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  • Michelle Gissara Michelle Gissara (Kardu Yek Neninh), Mother Country

Michelle Gissara (Kardu Yek Neninh), Mother Country

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possum skin, ochre, 2023


This artwork represents my cultural connections and tells part of my life story. This pelt represents my longing to connect with my Country, as I was removed from my mother when I was young and did not grow up on Country or with her and my family and community. I connected with my family and Country last year in Wadeye in the NT and went to my mother's Country, Kuy. It was there I saw the beautiful mangrove trees and got told about my totems, Ku Menmen, the butterfly, and Ku Balli, the mudcrab. I finally feel a closer connection to her and to my ancestors, and know that no matter where I am, that if I look after Country, that Country will look after me. My intention with this artwork is to show that I can still connect to my heritage despite my upbringing, and this practice heals my spirit. I am SO proud to be part of the oldest continuing living culture there is on Earth. Munbaya (see you soon)!


Artist Bio:

My name is Michelle and I am a proud Kardu Diminin/Kardu Yek Neninh woman. After studying visual arts and contemporary craft in Adelaide, I moved to Melbourne to study graphic design and advertising, exhibiting my works around Narrm. My inspirations are animals, nature, and my culture. My main mediums are illustration, painting, and possum skin burning. Being able to create art contributes positively to my social and emotional wellbeing and allows me to share my story and cultural connections with others.