By Jade Taylor, Gumbaynggirr
- Can you please tell us about yourself, where are you from and who are your people?
I’m a Gumbaynggirr woman. My people come from Yellow Rock mission near Urunga, however I was born on Barkindji country (Broken Hill) and moved to Yugambeh country (Gold Coast) when I was 12. I now live on Yagera/Turrbul land (Brisbane). I didn’t know much about my people or who I was growing up and am still learning about who I am every day.
- How would you describe your art style?
I mostly draw political cartoons using pens and digital media. I have recently started exploring other media such as soft pastels and acrylic, creating more abstract, personal pieces.
- What is title of the artwork and can you please explain the story behind it?
The piece is called ‘200 Years of Australian Genocide.’ It is a piece inspired by an advertising poster for a fashion exhibit at the National Victoria Gallery. The poster was originally called “200 years of Australian Fashion” and featured white people floating around a crispy blue atmosphere ordained in old fashioned English attire. An advertisement that completely ignored our existence and experience. I enjoyed flipping the narrative of the piece to showcase the more unattractive fashion of genocide instead.
- What inspires you to create your artwork?
Most of my artwork seen in the magazine (The Black Rising) is a result of a collaboration of ideas from my politically conscious brothers and sisters. I feel they inspire me the most. I’m also inspired to make art that portrays strong images of Aboriginal people looking fierce, determined and tough. All too often we are cast in a negative, weak light, when we deserve to be the super heroes.
- How does your artwork reflect Aboriginal lives (past, present or future)?
My artwork will often comment on political issues relevant to current Aboriginal lives. Our old people are also prominent in many of my pieces acknowledging the strength we feel from their presence. I hope the image of us as staunch warriors will carry on into future Aboriginal lives.
- Do you have any advice for any other young Aboriginal artists wanting to tell their story through art?
Relax. Don’t over think it and keep things simple. Follow your intuition. Believe your story is worth expressing.
- What life lessons have you depicted through your art?
My political art has shared my lessons on becoming politically conscious. This has caused me to be much more aware of our absence in mainstream culture and to use art to make our narrative exist. My newer more personal pieces will express lessons I learnt when returning to country.