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Traditional art integrates towards modern

Local artist : Marley Smith.

BALLARAT artist Marley Smith has had a number of her paintings hanging in BRICC (Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre) for about six months now, bringing pleasure to patients and visitors. Ms Smith said she began painting in 1995 and in 2000 she got her business up and running – M. B. Smith Art and Designs, Traditional Aboriginal Art. She explains the differences in some traditional aboriginal art: “You have your past representations of Aboriginal art, which is dots and cross etching, but that is more traditional in the Northern Territory. “Down here we have our own tradition where we use the dots as a patterning. It just depends how you use the dots in today’s art work that we do.

“My mum used to do lifelike artwork and I’ve just straight off the bat doing my own traditional work.” Ms Smith added she used to work as a tattoo artist and she has incorporated tattoo designs into her indigenous artwork to represent herself and her beliefs.

“I’ve my work displayed all over Victoria, Adelaide, just in Australia but I have sold a fair few overseas, as well,” she said.

Currently Ms Smith is working on more pieces to build her collection for a future exhibition. “I can do up to five (paintings) a week and it would probably take me up to a month to finish,” she said. “I like the variety of changing now and then, so as I’ve started one I’ll have a break from that and then I’ll start another one and say well I don’t want to go back to the first one, but I want a change from the second and so on.

“I would call my work traditional but there is not any way to describe it, I do multiple styles. It’s integrating the personal aspect of how my life is, how I see things but it still tells a story.”

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