Danielle Gorogo

 

My name is Danielle Gorogo. I live in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales, close to the country of Ancestors on my mother’s side. We are the Djanbun (Platypus) clan of the Washpool Forest and Washpool River area. I have a multi-faceted cultural heritage that is reflected in my art. These many facets, First Nation Australian, Papua New Guinean, Maori and Micronesian cultures play a large part in the development of my style which blends these varied influences from each of these cultures into a harmonious whole. Family and societal change have always had a great impact on my life which I like to visually transfer through my artwork. My work is always informed by my culture.

 

My connection to my father’s Papua New Guinea family and culture is very important to me, and often my childhood memories and stories come alive in the vibrant colours of my artwork. My father was born in Milne Bay Papua New Guinea, the people on his father's side are the Doura Moku & Tatana people from the Central Province, Port Moresby. His mother's people are from Popondetta (Oro Province). My father was an Agriculturalist/Horticulturalist living and working in Papua New Guinea and served with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock from 1960 - 1992. He was known as 'Papa Bilong Horticulture' in P.N.G.

 

My mother was a Cultural Heritage Officer for State Forests NSW.  One of my favourite pastimes is hearing mum's stories of the places she has travelled to and the many people she has met, locally, nationally and internationally. Through my mother’s lineage, my Goorie (Aboriginal) heritage is a history of strong and proud Goorie women belonging to a matrilineal society, where a person’s connection to country is passed on from their mother. One legacy my grandmother passed onto me was 'Sense of Place'. That is the love, knowledge, connection to family, clan, country, the Dreaming, the Spirits and Ancestors and our Creator, that allows me to be the person I am today and live the life I live which allows me to have a 'Sense of Place’.  For that reason 'Sense of Place' is one of my favourite poems that my grandmother wrote and why I choose to express this through my artwork.

 

I have been painting and developing my art practice for 30 years and exhibiting for the last 20 years. I have works that have been purchased by people locally, nationally and internationally. I was involved in The Aboriginal Women's Collective group exhibiting yearly from 2005 to 2015 at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Sydney and Boomalli. In 2012 I had my first solo show at the Grafton Regional Gallery and one of my works titled 'Memories' was purchased by the gallery for their collection.

 

My most recent public work is on a billboard display located Macleay Valley Way, North Kempsey as part of Boomalli and NRMA's First Nations Billboard project. For this project, 'Strands of Knowledge' Artwork was used to represent Dunghutti country.
'Islands of Breimba' Artwork won the Clarence Regional Library's art and design competition and will be featured in all print and digital branding of Clarence Regional Library's Aboriginal Collection.

 

My artwork is a reflection of my heritage, the country I live in, my family, my experiences, beliefs and interests. I enjoy working with gouache paints on archival paper, but during the last few years have been mostly working with acrylic on canvas. I hope that all who are exposed to my art are inspired to look beyond the many barriers and differences that people of our times have built up in and around their lives and see that deep within, we all belong to the same family.