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.

BUFFIE CORUNNA

I am a Noongar Yorga - Aboriginal Women of the Noongar Nation, born in Albany, Western Australia. My family connections are from Gnowangerup and Albany. Both small towns in Western Australia. I have 3 beautiful children who I cherish and are my greatest inspiration. I love spending time with those that I love and have a strong bond to my family. Much of my work is greatly influenced by my family, cultural connections, my emotions and relationships.

Creativity and art is how I express myself. It’s how I am seen and heard. Creative expression is so empowering. I have always been creative and loved Arts and Craft and the way art relaxes me and I can express myself through my artwork. I believe art and self-expression is one of the greatest tools to help with healing. I have enjoy painting, drawing and experimenting in a variety of art mediums including digital art.

Quote I live by: You have this one life. How do you wanna spend it? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels right. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.

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.

LENA ANDREWS

I am a Bunuba and Walmajarri woman living in Fitzroy Crossing in the heart of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia. I’ve wanted to paint ever since I watched my mum, Daisy Andrews paint her country.

I am passionate about my country and the knowledge of different bush tuckers that my family carries. Both my grandparents on my mum's side were Walmajarri people from the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. I started painting with Marnin Studio in 2018 with the other women from the Fitzroy Valley. I paint to keep our stories and knowledge alive and pass it onto our young kids.

When I was a child I was told my grandmothers used to collect seeds from grasses to grind and make damper. In this design I have painted these grasses and seeds, particularly spinifex that covers our country.