Saltwater Freshwater Arts 2021

Aboriginal Art Award and Contemporary Cultural Objects

 

Online Catalogue

 

 

Saltwater Freshwater is a biennial art award and contemporary cultural objects exhibition that was established in 2017, and continues to provide a valuable platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the Mid North Coast Region.

 

"2020 had a huge impact on the world and vastly changed the way we create and engage with the arts. This exhibition is a testament to our resilience and our undeniable need for cultural expression. This multidisciplinary display speaks to the holistic nature of Aboriginal culture that's deeply embedded in the lands & identity of First Nation peoples from Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti & Gumbaynggirr nations."

 

Alison Williams

Curator, Saltwater Freshwater Arts 2021

 

This year's exhibition includes a stunning showcase of fibre art fashion pieces created by weavers from across the Saltwater Freshwater region, the project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

 

The art award is proudly supported by the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance Aboriginal Corporation: the touring exhibition and public program are supported through the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts program and the NSW Government through Create NSW, and in collaboration with our gallery partners; the Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, Manning Regional Art Gallery and Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery.

 

For Sales Enquiries please contact Boomalli at boomalliartgallery@gmail.com or call us on (02) 9560 2541.

 

Please be aware as this is a touring exhibition, works will not be available for collection until February 2022.

 

 

A. Bulmer-McDonald

 

Always Was Always Will Be, 2020

Acrylic on Canvas

30.5 x 30.5 cm

 

$399

 

My piece describes that we Always were and Always will be connected to mob as shown in the tree top and surrounding what was and always will be, the land that we came from and will retun to, fire shown on the land to ward off negativity, smoke to cleanse us shown surrounding us all, nature like the tree and water to keep us going and flowing, our blood that brings us together as one mob, our guidance from our Elders and Ancestors from the Dreamtime as shown in the tree.


 

Dimity Sinclair

 

Becoming a Queen, 2020

Acrylic on Canvas (framed)

61 x 50.8 cm

 

$1867

 

SOLD

 

I am a young woman and self taught artist with little knowledge or connection to my ancestors due to shame and assimilation having hurt my family line. I am discovering what it means to be First Nation in this contemporary world for my family, and learning to embrace what it means to be a Blak Queen.

 

Lilly Clegg

 

Biilirrgan, 2020

Acrylic and texture medium on canvas

92 x 61 cm

 

$1,600

 

Biilirrgan means Glossy Black Cockatoo in Gumbaynggirr language. To see a flock of Glossy Blacks flying together and calling means there will be rain and this painting is the Biilirrgan calling to the sky for rain during a time of fire and drought.

 

 

Laurel Swan

 

Biliirgan Jilinggada, 2020

Acrylic on canvas covered board

46 x 36 cm

 

$1,000

 

SOLD

 

High in the eucalypt, thin branches bend to the point of breaking under the weight of the bird as it silently feeds on seed and gum flowers. Flashes of fiery crimson red flit through the leaves. A raucous call, a lift off. Branches flick back and forth springing resuming their unburdened position. Biliirrgan rises.

 

Jamie-Lee Telfer

 

Birthing on country, 2020

Canvas print of an original acrylic artwork

83 x 67 cm

 

$1,067

 

The original painting of this print was created to donate and support Waminda Birthing Centre down the South Coast with their Birthing on Country Program. I am very passionate about birthing on country after 2 births off country which were not pleasant experiences and then my last birth on country which was the most connecting and beautiful experience. This piece speaks of my experience birthing on country, the connection to country, to my people and to my matriarchal ancestors that birthed here before me. The gift to birth our next generation country.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

 

Nicolle Duncan

 

Coolamon - Cradle of Life, 2020

Acrylic on stretched canvas

200 x 120 cm

 

$7,998

 

A Coolamon is a traditional Aboriginal carrying vessel with curved sides. They were traditionally used to cradle and carry babies, carrying water, fruits and nuts, winnowing grains in the traditional bread making process and protection from the rain.

