Artists celebrated at Malka Aboriginal Art Prize

Lavene Ngatokorua, top prize winner Jaja Dare and Heather Shearer.
Lavene Ngatokorua, top prize winner Jaja Dare and Heather Shearer.

A melding pot of personalities celebrated the 10th year of the Malka Aboriginal Art Prize at the Institute theatre this week.

Taking home top prize was Jaja Dare for her piece 'Matrifocality'.

She was both elated and "a little bit shocked".

"For me its about assimilation," Jaja said.

"Matrifocality, it's the grandmothers that come through. They are the ones that are driving this piece and this particular body that has been going for a while.

"I'm genuinely quite surprised, and to be this well received in Port Augusta ... My style is quite contemporary and abstract so I wasn't really expecting that but I just wanted to be apart of it."

Ceduna's Josephine Lennon took home second place, followed closely by local artist Jeanne Miller in third.

Tamika Reid and Chevileigh Reinertsen shared the Young Artist Award.

Special homage was paid to the late Marvin McKenzie Senior, who's vision to have an Aboriginal art show ensured the Aboriginal community would always have a space to showcase their work.

Mr McKenzie's cousin Lavene Ngatokorua was on hand to present the awards and speak in his honour.

"It was always my cousin's dream but he bought along a community," Ms Ngatokorua said.

"Over the decade it has come a long way from just having a small idea for Port Augusta, to going around the north west of the state including way up to Maree. Malka has really moved.

"For us as family to have not only his memory, but his dream continue is awesome. It's something that we know as a legacy will carry on long past us even."

Voting for the People's Choice Award is still open and the winner will be revealed at a later date.

The exhibition will run at the Yarta Purtli Gallery until July, 15.