Jennifer Herd

Jennifer Herd is a proud Mbarbarrum woman whose family roots lie in far North Queensland. With strong feelings about the way in which Aboriginal people have been treated in this country, Jennifer's work is about her experiences as an Aboriginal person and about making known the untold history of our people in Australia. Having worked in the theatre and fashion industry for 12 years before moving into the field of Indigenous education in the late 1980s, in recent years, Jennifer has made the shift from costume to installation, painting and sculpture. Her interests are now mainly concerned with Aboriginal Art and Issues, copyright and intellectual property and Aboriginal art education.

Artist Statement
As a member of proppaNow, my main aim is to engage with the art community as an Aboriginal and to share my experiences as an Aboriginal person. As a result, the drawings I have done for this exhibition are a rather personal reflection of what it is for me to be Aboriginal right now. I have come to know recently what it is to suffer profound grief and loss and I have chosen to respond to these concerns in my work as a way of helping to deal with my pain. I have used the experience to reflect on life and death and conflict which have been common themes in my work for a number of years now. This body of drawings is an immediate response to recent experiences of grief and loss. I chose to draw on the experience and gain some clarification and meaning, rather than ignore it. I am using the experience as a means of working through loss rather than to gloss over something that is likely the single most intense and overwhelming emotion one will feel in their lifetime. The drawings make use of symbology to create a dialogue about this heavy subject matter. These symbols represent my own feelings about grief and loss. Hair was used to draw these symbols on paper so these are fairly loose and show signs of being little rough in places as the resources used to create the drawings was a somewhat difficult device to control.

August 2010