Martu (Mother) is an ode to Blak motherhood. A depiction of strength and struggle and a transitioning from the blossoms of childbirth to the intricacies of adulthood. Martu tethers between two worlds - between absence and presence and defines the true strength that our Blak mothers, young and old, hold in a place full of colonial continuance. Blak motherhood is strength as it is also a struggle. The strength and wisdom they offer is unparalleled.
Born in Mount Isa (QLD), Waari is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, musician and visual artist who embraces his relationship with the past, present, and future of his Country and people. He is a proud descendant of the Waanyi and Kalkadoon tribes originating from the deep scrublands of Kalkadoon Country and of the Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Manu, Te Āti Awa iwis from the Taranaki regions of Aotearoa. With two islands to tether to, Waari’s practice is interwoven through his interconnectedness with Country, people, past, present and future. Waari looks to his art as a bridging between two worlds, a creation of deep understanding of the lived experiences of being Blak in a place of colonial continuance. The stage is a place of healing and truth telling for Waari. Deriving from a long line of resilient Blak women and men who are known artists, singers, dancers, and activists, Waari shares the importance of storytelling and continues cultural knowledge and practices to share with the next generations to come.
Over the past six years, Waari has also accumulated achievements through music, becoming an in-demand sessional musician in Naarm (Melbourne) and forming key parts of the bands behind Mo’Ju, Kee’ahn, Harry James Angus, Osunlade, Elle Shimada, and Miss Kannina among others. He was also involved as a rhythm-section-for-hire most notably for Joey Badass on his seminal ‘Like A Version’ reinterpretation of Mos Def’s Umi Says. “My visual artistry began in my Country (Kalkadoon Country), where I was born and raised into rich cultural knowledge and practices dating back more than 40,000 years.” Alongside music, visual art comes innately for Waari having shadowed his father all throughout his youth and learning the traditional ways of Aboriginal storytelling. Waari continues to use traditional ways of knowing, being and doing throughout his work, framing it into a more contemporary approach. Presently, his story is developed into an additional artform of printmaking.