My secret herbs and spices
Over the years many people have asked me about the sand engraved textures within my artwork and enquired about my technique, often asking me how it's done. After explaining the link to country, without giving too much of the 'How To' away, I came up with my quick reply, which I hoped said it all, "It's My KFC" Meaning it's my secret herbs and spices.
As my art style has developed over the years, to what we now see today, I used a great deal of recycled paints and pot samples, experimenting on mixed mediums that sometimes led to, let's just say, very interesting outcomes, which weren't for the public eye, or for sale, for that matter. However, my love of all things creative kept me continuing on the pathway that today allows me share my culture through artwork that brings connection to traditional sights through sand engraving style and visual story telling.
My art has always been connected to and focused on the beautiful sand engraving I've had the privileged of visiting and learning about from Uncles, Aunts and Elders from a young age. I was greatly influenced by camping trips to the Yengo area and night walks to special sights on country. You wouldn't think you could see the engravings best at night, but we would gently sweep the gum leaves away from the sandstone at night with our hands and gently place our lanterns onto the rock allowing the shadow of the age old engravings within the sandstone to show up quite clearly.
One of most memorably experience on country was further exploration of sites throughout the Yengo area, as a young women in the early 90's.
As a pioneering member of Yarnteen Ltd (Yarnteen meaning all or everybody in Awabakal) the organisations first grant was to record sites throughout the area for National Parks & Wildlife. We were led by Uncle Paul Gordon, with myself heading up a team of young women, specifically working on women's sites of the region. Us girls would sleep in sandy bottomed caves, overlooking the bush, under a moon lite, starry night. Looking back on those days brings a rush of memories that I'll save to share for another day.
I feel privileged to have had these wonderful experiences and having grown up within a family that valued and passed on cultural practice and knowledge. It is my hope that through my artwork and work alongside community, I will continue to pass this knowledge on and contribute to our journey together of reconciliation through the sharing of culture within my art.
As we approach NAIDOC week from 3 to 10 July with the challenging theme, “Get-up, Stand-up, Show-up." I look forward to attending NAIDOC events and gatherings across the Hunter community and NSW, to network, collaborate and plan our way forward together.