EMMA KERSLAKE

Emma is of Palawa heritage through her family line from the East Coast of Tasmania. She had a great upbringing in a large family environment in a small town on the North-West coast of Tasmania. Emma recounts the story of her mother as a very brave person for identifying as an Aboriginal person in Tasmania in the early 1970’s, when the “myth” was that there were no Aboriginal people left alive.

Professional roles have seen Emma posted in the Solomon Islands, Tonga, New Zealand and Iraq during her time with Foreign Affairs. Emma has travelled extensively through-out the Asia Pacific region involved in legal negotiations and conferences. It was during this time that she decided to reconnect with her art and started to paint.

“I think the ability to work on something and have a start, middle and end was a really important process for me.”

Most of her latest works represent a place that she’s visited recently and feels really connected to. She conveys the colours, feel and smell of that place at a certain time. Because Emma paints multi-layered backgrounds and uses dotting, the painting process is very slow; a hand-span of dotting can take her as long as two or three hours depending on the viscosity of the paint and the pattern that she’s using.

KAYE LORRAINE WHITE

Kaye is a respected elder from the Gararimarra skin group in the North-West Australian Pilbara region. She is 59 years old and a member of the stolen generation.

“My inspiration to paint came from my country of where my father was taken away as a small child. Being a descendant of the stolen generation - White Springs in the Pilbara of Western Australia. The surname White is my surname given to my father as a reminder of where he came from.

I love mixing colours and get my ideas from country in the Pilbara region and all over the world. When I paint I feel a strong connection to Banjima lands. I get pleasure from seeing the looks on people’s faces when they express their love of seeing my work of art, and the emotional connection they get from me telling the stories behind each one.

I started painting later on in my life and I always had a yearning to paint, so one day I started with one canvas and had a play with it and I have never looked back. It took me a while to let go of my paintings due to the love and emotional connection I had with everything single one of them. Then I realised I must let go and show the world what I’m capable of. Now I would love to see people wearing my art in every way shape and form, whether it be on a canvas on a wall in a home, office, gallery, on a gorgeous tie, T-shirts, dresses and so on. It provides me with opportunities and the desire to continue doing what I love - painting.”

Kaye has a love for blending colours and textures, drawing ideas from the surrounding environments in the Pilbara, while feeling a strong bond with the Banjima lands. Her technique is different to most using only a cottonbud & tooth pick to create the visual masterpiece. She has developed an individual striking style using deep vibrant colours to expressively connect with her roots. She views her works as liberating and uplifting.

SHERYL HICKS

Sheryl Hicks is the daughter of Robert Hicks. She was born in Wickham in 1974. She is a Ngarluma woman from the Roebourne area in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She has five children and has been a teacher for 17 years. Sheryl began painting around 7 years ago. She enjoys being around other artists in her family and learning new techniques and styles. She paints a lot about water holes, rivers and wildflowers off her country and home in the Pilbara.

Pilbara Wildflowers: This painting is about the wildflowers we have in the Pilbara. In wildflower season it is like a carpet of beautiful colours spreading across the land.

HELENA GEIGER

Helena Geiger was born in Sydney. Her mother is Aboriginal and her father is Austrian. Her Aboriginal heritage is traced back to the Gumbayngirr language group from the North Coast of NSW where most of her family still live.

Helena is a self-taught artist specialising in Batik. Using this ancient art form she creates original Batikson Silk and Cotton for wall hangings, stretched and framed artwork. She also designs printed and hand dyed textiles for furnishings and clothing.

Helena has exhibited her artwork widely in Sydney and Adelaide and is in private collections throughout Australia, NZ, the UK and USA. Her artwork was purchased by the SA Flinders University Art Museum for their Art Collection. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the NSW Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize and her work toured NSW being exhibited in several regional art galleries.

Helena also holds Batik and Tie Dyeing Workshops in Sydney and on the South Coast. She now lives and works from her studio in Jervis Bay NSW.

SHANE HANSEN

Yondee (Shane Hansen) – is a Noongar man from the South West of Western Australia – the traditional lands of the Noongar people. He was born in 1964 in Dumbleyung, 270 km south of Perth. The name Dumbleyung is derived from the Aboriginal word 'Dambeling' meaning large lake, and refers to the lake nearby which is the largest in south west WA. Yondee remembers this lake as a child and being told stories of the Wagal (rainbow snake) in its waters.

He was told about hunting and shown sand drawings by his father. Around the age of 10 he would travel and visit his aunties on the Swan River and would collect paper bark to help them in their art work. It was here that he started to learn about art from his older relatives who are known for their painting on paper bark.

He is an experienced and accomplished artist who is developing a way of working with sand and ochres to depict the stories and legends of his people. He also paints detailed figurative works based on mission life, hunting and animals. His works are abstract in their presentation but narrative in their content.

Yondee wishes to continue the stories passed on by his grandfather. These stories were learnt and then recreated as ground paintings where he feels the translation of his art into sand sends a message through imagery and attracts a different audience.

Yondee’s work has been exhibited throughout the world, and gained much attention, his work is striking in both composure and mood. Telling ancient stories in a contemporary way.

Artwork Title – ‘Emu Feathers’ this is a favourite subject matter of Yondee’s, he has produced many variations of this painting.