Artists

Andrew Ottley

I am a writer, editor and filmmaker. While I love creating worlds and bringing characters to life, I especially enjoy projects where I am able to help others tell their own unique stories. I grew up surrounded by bushland, and the connection I have to that place has been fundamental to my identity. I am aware, however, that the bush I loved, and the land I now live upon, each have stories which started well before mine, and which will go well beyond me. I am excited to use my art to bring some of those important stories to light.

Anna Douglass

My creative practice seeks to explore the boundaries of storytelling with words and the different ways and spaces in which words and narratives can be conveyed. I am fascinated by the ways in which we use words, and the ways in which we choose not to use them.

Claire Wall

I am a performer, writer and theatre-maker. I am interested in devising works that give voice to community, with the power to challenge preconceptions and reshape dominant narratives. I am passionate about creating new pathways to understanding our context within the Indigenous Australian landscape and deconstructing the colonial mindset.

David Sindel

I am a motion designer and illustrator, deeply concerned by the cruelty and injustice we inflict on those ‘othered’ by our dominant institutions. I wish to investigate the manifold stories we tell ourselves to justify this brutality, and construct new stories centred around care for humans, non-humans and the planet that supports us.

Dian Neligan

I am a writer and performer who loves telling stories, as well as losing and finding myself in the stories of others. While I grew up in the city, I spent much of my childhood on farms and in the bush, and a childhood of contrasting places and people undoubtedly had a hand in shaping the person that I am today. I am acutely aware, however, that the stories of those lands extend well beyond me and my experiences of them, and I am excited to be part of a conversation which will see some of those broader stories told.

Emma Peters

I am a textile artist, writer, researcher and educator living and working on unceded Aboriginal land.  I am passionate about the potential of textiles to express personal and cultural narratives that provoke respectful dialogue with others. Humankind’s familiarity with cloth imbues it with a power to communicate beyond language and time. Nevertheless, I am acutely aware of the impact the textile industry has upon the planet. This propels me to search and engage with old and new ways of creating textiles within a sustainable framework so as to minimize harm and amplify exchange through creative practice.

Heather Prowse

I am a trumpeter, vocalist, composer and educator. My hope is for others to find joy and peace in my music-making. My family descends from Irish convicts, French gold miners and one Māori woman, yet respect for Indigenous Australian custodianship was instilled in me from a young age. Growing up in an area named after local Indigenous landmarks, I was blessed to have family and friends who would point out Darramurragal rock carvings on our daily bush walks. Places have always inspired my compositions, and I'm humbled to be invited to contribute to a dialogue that opens minds and inspires action.

Helen Wright

For many years, I have made collaborative performances around issues of justice, with a passion to see artists bring their unique voices to conversations that lead to social transformation. With a background in choreography, my recent creative pursuits have involved writing songs and exploring various collaborations. I feel challenged to come to terms with what it means to live on stolen land, to be shaped by the landscape I grew up on, yet have no knowledge of its longer history or custodianship. I am learning to listen deeply, grateful for the Aboriginal people who graciously share their story with me.

 

Jasmin Roberts

My name is Jasmin Roberts.  I am a Waka Waka woman who has lived most of my life in Kau’in Kau’in (Redcliffe) on Gubbi Gubbi nation.  I am a contemporary Aboriginal artist and originally I was inspired to paint artworks based on my dreams. I like to focus on natural beauties from this land now called Australia – animals, birds, lands, and waters. I am a mother of three. My voice and my strength I carry through my art. I paint, based on my visits to country and my visions of country.  I have an intuitive style, guided by the voices of my ancestors.  Painting has been my voice, when I have been silenced.  It is an outlet for my personal pain and heartache, but also my strength and courage.

Jean Burke

I am a visual artist and wordsmith, engaging with nature, social justice and lived experiences of well-being and health. My art practice focuses on printmaking and cartoons, and exploration into drawing, poetry and mosaic methods using waste materials. My background is in community health, social work and academia but I now work as a Swahili translator and interpreter. I feel connection to Celtic, Australian and Tanzanian lands, through my ancestry, birth and life. I am keen to explore understandings of our relationships with land, especially with trees. While my ancestors mined coal, I seek to be a friend to trees.

