Nations people − the firm strongly supports the "yes" vote to establish a First Nations Voice to Parliament and remains committed to reconciliation and better outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Placescapes is on display at Lander & Rogers' Melbourne gallery space from 25 July 2023.

Learn more about how Lander & Rogers uses its resources to contribute to the economic empowerment of communities through the South Sudanese Business Response and its Reconciliation Action Plan.

Pictured above, left to right: Sobur Dhieu, Community Engagement Lead and Joanna Renkin, Partner, Lander & Rogers; artist Jenine Godwin-Thompson, and friend of Lander & Rogers, Mary Stephen

About the artist

Jenine Godwin-Thompson is a Yaggerah woman from Meeanjin (Brisbane, Queensland), which means "place shaped like a spike". She has mostly lived and worked in Townsville, as well as in Aboriginal communities in the gulf and north-west regional communities in Queensland.

Now based in Healesville, Victoria, Ms Godwin-Thompson describes her work as coming "from the heart". She often creates works using the earth tones of Country and depicting the colours of flora and fauna.

Visit Blak Artz From The Heart to learn more.

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