Five First Nations artists show us why the east coast matters


Five First Nations artists, ranging the Gurreng Gurreng, Gunggarri, Iningai, Kamilaroi, and Kombumerri lands, honour the past, celebrate the present, and secure the future in East Coast Matters, showing at Kate Owen Gallery.

Goompi Ugerabah, Dhinawan Baker, Ethan James Kotiau, Stephen Berger and Tony Sorby represent the living cultures of the east coast through traditional and contemporary paintings.

View, in pictures, some of the exquisite artworks below, alongside quotes from the artists.


There is a lot of talent on the East Coast where we are seeing Aboriginal art evolve in style. Artists are shedding light on new matters relating to culture, history and sociology. This exhibition is important because it not only shares culture but will be integral in its preservation.
–Ethan James Kotiau

Ethan James, Kotiau Iningai, 117 x 181cm.

To be part of East Coast Matters means a lot to me. I’ve loved the gallery since I first walked into it. And now to be a part of an exhibition is one of those life goal moments I can tick off the list.
–Dhinawan Baker

Dhinawan Baker, Shallow Reef, 93 x 126cm.

This exhibition is important to me because it gets my artwork out there and people get to see my beautiful art and hope it leads to bigger things and more exhibitions.
–Stephen Berger

Stephen Pengarte Berger, Sun Dreaming, 99 x 101cm.

[Why does East Coast Art and Culture Matter?] Because the jigsaw puzzle would be incomplete, we would only have a partial picture of Indigenous Australia. It’s clear that certain areas of Australia fill a more prominent area of that “picture” and sadly some pieces of the puzzle have been lost or yet to be found. To understand and learn about Indigenous Australia, to discern and see the full picture we have to include as many pieces as possible – that includes the East Coast.
–Ethan James Kotiau

Tony Sorby, Journey Tracks to Sacred Water Sites, 120 x 179cm.