The Friends of SAM Commission by Nici Cumpston

Please note: this is an old article.

This article was published on 10, December, 2013. The infomation contained wihin may be out of date or inaccurate.

The Friends of SAM unveil new artwork by artist Nici Cumpston.

The Friends of SAM and Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) are delighted to present the Friends of SAM Commission by Adelaide-based photographer, Nici Cumpston.

The Friends of SAM Commission invites a major Australian artist to create an artwork that engages with the Shepparton region for the SAM permanent collection. This visionary commission was initiated in 2012 to address the lack of art works in the SAM collection about the Shepparton region.

Nici Cumpston's body of work for the Friends of SAM Commission documents and honours the relationship between local Aboriginal people and country around Shepparton. The artist has produced a suite of four hand-coloured photographs: two of an Aboriginal water hole site at Whroo Historic Reserve, near Rushworth; and two of a scar-tree and creek in Barmah National Park. Cumpston produced this body of work after meeting with local Aboriginal Elders in and around Shepparton.

‘The Friends of SAM Commission brings a substantial new body of work by one of Australia's most exciting and well-respected photographers into SAM's permanent collection,' SAM Director Kirsten Paisley said. ‘Nici has been extremely generous with the work she has made for SAM and delivered four extraordinarily beautiful and haunting images. We are grateful to the artist, and also the Friends of SAM for their vision in commissioning a new work about the region.'

‘The Friends are really looking forward to seeing Nici's work exhibited on the walls at SAM,' Friends of SAM president, Barb Gray said. ‘I am sure the local community will be as thrilled with them as we are.'

The commission provides an opportunity for audiences from Shepparton and further afield to learn about aspects of the history of this region from an Aboriginal perspective and to appreciate the ongoing relationship between local Aboriginal people and country surrounding Shepparton and in North-Central Victoria.

Nici Cumpston will present a free artist talk at SAM on Friday 13 December at 5pm, which the general public are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to (03) 5832 9861.

The commission will be officially unveiled at the Friends of SAM Christmas Party and Friends Forever exhibition opening on Friday 13 December, to be held at SAM from 6pm. Tickets are $20 per person. Please phone (03) 5832 9861 or visit SAM at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton should you wish to attend.

Nici Cumpston is an Adelaide-based photographer with Aboriginal Australian, Afghan, British and Irish heritage. Her work testifies to the ongoing relationship between Aboriginal people
and country in south-east Australia, and the violent impact of European settlement on both the environment and Aboriginal people. Nici Cumpston is connected to the Murray Darling River
system through her Barkindji family.

The Friends of SAM Inc. develop and foster an active cultural community in Greater Shepparton and support Shepparton Art Museum by raising funds for the acquisition of new works amongst
other activities.

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832
9861, email or visit

SAM is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm), and closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.

For more information regarding this media release and for interview and photo/video opportunities, please contact SAM Marketing Co-ordinator Amina Barolli on ph: (03) 5832
9522 E:

Image: Nici Cumpston, Budgee Creek II, Barmah National Park 2013
archival inkjet print, hand coloured with synthetic polymer paint and pencil
65 x 175 cm, image courtesy and © the artist