A picture is worth a thousand words
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is among the oldest continuing art traditions in the world.
Storytelling is at the heart of artistic practices.
Artist Suzanne Thompson met with community members, Elders and artists throughout Queensland to create a piece of art that shares an important narrative about early learning.
Suzanne brought together the stories from each community to create the final artwork titled Ngana Waguna Woori Mumba — We grow children together.
(Suzanne) Yeah, so today, after a big journey I’m back in the Gilimbaa studio, Brisbane, collating together a piece of art that brings together all of the stories of all the images that were captured right around the state.
So first stop was Cairns, then off to Mt Isa, Mackay, Bundaberg, and then finally we got to Logan.
One of the common themes that seemed to go right across was about the rainbow, was about many colours, and so that was that one common thread that went across.
There was also, one of the other common threads that went across was about the developmental stages, was about from little to big and how we grow.
It was about brightness, it was about the celebration of all things that are bright and beautiful.
So there was no beige, there was no dull colours.
It was about planting seeds, it was about things growing.
So I think with the art piece, I think that’s what then started to really evolve.
And I know there was another place and space where, our young people, when we engaged in early learning it became this fireworks of colour.
So then to sort of lay all the paints out and brushes and say to the parents, “Well ok how are you going to do this?” And what they created was just absolutely amazing.
Through art, because we are an oral, visual culture, was the most effective way of engaging and getting the solutions from the community.
So once all the pieces came together, then it was about coming back and then pulling together a piece of at that actually captures everything that I was able to capture while I was on the road.
So I have been sitting down and putting it all together into a final art piece that will then become, sort of, the branding, the story that will talk about Indigenous early years and inform this whole new strategy.
The most positive thing to come out of the project is that it was a whole lot of different communities that got to do their piece, that informed a bigger piece, that then captures everybody else.
That’s about many people telling the story, it’s not about one person, there was not one artist that told it, there was many that got to tell that story.
You can find out more on the Big Learning Life website. Make the early years count for your little one.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is among the oldest continuing art traditions in the world. Storytelling is at the heart of artistic practices, where messages and knowledge are conveyed through narratives that are spoken, performed as dances or songs, and painted.
Community members and artists around Queensland recently came together to create a piece of art that tells an important narrative.
The early years artwork’s title, Ngana Waguna Woori Mumba, is in the Alice River language of the Iningai country, which is the birthplace of artist Suzanne Thompson, and translates to: We grow our children together.
The piece represents the early learning journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and expresses the important roles of knowledge, connection and culture in the early years.
Suzanne said she was honoured to be able to work with parents and Elders to create a piece of art that reflected how children could grow, learn and thrive with their community.