“I grew up in Brewarrina but I moved here, to Nyngan, for my kids’ education – My Dad’s side is Kamileroi and mum’s side is Murrawarri, which makes me Murrawarri”.
Priscilla Lord works as an artist in Nyngan, where her artworks are featured on several public buildings, including the Nyngan Aboriginal Land Council, and the Local School, where she works to educate children in Aboriginal art and culture. Her artworks are even in Nyngan’s sister city of Tongling.
“Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. I try to explain the way that I paint, and the kids can decide whether that is meaningful to them or not”.
Priscilla’s art is derivative of what is called ‘dot painting’. Using this format, she finds ways to make that relevant to her experience, so the artworks sometimes are a combination of contemporary and traditional styles. Light and colour are used in conjunction with traditional motifs to tell locally relevant stories.
“I’m ‘dot mad’. I can just sit for hours and paint my stories using dots – I can get lost in there, and the whole night can go by while I’ve been working on a painting”.
The paintings that Priscilla makes describe the local area; the geographic features are represented in a way that is meaningful to the three tribal groups that are present in the Nyngan area: Wongaibon (Wangaaypuwan), Ngiyampaa and Weilwan (Wayilwan) - along with symbols representing gatherings, campfire and story.
“Each circle represents different nations and people that mix and flow together within a community, and how they move together and between different family groups”.
A natural leader and teacher, Priscilla uses her art to open conversations and allow for people to talk and share their stories and experience. The effect is one of a truly modern Aboriginal circumstance – one that describes the world she lives in, not a past that she has been taken away from, or a future that she doesn’t know.
“We share by doing. It’s all there if people want to see it”.