 

Coolamons are made to last, traditionally from hardwood, removed from part of the tree that will not harm the life of the tree. They are tempered to withstand all degrees of stress.

 

Coolamons are symbols of identity, representing people and their connections to each other and the land.

 

Coolamons echo 'the body of her', the first beloved woman in a person's life. Your mother. The shape evokes the journey of life - the gateway to the Womb. The vessel that first carried your seed and you for the first 10 months of life, nurtures you and protects you. Gives you your identity, connection to family, community, culture, and the land.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

 

Danielle Burford

 

Dance of the New Dawn, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

122 x 91 cm

 

$3,999

 

Dance of the New Dawn is a reflection of the past year's struggles, COVID disruption and huge life changes. Brolgas dance for new life, new life brings new dawns, new days and new beginnings.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

 

Alanna Shorter (YOWA)

 

Dogs Dreaming of Dogs, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

64 x 185 cm

 

$3,330

 

This painting was inspired by my dog Rizzo, and his obsession with other dogs. I wanted to create a dreamscape through his eyes. A world filled with dogs, dreaming of dogs.

 

 

A. Bulmer-McDonald

 

Dreamtime Guidance, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

76 x 102 cm

 

$1,332

 

SOLD

 

When we need guidance, we turn to our Ancestors to help us through survival.

 

 

Michelle Flanders

 

Fire Front, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

110 x 76 cm

 

$667

 

Fire Front represents the North Coast Fire in 2019 - 2020 and the impact it had on our communities. The circles represent the Four Nations affected being Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr.

 

 

Tulli Stevens

 

Gaagal Darrundaygam (Ocean Healing), 2020

Acrylic on canvas

61 x 76.5 cm

 

$2,267

 

SOLD

 

Gaagal Darrundaygam consists of one single continuous line; it pays homage to the ocean, our totem. I have always felt a deep connection with the ocean and its calm, healing energy so this is the feeling I hope to inspire with this painting.

 

 

 Emily Mainhardt

 

Garrayura Djarraba (Sky Fire), 2020

Acrylic and watercolour

90 cm Diameter

 

$1,200

 

SOLD

 

Garrayura Djarraba is what I remember seeing when I was smaller looking up at the fires in the sky (fireworks displays) at the Easter show every year, all of the symbols and patterns lighting up the sky in so many different colours. The shows would always bring so much joy and excitement and that is what I want the viewer to feel when they look at my painting.

 

 

 

Angela Marr-Grogan

 

Girambit (Saltwater), 2020

Acrylic on Canvas (Triptych)

123 x 91 cm x 3

 

$4,399

 

I'm a Birrbay woman and my traditional language name is Gurrwa Marraygan meaning 'Sea Spirit'. Girambit was created in celebration of my country's stunning saltwater coastline, and my deep and profound connection to it.

 

 

 

Rachel Syron

 

Into the Ashes, 2020

Acrylic on Canvas 

93 x 92 cm

 

$2,933

 

This painting is a reflection of the catastrophic fires which devastated our lands. The Koala also has human footprints beneath him. Reflecting our human impact and also our first people's strong ancient ties. An amazing Dreamtime story shared by my friend, Steve Brereton.

 

 

 

Tori Donnelly

 

Journey we can all work together, 2020

Acrylic on Canvas 

80 cm Diameter

 

$507

 

SOLD

 

This artwork shares a story of all of us working towards a future together.

 

 

 

Tulli Stevens

 

Miimi (Mother), 2020

Acrylic on Canvas 

91 x 91 cm

 

$3,333

 

SOLD

 

Miimi is inspired by my beautiful mother, her strength, passion and wisdom that has guided me on my path to where I am today. The continuous line represents journeys, sharing of knowledge, learning, following the path that life leads you on. The process of creating this painting was incredibly meditative, a journey in itself.

 

 

 

Jamie-Lee Telfer

 

Miimi in full bloom

Acrylic on Canvas 

51 x 40 cm

 

$667

 

A blooming mother, stepping into her new journey into motherhood. As she prepares to bring our next generation into the world, she is honoured, connected, she transitions into her full bloom.