Kathryn Farrawell

I’m a Murrie woman from Rockhampton, QLD. My grandmother is a Kaanju woman from Cape York and my father is a Biri and Wirri man from Collinsville-Nero, far north QLD. I’ve loved living in Glebe for over 40 years. I was brought up around art. It’s not my art, it’s based around messaging for my mother and father and the old people, to give truth and light to their lives under the Aboriginal Protection Acts in QLD. The theme of land and Mother Earth who brings us into this world is like our mother’s womb and it is our duty of care to respect and care for her like she does for us.  

 

Keith Chidzey

Recently, I have been doing smaller bronze and timber sculptures, but I am not limited to these media having worked extensively in fire, other metals, land art, ephemeral work, plastics, glass, large scale, video, photography, painting (particularly oils – either glazing or encaustic) and drawing.

Thematically, I am highly motivated to connect with the land and environment, highlight beauty in our world, and to engage in social justice issues.  Creative Conversations gives me a unique opportunity to express my passion in truly supportive surroundings.

Kiki Tse

My name is Man Ki Tse. I am the daughter of Chi Pui Tse, Chua Nga Sick and sister to Man Wai Tse. I come from the family of Tse (meaning to thank in Cantonese) from the land of Hong Kong in China. I reside now with my immediate family (and live close to some extended family) on Jagera/Turrbul country in Australia. I am a visual artist with an interest in adopting and learning from different cultures. I want to create inspiring works in which we can imagine and create a more hopeful world together.

Laura Smith

I love the process of using objects and imagery to give voice to complex themes and issues. I guess you would call that a visual artist. There are only so many petitions to sign and letters to write before academic words no longer hold their meaning, I believe this opens up the space for art-making in all its forms. As people who inhabit planet earth we are all involved in the conversation around land, and its ever-changing political, social and environmental landscape.

Leigh Fijian Youth

We are the Leigh Fijian Youth, continuously journeying to find our identity between the land that we are from and the land that we live on today. In Fiji, we have a voice in decisions related to land, we have our elders knowledge and wisdom of how to use and respect the land. Living in Australia, our relationship with land is different. Although we do not have the same voice as we would in our home island, we still can connect to the land through dance. Especially dance that praises the Creator God for the land that he has made.

Naomi Downie

The values of community, creativity & spirituality, have emerged as places of purpose to me. I have explored these with different mediums such as movement, theatre, painting & film but the visual arts and spoken word is my passion. Some of my recent works include a handmade unpublished book with the poetry inspired by “Free for All” - a movement & music creative improv group; and am currently painting an oil series towards my first solo show “Stillness & Water”. In engaging with this year's theme I am finding myself writing about belonging & displacement, gratitude and grief, endings & beginnings.

Mary Nariama Daniel

My name is Mary Nariama Daniel. I am an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman, a descendant of Yama/Tudulaig, Erub, Kubbi Kubbi and Butjula people. I’m a multimedia artist and enjoying at the moment working with bark, ochre, sand and resin. My artworks are an expression of my identity, beliefs, dreams, visions and culture. The theme of Land: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is really important as an Indigenous person, it is my identity. More or less our whole lives are our struggle to keep our traditional land. It’s who we are, our culture and everything evolves from the land.

Mary van den Berk

I am an artist who has come to art after a career in social work, human genetics and research. My art is about people, place and narrative exploring loss and belonging – themes relevant to “Land” and our treatment of the original custodians of this land. I am deeply unsettled by biased historical labelling of Aboriginal people as hunter-gatherers and my work references “Yesterday” to reconsider the historical record.

Neda Farrahi

I am an Iranian Australian visual artist specialising in contemporary figurative artworks, and I mostly work in mixed media. Since 2011, I have participated in several group exhibitions in well-known art galleries in Tehran, Sydney, New York City and Rome.
Social justice issues often influence my artworks. As a migrant artist to this precious land, when I read and hear the stories of how Aboriginal people have been treated, I feel a responsibility to speak up
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Playback Theatre Sydney

We work and train rigorously in the art of theatre improvisation, based on stories shared by the audience. We are looking forward to hearing and being present with the Creative Conversations community and their audience, as we act out for them, on the spot, their individual and shared cultural, emotional, spiritual relationships to Land. We are passionate about giving voice to people's personal experiences through improvised theatre and we look forward to exploring the "taboo" and the "unsaid" in this Creative Conversations with Land series.

