This exhibition, See What I See, shows the transition in Nerelle Nicol’s photography with images offering different perspectives of subjects where some of her works could be described as abstract photography for example the ‘Burie’ series.
Based in Cairns, Nerelle is inspired by the detailed textures, colours and patterns found in our natural environment and subjects that are often overlooked. Creatively capturing photographs, she has always been guided to particular subjects and drawn to observe them more closely, through the eyes of her ancestors.
In Yuru language, Burie means rock or stones which is a significant feature in landscape and culture. In this series each individual rock tells a story of their own journey through climate change over millions of years – long periods of extreme heat and cold. The lines, markings and details embedded can be viewed as road maps of our homelands and keeping places that preserve and hold the record of our stories and interaction with the world and natural environment.
Traditionally in Aboriginal culture, Burie is significantly important to their way of life, in particular it is used as tools, grindstones and hammerstones to the making of weapons and preparation of food. Burie is diverse with structural integrity and can be interpreted as a metaphor for Indigenous cultures that will continue strong and never deteriorate.
This series of works reminds her of the strong connection and spiritual relationship between people, environment, animals, and landscape.
Nerelle is a cultural consultant and artist, with cultural heritage of Juru Birri-Gubba people of Bowen/Ayr region in North Queensland & Erubam Le, Ugaram Le people of Erub and Ugar Islands, Eastern Torres Strait. She was born and raised in Mossman on Kuku Yalanji Country and lives and works in Cairns on the homelands of the Yidinji and Djabugay people.