Can you tell us a little bit about your creative evolution as an artist and when you started exploring your creative abilities?
I began to explore my creative abilities in a time of loss and grief. Painting traditionally allowed me to connect to a deeper part of myself and learn more of my background and ancestry.
A major defining moment in life for me was when I travelled around outback Australia with my family and visited our Indigenous relatives and learned of our family history. I lived and learned on country with our traditional family, and this simple way of life allowed us to recognise that what we really need in life are not 'things'. What’s truly important is how much we appreciate nature and spend time in it. To learn from Australia’s first peoples and listen to what our hearts are telling us.
We’re so thrilled to be working with you on a commissioning piece in celebration of last year’s Reconciliation Week theme, ‘Be Brave, Make Change”. What does this theme mean to you?
This theme means a lot to me. It’s always important in life to be brave. Be the brave voice for those who haven’t the words to share of their suffering and loss of culture.
Be the brave example of what it is to be an Indigenous woman in a world that has tried to destroy our culture, forcibly removing our children from their rightful homes, be a proud Indigenous woman and be brave to share your culture, creative gifts, and story’s.
Make a change by leading by example. Go out and visit your local Indigenous councils, question what they need, listen to their stories and re-learn Australia’s past because if we as a nation can’t swallow the bitter pill of our past, how can we walk into the future with transparency and honesty? How can we heal the Indigenous people’s trauma if we don’t know what that trauma was?
What story does this exclusive Nhurali Pendant tell?
The Nhurali Pendant represents to me that many beautiful people and businesses are all wanting to be more involved in the Indigenous people’s lives. And this piece shows such a beautiful representation of Natalie Marie’s openness and kind consideration of Australia’s Indigenous culture and an Indigenous artist being able to work together to create something truly beautiful and supportive of true reconciliation between cultures.
Reconciliation Australia is asking everyone to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise. What changes would you love to see implemented now, and in the future?
I would love for people to hold less prejudice on Aboriginal people within Australia and learn about their past traumas so they can recognise what changes need to be made to heal many Indigenous individuals.
I feel that every school should have compulsory Aboriginal studies to learn of things in a past and ways to support and share the joys of culture and traditional life.
But I also believe if every Australian parent educated their children on all different races and that no matter what we look like, how were coloured etc we are all made up of the same cloth and we all have hearts and feelings.