 

Renata Commisso

I am a contemporary dancer and creator with a passion for sharing inclusive dance. I believe creativity and imagination bring out authenticity in individuals. I love learning and collaborating with multi-disciplinary artists and use improvisation, images, text and life experiences to create installations, and performances. The land is the essence of our stories. It is who we are, and as artists, we have the opportunity to offer perspectives to vary people’s relationships with their surroundings. I am very interested to be able to develop these conversations and explore how we can find solutions and commonality across cultures.  

Rhonda Castle

Through the materials that are collected, a message starts to evolve. I am a mixed media artist integrating found objects, steel, sandstone, timber and experiments with the use of these materials and techniques to produce sculptures that aim to convey emotional energy through form. 
As a part of my connection to land, I have a great interest in facilitating and supporting community workshops in sustainable management practice along with many collaborative works on the Central Coast. 

Rowan Savage ('Guy Ruin')

I am a performance artist whose work combines music creation, live performance and dance elements. I work in the tradition of experimental electronic music, using field recordings and physicality to explore connections to identity, place and spirituality. My work explores my own Aboriginal heritage as a Kombumerri (saltwater) man, as well as other aspects of contested identity including gender and sexuality, and spirituality. As a musician and performer, I aim to inhabit and bridge the tensions between abstraction and emotion, the wild bush and the dancefloor, the personal and the social, authenticity and reconstruction. My work is informed by a commitment to working through, always imperfectly but with dedication, the implications of all of the oppressive power relations which structure our society.  

 

Shannon Smith

I am an artist. And like many artists, my creativity finds multiple outlets. Sometimes it is in the form of live painting at a poetry event. At times it is in teaching rap lyricism as a form of self-expression. Most often, through freestyle rap improvisation and digital illustration. 
Much of my work utilises the arts as a vehicle for Indigenous cultural education. As such, our relation to the land over time is for me, a significant subject.

Stephen Davis

I am a spoken word artist who writes and performs solo. For me it seems that we are all conceived and born into a family, a community, and a landscape. When these relationships become corrupt and dysfunctional through our selfishness, over time this flows out into through our communities into the degradation and destruction of the earth. When love redeems these relationships, over time this may flow out through our communities into the restoration and renewal of the earth.

Stevie Jean O'Chin

I am an Aboriginal artist of the Kabi Kabi and Koa Tribe on my father’s side and Yuin Nation on my mother’s side. My paintings are inspired by my surroundings and stories told to me by my parents and my family elders.
I come from a large family, many of whom are artists, from both my parent’s sides. I was influenced from a young age and was self taught from watching my family and am now establishing myself as an artist with that artistic heritage and family stories strongly behind me. 

Stuart Matheson

I am a ceramic trained expressive artist. My practice is based on a strong sense of the linear with a deeply connected exploration of texture. I work with an earth-based restricted palette. Strong links/ties - connectivity of figuration and land elements. Historically, I have one grandfather who survived from extracting gold and hunting rabbits. Another grandfather farmed the land making a living from cultivating crops and breeding animals. I believe that since colonisation, connection to land has become broken, resulting in massive harm being done. 

Tim Everist

I am a photography enthusiast, musician and IT professional living in Redfern. I love taking photos that capture truth, emotion and beauty. I have been exploring and connecting with the history and significance of the stolen lands I am living on in Redfern. I wanted to capture glimpses of this land representing the past, present and future including the history of the Aboriginal people who have been custodians for thousands of years and those who have come and gone in large numbers more recently.

Vittoria Oriana

I am a visual artist and I mainly work with acrylics and oils to create paints on 2D surfaces. I am interested in creating works about what makes us human, whether it is a personal matter, a more objective perspective or both. As a mother and as a citizen of the Land I feel there is an immense responsibility not only to express my perception artistically but hopefully to also create awareness humanely. I believe the theme of this year, Land: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is a very important matter for all of us.

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