Inverell poet pairs with Moree artist to create masterpiece

Esther Gardiner and Liz Munro.
Esther Gardiner and Liz Munro.

Inverell poet Esther Gardiner met with Moree artist Liz Munro to bring her words to life as part of a Arts North West project.

Around 18 writers and artists have been paired together to create an exhibition of artworks inspired by words.

The finishing products will be on display at the Tamworth Regional Art Gallery as part of the Art Word Place exhibition from November 1.

As the only two Indigenous artist to be part of the ANW project, Esther said she felt proud when meeting Liz.

"Arts North West took me over to Moree and we had lunch at Yaama Ganu. Liz showed me a few sketches and all she needed was a map of the river.

"Liz is a professional artist. I am proud to be able to work with her as the only Aboriginal pair. We're representing our people and our towns through this project," Esther said.

Esther's poem titled "Inverell" was inspired by her surroundings and connection to the town, which she now calls home after being born in Tingha.

It was important for her to include details of the river to represent life.

"My people would have camped at the river and shared dreamtime stories. When the river flows progress comes," she said.

Liz is still in the process of painting her piece which will hang next to the poem during the exhibition.

Whilst meeting, both Liz and Esther were able to connect and discuss more about the project and what they hoped to achieve from their pieces.

A huge supporter of Esther's work, and all she has done to close the gap in Inverell, councillor Paul King said this wasn't the first time her work has been used as inspiration.

"Esther's poems have been used as a source of inspiration by artist Vicky Duncan. The poems and painting are featured at Inverell and Armidale hospitals."

Cr King said Esther's involvement was a great example of her dedication and willingness to close the gap.

He also acknowledged the project as a "win" for Inverell to be represented at a regional exhibit.

Inverell Shire Council decided to renew their ANW membership for three years in May to support projects such as this.