 

 

 

Michelle Flanders

 

Moon Spirit, 2019

Acrylic on Canvas 

41 x 51 cm

 

$400

 

SOLD

 

Moon Spirit represents my sister who passed 3 years ago. One night as I was looking at the moon my sister came to me to put my mind at rest.

 

 

WINNER, SALTWATER FRESHWATER ABORIGINAL ART AWARD, 2021

 

Gus Kelly

 

Narra Dhalayi (Sad Girl), 2020

Charcoal on paper

100 x 80 cm

 

$2,666

 

Sad little black girl - why so sad?

Everything's alright - it's not so bad.

Daddy's gone a hunting

And Mommy's here with you.

The bad man is coming but you will see it through. 

So sit back and wait for soon he will be gone.

 

 

 

Brentyn Lungnan

 

Ngaaru Yuludarla (Water Dreaming), 2020

Ink and acrylic paint on stretched canvas

100 x 150 cm

 

$5,999

 

 

This piece speaks of my Ancestors ancient and ongoing connection to my country. Across the centre can be seen a river motif. This design derived from my fingerprint, expresses how intertwined the land and the people are. Bordering this are midden designs showing my ancestral link to this country. These shell deposits take thousands of years to produce at the scale we have in Gumbaynggirr Country, leaving a tangible, physical measure of the time my people have been here. Surrounding these are expressions of the yellow ochres and the vast number of meeting places across this area. 

 

 

Amber Seccombe-Flanders

 

Resonance #1, 2020

Acrylic paint

76 x 76 cm

 

$2,240

 

Country's vocabulary resonates in many tongues. Feathered serpent lingo, silence coloured by travelling ambient light, salted water against reef-coloured rocks, bird tones laden with dawn, sleeping plants and shifting roots. Unseen worlds resonating in a movement of creation, of constant birthing and surrender to death encased in primordial bliss. Spirit of land and place whisper of magic, belonging in a love laden language, available as playful balm to weary and bone tired souls. Creatures of light fill my eyes and hands, asking for release, a spell of paint allows them to roam freely. Who is seer and who is seen? Ask Country.

 

 

 

 

Mabel Ritchie

 

The Gathering

Acrylic on Canvas

61 x 122 cm

 

$667

 

SOLD

 

 

This artwork is my representation of the Gathering and preparing of native foods. The Gathering and passing on of food knowledge to the next generation. And the Gathering of the people to share the food.

 

 

Brentyn Lugnan

 

Urruun.ga.la, 2020

Ink and paint on stretched canvas

50 x 150 cm

 

$5,332

 

This piece describes the intrinsic, symbiotic and ancient connection between my ancestors and the waterways of the Urunga area on the Mid North Coast of NSW. For untold generations, until recently, my family were entwined with the rivers of our lands. The colonisation, theft and massacres of the last 200 odd years have seen an end to this. This is my homage to those that went before me and the ways that are now lost.

 

Gus Kelly

 

Wanha-Wanggati-Nganhang (Don't Forget Me), 2020

Charcoal on paper

90 x 75 cm

 

$2,666

 

I know you but you don't remember me.

I was here a long time ago but now I am gone.

They came and took everything: my land, my language, my culture, my life. I might be gone, but I still live on inside of you.

So think of me now and again - for without me you would not be here. So I ask only one thing of you: Wanha-Wanggati-Nganhang - don't forget me.

 

Lilly Clegg

 

We're not supposed to be here, 2020

Acrylic on Canvas

61 x 30.5 cm

 

$667

 

Portals to other dimensions...they're here, even today, in nature. And we feel it when it's close, that severe energy, the skin tingles, that feeling of being watched, and the alarm going off in your head that says "we're not supposed to be here".

