Thali-thali Bai err - Gathering at the Twilight Bush Market, depicts an imagined evening scene where my Wadawurrung ancestors are trading bush foods and artefacts while socialising amongst other Kulin family groups. It is based purely on the notion that this is what life might have been like pre-settlement. I have depicted many Indigenous plants and trees that have a food use, or used for making Coolamons, spears, digging sticks and other artefacts. Pictured here is the Chocolate Lily, Lilly Pilly, Murnong Daisy, Ruby Salt-bush, Kangaroo Apple, Golden Wattle (seed), Bower Spinach, Warrigal Greens, Lemon Myrtle, women making damper and people socialising.
Dr Deanne Gilson is a Proud Wadawurrung woman from Ballarat in Victoria. Her award-winning multi-disciplinary art practice has spanned forty years. A full-time artist, Gilson’s current practice involves painting daily and incorporating her love of fashion and design into soft sculptural jewellery and bespoke fashions. Gilson has reclaimed and revived traditional Wadawurrung marks, not seen since pre-settlement and celebrates her continued living culture through art. Stating that, “my art is part of my culture and a form of ceremony for me. I feel close to my ancestors and Country when creating. I walk the land every day and only use ochre and resources from my own Country, never taking more than I need.” Her Creation Story is incorporated into each artwork, depicting many indigenous plants, trees and birds. These are often juxtaposed against Aboriginal ceramic kitsch objects from the 1950’s era. Highlighting the issues still faced by First Peoples stemming from the male and female gaze after settlement. Her artwork has recently been collected by the Koorie Heritage Trust and the National Gallery of Victoria and held in many other public and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.