Graham Toomey 


A descendant of the Wongaibon and Wiradjuri people from western New South Wales, Graham’s paintings and sculptures express his deep, spiritual connection to his people and his country, and his identity as a proud Aboriginal person. 


In 2012 Graham was commissioned to design and create a Message Stick for the Olympics homecoming street parade in Sydney.


The Message Stick, inscribed with symbols relating to the London Olympics, was sent to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. 


"My ancestors were exceptional conservationists, along with having many other talents. They had a 'sign system' that shadowed their daily life for thousands of years. Walking through 'Country' and seeing the colours of the flora and observing the fauna were signals for foods and medicines for them while also maintaining and nurturing the land and its water. I want to capture the realism that Aboriginal people were highly intelligent and skilled with living off the land and its water in my art practice. I aim to incorporate today's science and technology in with the 'sign system' to produce artworks that will symbolise and capture our spiritual connection and belonging to land and its water. I also hope that the audience reflects on the destruction of the environment and our need to restore and protect our environment."