 

 

Tori Donnelly

 

White Wash, 2020

Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

79 x 70 cm

 

$4,506

 

I often visit Bunyun Miirlarl now known as Corrambiirin Point and imagine how it may have looked and felt before 1917. It is known as a sacred place and yet there is no transparency in written history of how the island became occupied by foreign peoples and eventually labelled a quarry.

 

This is a Women's place as told in the sunrise, depth of an ocean to represent how in an instant thousands of years of repetition can be lost. White represented here alike to smoke and mirrors so you can't see the blood of my people through the cracks.

 

 

 

 

Alanna Shorter (YOWA)

 

Window Thief, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

92 x 61 cm

 

$1,267

 

SOLD

 

 

This painting was inspired by a pair of Superb Fairy-wrens, who spend a great deal of time flying around my window. 

 

 

Emily Mainhardt

 

Banyarri mida mida (the big blue), 2020

Acrylic on canvas

98 x 98 cm

 

$1,333

 

SOLD

 

 

This painting represents the wild vast ocean and the many shades of blue that you'll see when staring her in the eye, she's wild and holds many beautiful creatures. I want the viewer to look at this painting and feel a desire to want to protect the ocean and all the beauty she holds.

 

 

Kathy Stevens

 

Bridging the Gap, 2020

Timber and Crystals

29 x 110 x 75 cm

 

$760

 

 

The arched timber represents the bridges, both pieces of timber coming together to 'Bridge the Gap' and join families and communities, which are represented by clusters of crystals. The different coloured crystals relate to different cultures and races all living together as one on our Mother Earth.

 

 

Kathy Stevens

 

Barrmarrany Biguurr (Family Tree), 2020

Timber and Crystals

55 x 120 x 50 cm

 

$494

 

This beautiful piece of timber root system is representative of our 'Family Tree' - 'Our Roots'.

The crystals represent families and communities.

Families can stretch far and wide, but ultimately we are still family and connected, always were, always will be. We are all spiritual beings intertwined with Mother Earth. We are all one, we come from the same breath of life.

 

 

Lilly Clegg

 

"Naalgan-da" (at the beach) Moon Wreath, 2020

Woven fibres, gum nuts, leaves, stones, shells, flowers, seeds, some glass and metal miscellaneous objects

55 x 52 x 5 cm

 

NFS

 

 

This is a Moon Wreath, made from objects found around Gaagal, the Ocean, where my ancestors lived in Girrin-da (Corindi).

 

Lilly Clegg

 

"Gumugan" (Comet) Moon Wreath, 2020

Native fibres, silver wire, stones, feathers, beads, wool

54 x 47 x 4 cm

 

NFS

 

 

This Moon Wreath is a view of the night sky, the crescent moon, the Milky Way galaxy, the stars and a blue comet of amazonite to soothe the world's worries.

 

Weaving stories and culture - a practice in contemporary fibre art and fashion

 

Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW is developing our region's weavers and showcasing the innovative and extraordinary creative Koori talent from the Mid North Coast of NSW.

 

Saltwater Freshwater worked with 8 weavers from across the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, Biripi and Worimi Nations, supporting them to develop fibre art fashion pieces to be showcased at the Saltwater Freshwater Arts 2021 exhibition and possible fashion shows and exhibitions in the future. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the weavers met monthly via zoom and a closed Facebook group over a 6-month period to develop design concepts and to share ideas and support each other.

 

The finished pieces plus fashion style photographs of Aboriginal models wearing the pieces are now part of the SWFW Arts exhibition. Our photographer documented the weaver's processes and this footage has culminated in a doco-style film sharing the process of making.

 

 

 

Nancy Pattison

Biyabang (Tea Tree), 2020

Tea Tree dyed fabric with woven adornments of paperbark belt and gum leaf necklace

 

 

Reverse detail image of wings.

 

Model: Estella Blair

Photographer: Jay Black

 

 

Joedie Lawler

 

Emu Women, 2020

Various grasses, feather, wool, plastic

 

Emu Woman Necklace, 2020

Copper, feathers, grass

  

Emu Women is about the connection of women to country. Women's role in teaching and nurturing. Women's business starts when the emu astrology appears in the sky. We provide strength, guidance and build our next generation to be strong. We are winmara worm galbaan. Clever strong women.

