Best viewed from the Podium at the top of the Monumental Steps
Born in Rockhampton, Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie) has been a practicing contemporary visual artist and a potter for over three decades. Well-known throughout Australia for her active involvement and leadership in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, Jenuarrie focuses on promoting and developing indigenous art production and the presentation of artistic creative merchandise in urban and remote Queensland communities.
As you travel north, the gap between the mountains of the Great Dividing Range and the coast narrows. The seasons for European people are of wet and dry, the monsoon storms and when the rains stop. Close off-shore are the rich waters of the Great Barrier Reef. For Aboriginal people, seasons, are marked by the coming and goings of birds, sharks, stingrays and the poisonous jellyfish, making it dangerous to swim.
Frances Belle Parker was born in 1982 and is a Yaegl woman who works in a variety of mediums including painting, printmaking and installation. The majority of her work is based around her personal connection to the Yaegl landscape of northern New South Wales. She won the 2000 Blake Prize for Religious Art, the first Aboriginal artist to win this award.
Francis Belle Parker lives on the ‘big river’; in Yaegl country on the Clarence River. Her artwork reflects seasonal maps, the sense of a social blood line, maps of Yaegl people, seasons for shell fish gathering, freshwater cod, or prawns. Her work also echoes seasons of periodic flooding that rejuvenate the river flood plains.
Linocut printer Alick Tipoti was born in 1975 and is a world-renowned professional artist from Badu Island in the Torres Strait. His work depicts many meaningful symbols about the Land, Sea and Sky of his country through traditional Melanesian patterns. His work is in collection throughout some of the most prestigious galleries and museums around the world.
There are, certain narrow ‘neck’ places on the earth where tides run with great force and all creatures, fish, birds, whales, take advantage of these currents and winds. The islands in this gap are Alick Tipoti’s tropical seasonal world. In his ocean, turtles, dolphins, dugongs, porpoises, frigate birds and pelicans, migrate to the island beaches to hunt small fish and jellyfish, to mate and give birth, and renew the world. The humans in turn hunt them, and sing and dance, blow the conch shell, re-enacting their own deeds and remembering their antecedents of old who first came to these lands.
The late Minnie Pwerle was born in Alyawarr land in 1922, approximately 200 kilometers north east of Alice Springs. Speaking very little English, Minnie’s paintings came into the Australian art world in the year 2000. Her works reflect the body painting for women’s ceremony – Awely.
Minnie Pwerle came from Utopia. When ‘white’ people first came to this area north east of Alice Springs they found a green land and named it ‘utopia’. Although there are seven seasons there, they may in fact take years to run through their cycle. When it rains, flowers bloom, birds flock in chattering swarms and colours, and frogs and fish miraculously spring out of nowhere.
The late Lin Onus was a Yorta Yorta painter, sculptor and activist known for his distinctive style that combines traditional and contemporary Aboriginal techniques. He was a self-taught artist that held many exhibitions throughout the world. 2017 marks the 20th year anniversary of his untimely passing.
Lin Onus annually visited the Blyth River region of Anrhem Land on the north shores of Australia in the dry season when vehicular travel was possible and ceremonial life blossomed. On these north shores, there are eight Aboriginal seasons. When the rains end around April, an infinite number of insects species; mosquitoes, preying mantis, and swarms of butterflies, and wasps, escape their cocoons to pollinate the blooming plant life.