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  • Daniel Hills Daniel Hills (Yorta Yorta), Goanna Outback
  • Daniel Hills Daniel Hills (Yorta Yorta), Goanna Outback

Daniel Hills (Yorta Yorta), Goanna Outback

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rattan cane, natural flax leaf, jute string, 2023


Bungarra, known as the sand goanna, plays a vital role in our heritage, being one of our Creator in the Dream Time story along with representing tribal and individual totems. Bungarra, also tastes pretty good being a traditional delicacy. Bungarra, or commonly known as the Goanna, have been etched into traditional art practices for tens of thousands of years, still posing to this day the old Goanna finds its way into many forms of traditional and contemporary artists, work.

My late father was one of those artists which loved representing the Goanna in all types of mediums and techniques, painting being his favourite he would paint Bungarra in his natural habitat of either up an old gumtree or walking around in the sandy outback. Using one of his abstract representation of old Bungarra my family have used his design to represent our small business. Incorporating Rattan cane, natural flax leaf strips and jute string I used the intertwining weaving technique to created a goanna shaped sculpture that I tribute to my Dad and his love for old Bungarra the sand goanna.


Artist Bio:

I was born in Nhill, Victoria, and raised on a farm in the West Wimmera. At the age of 10, with very little knowledge of my culture, my family moved to Mildura, which allowed us to immerse ourselves in the local Indigenous community, where we gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for our culture. I am proud of our recently discovered Yorta Yorta heritage, information that was lost to us due to generational ignorance and misfortune. By continuing to learn, practice, and teach, it helps me stay connected, while ensuring our culture has a strong future.

I am currently in the process of gaining my Cert III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts. My work has previously been exhibited at Workspace 3496 Gallery in Redcliffs, Victoria, as well as in collaborative exhibitions at the Mildura Arts Centre Gallery and the Dulka Yuppata Indigenous Training Centre Gallery. I enjoy practicing arts in many forms and techniques. Learning the basic technique of weaving from my family, I have discovered my niche in sculptural weaving. This has given me the opportunity to combine traditional methods with contemporary forms using natural and synthetic materials. Family plays a vital role in my methodology. People commend you for your talent, but I believe you need to be inspired to access your talent, and that is what my family has done for me.