Lesley Salem

Aboriginal Artist

My name is Lesley Salem (nee Elvin) and I am an Aboriginal artist. I am a descendant of the Gringai-Wonnarua Nation in NSW, currently working in Private Practice as a generalist and chronic disease Nurse Practitioner (NP).  My nursing is dedicated to improving the health of those with chronic disease. I enjoy mentoring and believe strongly in sharing knowledge. Always through my work is a strong dedication to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, those with socioeconomic disadvantage, and my peers.

My art follows in the footsteps of my father Les Elvin, an artist and elder of the Wonnarua Nation. Most of my knowledge for my art is drawn from my dad’s knowledge but I use it in a more contemporary manner. I predominantly use acrylic on canvas, wood with some glass work. Although I use a contemporary dotting style, I utilise traditional Aboriginal Symbolism where able to tell the stories in my work. All work must be telling a story.

I love to paint the imagery of the flora and fauna that I see on my travels with rural and remote nursing and tramping (or hiking) which I do extensively.  I also love to use dotting technique in a modern/contemporary style along with traditional symbolism to paint the life story of an individual or family showing their journey.

I have been exhibiting since my late thirties at Galleries and Exhibitions in Cessnock, Newcastle, Hunter Valley Vineyards, Muswellbrook. I have won the 50th Annual Weston art Show – won Highly Commended for ‘Kurri Kurri Grevillea’ Won Major Award (Overall) for the exhibition (link) and was 2013 winner Reconciliation Aboriginal Acquisitive Artwork Prize. Yarnteen Ltd and GrainCorp Newcastle. I have a painting in acquisitions at the Muswellbrook Art Gallery. This was purchased as an award by Coal and Allied and donated to the gallery as a Wupa at Wonnarua award.

I do work for brochures and have produced a book that my father painted for called Bush Tucker in Kidney Failure and Diabetes.




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0425 294 453

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