Spotlight on Wadawurrung Arts Dr Deanne Gilson

Published on 30 June 2021

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Ba-gurrk Guliwan Malka (Men and Women’s shield of Protection)
The black and white diamond pattern is repeated over and over again. The grid repetition maps boundaries of Country, spelt with a capital ‘C’ for its importance and family interacting across Wadawurrung Country in a harmonious way. Including Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people coming together in unity.

Deanne states that “there are flecks of gold leaf throughout the piece, reminding us of the journey my people went through in the early gold rush days of colonisation, especially in the Ballarat area in which I live. The gold was taken for survival and It was stripped from Country and our waterways and Country were poisoned because of the arsenic use and mining, Country also needs healing.”

The shield stands today in Gilson’s artwork as a symbol of protection, hope and survival of first nations people. It reminds us that we all need to keep working together so that we get along for our future generations to heal and be one. The shield is a metaphor for Reconciliation, black and white identity and acceptance of all who walk on Wadawurrung Country past, present and future. This work is feature on the cover of Moorabool Shire Council’s first Arts and Culture Strategy.  

Artist Biography

Dr Deanne Gilson is a proud Wadawurrung woman and a multi-media visual artist having just completed a PhD at Deakin University on Aboriginal Women’s Business. Gilson’s artwork aims to restore her cultural knowledge and identity by reclaiming marks depicted on ancestral artefacts, like the wooden shield taken from a scar tree. Re-shaping them into new contemporary artworks, that also include her Creation Story and tree of knowledge.

Kungadji Thankyou

Dr Deanne Gilson

 

Artwork One 

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Title: Karringalabil Bundjil Murrup, Manna Gum Tree (The Creation Tree of Knowledge)

Year Created: 2020

Medium: White Ceremonial ochre, wattle tree sap, acrylic on line

 

Artwork Two 

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Title: Post Pandemic, After the Gaze, the King Parrots Bring Hope.

Year Created: 2020

Medium: White Ceremonial ochre, wattle tree sap, acrylic on linen

Artwork Three 

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Title: Nyirram turt-barram (The Morning Star) 

Year Created: 2020

Medium: White Ceremonial ochre, wattle tree sap, acrylic on linen

 

Find out more about Deanne's art here: https://www.deannegilson.com/

 

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