 

 

 

Model: Noreen Carr

Photographer: Jay Black

 

 

Joedie Lawler

 

Spirit of Light, 2020

Dress

Various grasses, feather, wool, plastic

 

Necklace, 2020

Grass

 

Shoes, 2020

Grasses

 

Earrings, 2020

Grasses

  

When Yindali created the world he woke the spirit of light and asked her to walk on his creation. As she walked on the earth grass and flowers grew beneath her feet and everything she touched came to life with vibrance of colour. Once she walked along the earth she retuned to Yindali, he then asked her to go to the mountain tops and walk through the caves. As she walked through her eyes shone light into the cave and awoke all the animals and birds, they walked from the cave entering their new world.

She again returned to Yindali, he then told her to walk through the caverns beneath the earth. As her eyes shone through the caverns insects flew from the darkness to enter the new world. The spirit of light returned again to Yindali who then told her to rest, lay your head in the west and close your eyes. As the spirit of light closed her eyes darkness once again fell on the earth and all the animals lay still. The following day the spirit of light awoke in the east.

 

 

 

Model: Luca Saunders

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Lynette Davis

 

Ngatha galbaan garuwa

I am Saltwater Woman, 2020

 

Hessian, paperback, raffia, cotton and shells

 

Headpiece, 2020

Hessian

 

Dillybag, 2020

Raffia and paperbark

  

My name is Lynette Davis, I am a proud Gumbyanggirr Worimi galbaan. I was born on Purfleet mission in Biripi country and reared on Tobwabba Reserve in Worimi country. The colours and materials I have used connect me to barraba binding barrayguba (my father's country). They represent the families of Tobwabba and the life we lived as a proud Garuwa (saltwater people).

 

 

Trish McInherny

 

Our Warrior Within, 2020

Wearable weave - nature fibres 

 

This wearable weave was woven by Patricia McInherny utilising all natural native resources: lomandra, paperbark, driftwood, limpet shells and emu feathers. This weave is symbolic of armour worn within medieval times - our invisible armour as Aboriginal people of Australia. The piece titled 'Our Warrior Within' shares how we gaze upon our countries with great pride, the responsibility to protect our lands, rivers & seas is each of ours, as individuals, as groups, as nations. We still have our roles which includes 'Caring for Country' - to demonstrate, to practice, to educate 'Our Warrior Within'. Trish from Birpai Country has woven for 11 years and she loves exhibiting and running workshops that share a range of techniques, skills, resources, stories and personal knowledge.

 


 

Trish McInherny

Our Warrior Within, 2020

Shoes, Shoulder Pads and Arm Bands

 

Model: Ashleigh Davies

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Denise Buchanan and Lauren Jarrett

 

Gumbaynggirr Girl, 2020

Weaving, raffia and wool

  

Gumbaynggirr Girl is a modern young girl becoming a young woman. Embracing her culture and tribe with pride.

Model: Keneisha Close

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Pauline Grothkopp

 

Seaside Dreaming, 2020

Raffia

 

Shell pendant, 2020

Raffia and Shells

 

Pendant Triangle, 2020

Raffia and shells

 

Seaside Dreaming armband, 2020

Raffia and shells

  

Seaside Dreaming colours of the water, rocks and sand and shells that are found amidst the rocks and on the beach. The sides represent the water running down to the sea. Where I have called home and spent most of my life swimming, fishing, gathering and learning about my culture and my people.

Model: Tulli Stevens

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Nancy Pattison

 

Girambit (Saltwater), 2020

Woven Fibres

 

 

Model: Estella Blair

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Saltwater Ocean Girl, South West Rocks.

