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March 1, 2021

Cultural learning: Young PNG exhibits in Lismore

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Art work by Ambane Siune. Photo supplied.
Art work by Ambane Siune. Photo supplied.

Papua New Guinea artist Ambane Siune’s opening night is tonight at the Lismore visitor information centre from 5.30 to 7pm.

Having learnt his craft as a painter from his father John Siune (1965-2015), a significant contemporary PNG painter whose work is held by public galleries such as the Queensland Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia, Ambane sold his first painting at 15 years old while still at school in Chimbu Province.

He began to sell his paintings in Port Moresby when he was 19, where he still sells his work today. He sells at craft markets, and outside some of the big hotels.

‘I have sponsored Ambane’s trip to Australia so that he can have to opportuinity to be exposed to a range of different ways that people tell stories,’ said friend Simon Kaldy.

‘He has been spending time with indigenous artist Penny Evans and Leigh Arnold as well as doing art classes with the Royal Queensland Art Society.’

Ambane’s themes focus on PNG’s traditional stories, his paintings are colourful depictions of PNG landscapes and animals as well as stylised depictions of the traditional face paint used by different tribes in PNG.

Port Moresby is a hard place to live. Life is a daily struggle and people tend to live amongst others from their same tribe or Province as an extra security measure (people of the same tribe or language group are known as Wantoks, ‘One Talk’).

Six Mile Settlement is a hodgepodge of tin shacks with shared pit toilets, and limited access to water or electricity. Ambane lives with his wife, two young baby boys and his mother in a three-room house made of second hand materials. Six Mile is one of Ports Moresby’s oldest settlements is under pressure from land development because of its close proximity to Jackson’s International Airport and commercial centres such as Boroko and Waigani.

Ambane recently participated in an exhibition – Nine Mile Smile – in Brisbane at the Royal Queensland Art Society along side many other PNG Artists.

The Exhibition at the Lismore visitor information centre will run from Friday, 2 June until Saturday, 10 June.

All the money from the art sold will go directly to Ambane.

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