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Nikki Carabetta

Artist's Statement

Painting Film Commissions Printmaking Woodwork Public art Glasswork Community Workshops Writing

My name is Nikki Carabetta, nee Baugh-Bell. I was born in Western Australia and moved to the Northern territory when I was 10.

I have grown up in rural/ bush and urban Aboriginal communities. I have grown up traditionally and my culture is a big part of who I am. I have lived in Adelaide since 1996 and consider myself an urban artist.

I was born Yamaji and grew up Brinkin/ Malak-Malak or Ngangikurrunggurr, my artwork reflects this as well as my urban lifestyle including what I learnt from the elders of Kulaluk.

My art is original dot art, in which I have used traditional styles with contemporary techniques and mediums. This is a reflection of how my culture has evolved and adapted itself to my modern urban lifestyle, far removed from the way I grew up, although this too is expressed in my artwork.

It is the combination of the two that makes my work unique. Whilst there are Dreaming stories involving the symbols I use I have not employed all of them in my artwork.

My artwork reflects my love and respect for “country”, is an affirmation of my culture and is often political.

I have successfully completed an Advanced Diploma in Visual and Applied Arts at Taoundi College and have participated several exhibitions as a student at Tandanya, as well as one at the SA Museum in 2006. I also entered the Princes contemporary Art show at PAC in 2007. I won the inaugural Indigenous art prize at the 2007 City of Campbell town & Rotary Club of Campbell town.

I have had an exhibition at Gallery M at Marion for Reconciliation week as well as an exhibition at NPSP Council town hall on the Parade, and then St Peters library for a month. I had a joint exhibition with Reg Dodd for NAIDOC week at the Adelaide Town Hall in 2008.

I was commissioned to paint a fiberglass dolphin for Port Adelaide Enfield Council,(part of the Port Festival) my Dolphin is now on display at the Port Information centre.

Over the last few years my career has blossomed, with public murals, workshops at WOMADelaide, various festivals as well as the distribution of my art to all over the world.

I currently work at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre as an art/ culture instructor and have for the past 8 years. I work with Carlew Youth Arts as well as many organisations promoting, teaching, advising and painting Aboriginal art. I am also currently a chamber 3 delegate for National Congress Mob.

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