Works of heart showcase love of Country

If you’re passing through the City of Knox, you may notice artworks by Wurundjeri and Yorta Yorta woman Simone Thomson, who has created three pieces for Council highlighting Connection, Culture and Country.

She says it’s important for people to understand the variety and differences of Aboriginal art.

“Before settlement, we had over 500 traditional countries within the land that we know as Australia and each of those countries have different languages and art styles, which is really very authentic and real to each of those particular countries,” Simone says.

“So, for the wider community who aren’t familiar with Aboriginal artwork, it’s important that they understand that not all Aboriginal artwork is dots or the very beautiful bright pink colours that we see in the Western Desert. We all have very different styles.

“What I try and bring to my artwork is education, with trying to elaborate a little bit with line work so that people who are unfamiliar with Aboriginal artwork can see the differences and styles that we have in this part of country because we have cross hatching, we have diamonds and chevrons, which are really authentic to this part of Australia.

“We have very linear-style artwork so I’ve tried to incorporate that as much as possible within the artwork so that when people see it in Knox or wherever they are viewing the artwork they are being educated in the process, which is really important.”

Look out for Simone’s artwork featuring important symbols including creator spirit Bunjil the wedge-tail eagle, a scar tree representing deep-seated roots to the land, two hands holding gum leaves extending in a gesture of respect and connection and a gathering circle symbolising community and the importance of sharing knowledge.

Simone says she feels the spirit of the land when creating her artwork.

“I like to really reflect on feeling; that’s really important,” she says. “When I sit on Country, for example, and I feel the presence of Country talking to me, whispering to me from the trees. When I smell the eucalyptus, which is so authentic; with our gum trees.

“The feelings that I get from Country, the sounds that I hear from country, the wind, the waterways, the smells that I get from the trees, from the bushlands – that’s all really so vital for my creative process because I’m able to feel that spiritual connection to country and it translates through my artwork.”

Simone’s artworks are joined by pieces from Bunurong artist Adam Magennis.

/Public Release. View in full here.