 

Nancy Pattison, Natasha French and Cheryl Blair

 

Baril Wayila (Red Tailed Black Cockatoo), 2020

Raffia and feathers 

 

Model: Jaynarleeya Munro

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Arlene McInherny

 

Mirriiyngili gili, 2020

Possum skin, raffia, paperbark and mixed objects

  

Mirriiyn gili is the light of the star. It comes from the Ancestors, Grandmothers, Aunties, Mother's and knowing ones. It's the women who bring the paradox, the light in the darkness. It's a tribute to my Mother who is everything, soft and staunch, silent yet her voice echoed through eons, present and everywhere. She is mirriiyn Gili, the sacred woman who is so deeply entwined with the earth. All that seek the warmth, nurture , and connection of Grandmother's energy reach for her.

Model: Aliya Morris

Photographer: Jay Black

 

Lynette Davis

 

Ngatha galbaan garuwa

I am Saltwater Woman, 2020

Hessian, paperbark, raffia and shells

  

My name is Lynette Davis, I am a proud Gumbyanggirr Worimi galbaan. I was born on Purfleet mission in Biripi country and reared on Tobwabba Reserve in Worimi country. The colours and materials I have used connect me to barraba binding barrayguba (my father's country). They represent the families of Tobwabba and the life we lived as a proud Garuwa (saltwater people).

 

Inspiration for my work is dedicated to my beautiful parents and grand parents who loved and nurtured me,  they have instilled in me the beauty of country which I have incorporated into my work.

Model: Lynette Davis

Photographe: Jay Black

 

Pam Saunders

 

Birrbay Barray, 2020

Wool, raffia and fig root

 

Birrbay Barray shoes, 2020

Wool and raffia

 

Birrbay Barray dilly, 2020

Wool

 

Birrbay Barray necklace, 2020

Wool and raffia

  

The river of life flows through my grandmother's country Biripi. It is my bloodline connection to Birrbay Barray, where the leaves touch the water from the mountains to the sea. As you can see in my dress, the waterfall is like a brides veil, it starts from the mountains and winds through Birrbay Barray valley to the sea.

 

The river we call Bartoo, Mother Earth has saltwater to clean the fresh to keep herself and all earth's creatures healthy. The circles represent the people and the blue green in the land and water.

 

I mixed traditional with contemporary, and used fig root, wool, silk, and raffia materials.

 

The fig represents woman business as we ground ourselves and build strength in our children to stand strong. The wool and raffia are the contemporary materials resources and stitched all together in a traditional stitch in our area. The tulle is to represent our waterfalls and the sea. The silk is wrapped around the fig root. The circles show all our people living in my country.

Birrbay Barray

Biripi Country

  

Model: Tiffany Saunders

Photographer: Jay Black

 Nancy Pattison

 

Garuwa (Native Plum), 2020 

Top is rayon dyed with native plum and the skirt is eco dyed rayon.

 

Model: Jaynarleeya Munro

Photographer: Jay Black

 

 

Trish McInherny

 

To Mask, 2020

Natural fibres

27 x 29 x 1 cm

 

$134

 

SOLD

 

To mask one's face.

 Photographer: Jay Black, 2020

 

Rear: Luca Saunders

Middle Row (from left to right): Tiffany Saunders, Aunty Pam Saunders, Denis Buchanan, Keneisha Close, Noreen Carr, Joedie Lawler, Arlene McInherny, Aliya Morris, Trish McInherny, Ashleigh Davies

 

Front (from left to right): Pauline Grothkopp, Tulli Stevens, Lauren Jarrett, Aunty Lyn Davis, Nancy Pattison, Estella Blair, Jaynarleeya Munro

 

Missing from photo: Aunty Cheryl Blair and Natasha French

Photographer: Jay Black, 2020

 

From left to right: Keneisha Close, Luca Saunders, Estella Blair, Noreen Carr, Aunty Lyn Davis, Ashleigh Davies, Jaynarleeya Munro, Aliya Morris, Tiffany Saunders, Tulli Stevens

 

 

Artwork, photograph reproduction and exhibition photography by Sharon Hickey.