Lila Gordon works as an artist in Warren. Her connections are to the local area, and to Lightning Ridge through her Yuwaalaraay ancestry. Lila works with the Ngemba-Wailwan Art Group in Warren, the youngest in the current group of artists, connected to the group through her Aunty Minnie. She returned to town and has been working with the group for about two to three years. She says that her connection comes through her family but she gets a stronger sense of community from keeping in touch with the artists.
“I had heard about what Auntie (Minnie) was doing, and when I came back to Warren, I got involved with them. There was just a few left, and some were more active than others, but we still managed to get together and start making art”.
The “Connecting Marks to Country” project was a landmark project, working with the Outback Arts and the Powerhouse Museum. Following this project, a local group of artists formed, resulting in a large number of artworks, local and metropolitan exhibitions, educational resources, as well as the group of Aboriginal artists, held together with the energy of Mary Stubbs Kennedy. Now, however, Lila can see both the need and opportunity to continue the work by passing on the knowledge and connection to the children Warren.
“There are a lot of kids that are very talented around town. We are trying to keep something going for them, so we have our little art classes and other things, maybe one day they’ll connect back to the Marks to Country”.
Lila understand how things ebb and flow in a small town, in families and in creativity. Her goal is to maintain the core of the group that was so successful, and use it to bring through a whole new generation of artists in Warren.
“This one here is a dancer (pointing to the children in the room) and a good little artist. They’re not ready to speak yet, but we’ll keep them working and soon they will have a voice of their own”.