In conversation with Kenita-Lee

Nov 07, 2023 | Collaborations

A special collaboration between BLUNT and esteemed First Nations artist Kenita-Lee McCartney. We spoke with Kenita-Lee to learn more about her artistry and what inspires her work.

With a lifelong dedication to artistic expression and narrative exploration, Kenita-Lee McCartney weaves intricate ancestral narratives of unity, unwavering strength, and guidance through her captivating artworks.

Hailing from the Wemba Wemba, Wiradjuri, Wotjiboluk, Nari Nari and Boon Wurrung people, Kenita-Lee's connection to country is the wellspring of her creativity and deeply rooted in her artwork. Explore our chat with Kenita-Lee below to delve into her artistry and inspiration behind her work.

“This piece depicts the strong feminine matriarchs. The leaders, the changemakers, who led the way before, guide us today and leave their names in history.”

Quote by|Kenita-Lee McCartney

The arched shaped symbols are aligned to resilience and strength – honouring those who came before, and continue to guide Kenita-Lee’s journey. It’s a special piece that acknowledges the female lineage and energy of her bloodlines.

Where are you from and how does that guide or shape your work?

My name is Kenita-Lee McCartney and I live in a small rural town called Swan Hill on the Murray River. I'm originally from an even smaller town in outback New South Wales called Balranald. I am Wemba Wemba, Nari Nari, Wotjiboluk, Wiradjuri and Boon Wurrung tribes.

Tell us about your business and what drives you?

My business is a collection of artworks I have created over the last 10 years. Art has always been a way for me to express my emotions and tell stories of the experiences I go through in my life.

I proudly work in an Aboriginal organisation sharing my culture, creating events and leasing with the community.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

My artistic influences are my family. Not many people know that I come from a very long line of incredibly talented artists.

How would you describe your style, both artistic and personal?

Personally I am very colourful, but I love simplicity. In my art I like to use bright colours to express my feelings of what I think of my culture, and the vibrancy it makes me feel. In my personal life however I love simple colours. You won't find a lot of colour in my home, yet when you walk into my studio it's full of vibrant colours.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

When it comes to the best piece of advice I've been given, someone once told me 'don't let life steal your sunshine' and I hold onto that through everything that comes my way. It helps me stay true to myself and my values.

Most inspirational place?

My most inspirational place is always at home on country. Whether that is the desert in Balranald on Nari Nari country, the mountains on Wotjiboluk country or the gorgeous beaches on Boon Wurrung country. My connection to country is everything to me and inspires a lot of my artwork.

And finally, what are the three things you can’t live without?

My art, my culture, and of course my beautiful family.

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