Having recently returned to the wet tropics after many years away, I was reminded of the power of being on Country. While many non-Indigenous people feel recharged after being amongst nature, for Indigenous people - whose families have lived and survived on that Country for millennia - the experience is one of a deeper cultural and spiritual connection. This work – connect. immerse. restore — is a collage arrangement inspired by my recent trip back to my Country.
I am a Dyirbal Kuku Yalanji person living on Boon Wurrung Country. I'm a member of the Brooks family of the Mamu Waribarra Clan and Davis family of the Kuburriwarra Eastern Yalanji People. Mamu and Kuku Yalanji are two of the 20 Rainforest First Peoples groups of the Wet Tropics of Queensland. I grew up on Gulngay Country in Far North Queensland and have been living in Narrm since 2005. After a 25-year hiatus in creating art, I resumed my interest in creating art during the pandemic lockdowns of 2021. Much of my work embraces themes of growing up in the wet tropics, living as an Aboriginal person, and the continuing influence of our Ancestors in our desire to live our best lives.