On the ground level, and fresh from her mini survey show at Caloundra Regional Gallery, Mbararrum artist Jennifer Herd presents Mother’s Country including 20 new works that feature her signature pin-holing technique and geometric shield patterning on both paper and canvas.
Herd tells her stories of displacement and fortitude not with aggression or vengeance but with the objective of connecting sophisticated imagery and design back to her mother’s country in North Queensland and sites of historical massacres. The artist herself grew up in foster homes and orphanages and the inherent stories within her practice echo these solemn facts.
A new major work in this exhibition Armor, weapon, cover discusses the Irvinebank Massacre and builds on decades of research into frontier conflict and Indigenous resistance. Artworks in the exhibition utilise several recurring motifs; camouflage, targets and bullet casings, shield designs, and silhouetted warriors interwoven with her delicate pinholes for which she most celebrated. The repetition of these images amplifies what Adj. Professor Margo Ngawa Neale (National Museum of Australia) describes as a “singular voice, infused with a disarming aesthetic… delivered like an iron fist in a velvet glove”.
Image: Jennifer Herd Camo, target, bullet 2022 archival ink, pinholes & bullets on 320gsm Sihl paper 36x86cm