Meet our artists
Ally Knight is a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja
Wurrung and Kamilaroi woman from Shepparton. Upon becoming a mother, Ally discovered her innate love and passion for weaving. Guided by the skilful hands and wisdom of fellow Kaiela artist Suzanne Atkinson.
Ally creates a variety of items including wall hangings, bowls and jewellery and has started her own business, Mulana Earth. She loves using natural materials from the land and experimenting with new and different techniques and styles in art making including ceramics, painting and screen printing.
In addition to her creative pursuits, Ally serves as a
cornerstone of cultural education at Kaiela Arts. In her role as the Galnyatj Education and Culture Coordinator, Ally facilitates an immersive experience where students and teachers alike have the privilege of delving into local Aboriginal stories, culture, and history.
Ally exhibited a wall-hanging piece in Kaiela Arts For Our
Elders exhibition, 2023.
Jack Anselmi is a proud Yorta Yorta man from Mooroopna, Victoria. A regular participating artist at Kaiela Arts, Jack enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and learning new skills. He is highly regarded for his striking animal carvings, sculptures and ceramics. Jack has received various commissions including from Melbourne University and Goulburn Valley Grammar School. In 2016, Jack Anselmi worked with fellow artist Cynthia Hardie to create a large ceramic installation called ‘Midden’ for the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award at Shepparton Art Museum. ’Midden’ was one of five shortlisted entries and won the 2016 Award for its innovative use of the medium of ceramic. A recurring theme in his ceramics is the long-neck turtle which is the Yorta Yorta totem. Jack breathes life into previously inanimate objects whether in wood or ceramic, his animals have an energy about them that is captivating.
Rochelle Patten is a Yorta-Yorta woman born on the veranda of the local Mooroopna hospital in 1948. Rochelle is a highly respected elder, cultural leader and artist in her community.
Rochelle was always creative and in the early years she would watch her father carve and paint. In the 1990’s she had an accident and while she was resting, she painted and fell in love with it again. Over the years she has been in many exhibitions including Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre Titled Two Strong sisters, Boomalli Aboriginal artists cooperative in the “Mum Shirl Tribute exhibition, Yenbenal Woka in March 2023 and For Our Elders in July 2023
Rochelle has been more creative, connecting and caring towards her country, animals and connecting spiritually towards painting.
Cynthia Hardie was born and raised in Mooroopna and over the years has filled her home with her beautiful creations. Reluctant to part with anything, she says her home is almost full to the rafters Her paintings adorn canvas, rocks, emueggs, timber, papier-mâché bowls, clap sticks, boomerangs, anything she can get her hands on and often more than one thing at a time. Her love of art and craft began as a child and has continued throughout her life. Mostly self-taught, she enjoys teaching her granddaughters how to paint, sharing her art supplies and painting small canvases and boomerangs.
Tiarne Parker is a proud Wiradjuri woman, currently residing and creating on Yorta Yorta Country. She is one of many in her family who paint, including her two children.
Tiarne joined Kaiela Arts in 2014, taken under the wing of Gamilaraay artist Uncle Eric Brown.
A self-taught, contemporary artist; Tiarne works across a range of mediums from painting, watercolour, drawing & printmaking. Tiarne has also painted many murals, including a 12.5 metre, colourful “brain scan” at Cactus Country, Strathmerton that the ABC did a mini doc on for January 26th, 2021.
Tiarne’s pieces often carry undertones of feminism, politics, and tradition, merging seamlessly with topographical motifs that pay homage to her ancestral lineage.
Tiarne’s designs were selected for Design Roots 2 – “Lake” in 2018. Collaborating with Spacecraft Studios, making their way onto fabric through the intricate process of screen printing. The momentum continued with Design Roots 3 – “Identity” in 2019, a selection that saw her work at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and the Country to Couture Fashion Show. The same designs were featured in the NGV and Vogue Australia.
Tammy-Lee Atkinson is a Yorta-Yorta artist. She is a proud Aboriginal woman who loves to learn and share personal and familial stories about her culture. Being able to express her own story through painting, drawing and photography, she attaches strong symbolic meaning to images that represent her traditional culture in contemporary art contexts. Tammy-Lee completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts at IKE at Deakin University in 2016 and she is currently enrolled in Certificate 3, Visual Arts, Centre for Koorie Education, GOTAFE, Shepparton.
Since 2014, Tammy-Lee has worked as a tutor in Aboriginal art and culture at Kaiela Arts and has presented works in group shows in Shepparton, Melbourne and also at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF).
Amy Briggs is a proud Yorta-Yorta woman, mother, and grandmother. Born in Mooroopna with deep roots in the Dungala at Cummeragunja.
Amy’s artistic journey is imbued with a profound connection to her ancestry and a commitment to storytelling through her craft.
Born amidst the landscapes that have shaped her identity, Amy’s creative path has been intertwined with the rich tapestry of her cultural heritage. Her artistic ventures serve as a powerful conduit for preserving and sharing the stories, experiences, and traditions that have been passed down through generations.
Amy’s artworks embody the essence of her heritage, capturing the beauty of the land, the resilience of her people, and the intricate relationships that define their existence. Her art becomes a bridge, connecting individuals from all walks of life to the vibrant pulse of Yorta-Yorta culture, and fostering a deeper understanding
Amy says, “As an artist, I love the amazing and inspiring journey with our group of elders, coming together and working on our art and telling our stories. The gallery is a place of learning, healing and hope.”
Laurel Robinson was born in Mooroopna Victoria, and is a proud Yorta Yorta – Wurundjeri woman. Laurel grew up in Shepparton, where she attended school up unti her teen years.
She relocated to Melbourne where she worked as a telephonist, then on to to Sydney and worked for the Aboriginal medical service. After 40 years Laurel returned home to Shepparton.
“I joined Kaiela Arts and I then realised my hidden feelings I had in art and the memories of my childhood. I do love working with the other Elders and exchanging stories, I think it’s important we pass our stories onto the younger generations.”
Brett Wilson, a Yorta Yorta man from Echuca, started painting around the age of 8 (self-taught). A few years down the track his passion led him to Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE, Echuca Campus where he studied Certificate I, II and III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts. The course gave Brett the opportunity to try different mediums.
After receiving his Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, Brett became a trainer, and began to then deliver Certificate I and II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts which he says “was amazing”.
After joining Kaiela Arts, Brett taught Indigenous art classes at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) and Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-op.
Through Brett’s art, he likes to share stories that Ihe has picked up along his life’s journey. From my family, dreaming stories, experiences, memories and emotions. It is a way he keeps in touch with his culture.
Brett feels strongly about leaving something behind in the way of contributing and continuing culture for future generations. “For me art has always been a part of what I am. I love to express myself through my art and I get great release from the normal stresses of everyday life.”
“Art for me has also been a great healing tool that when I am painting it takes me to a different place of peace, joy and happiness, and nothing else seems to exist. Art is my passion and I love my culture.”