WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised this article contains an image of someone who has died.
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Goornong-based, Wiradjuri artist Keira Long says her portrait of the late Uncle Jack Charles, now on show at the Djaa Djuwima exhibition at the Bendigo visitor centre, was a privilege to create.
The exhibition is the first dedicated First Nations’ Art Gallery in Bendigo and opened in late November.
Long says Uncle Jack was a very significant elder for the First Nations community in Central Victoria, and Australia as a whole.
“I think he really had a strong connection with culture,” she said.
She said he helped “mob and young mob” through his mentoring of Indigenous inmates.
“When I normally do a piece, I really like to bring a story and a meaning behind my portraits.”
She added that capturing his “quirky personality” and wild hair style was important when drawing him.
“When I was doing his portrait, I did numerous layers of white.”
Image: The piece of Uncle Jack Charles at the Djaa Djuwima exhibition.