The Sunshine Coast region has been, and continues to be, home to many artists. Since its inception, USC has been committed to acquiring works by recognised artists who are from, live in, or have a deep connection to the region. As our network of teaching locations has grown to encompass Brisbane to the Fraser Coast, so too has this commitment.
Lawrence Daws spent decades living and working on the Sunshine Coast and drew inspiration from the natural environment. A particular focus for Daws was the Glass House Mountains. Tibrogargan I demonstrates Daws’ unique approach to representing these regional icons. Tibrogargan's form is familiar, yet strange; its scale overemphasised, almost monstrous and slightly threatening in comparison to the surrounding plains. The painting floats between the real and unreal as if the natural landscape has been moulded by the artist’s internal preoccupations.
This artwork depicts the past of this area that was a great community camp for Aboriginal peoples. Located by the river, there was an abundance of food, shelter and life itself.
My art is an exploration of culture, method and material. Through trial and error, I plan, experiment and visualise narratives that relate to country, culture and context. These experiments tell stories to bring out an understanding that may not have been previously known to the viewer.
The lighter coloured stingless bees from the lands that my grandmother called home were known by her as gabai. Granny also liked tea tree; the red and orange stained water, the sweet perfume of the flowers. When I was young Granny and I would visit the old Queensland Museum. Granny wasn't comfortable with going inside but we'd always visit the 'native' beehive together. This artwork combines the colour of tea tree stained waters and the gabai in a visual memory of her and of the things she liked and loved.
The aim of this print is to depict the inseparability of the land and culture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For me, my identity and culture is founded on connection to country and environment which in my perspective cannot be separated completely, only disconnected. Knowing and respecting that every animal, plant and being has their place and role to play to ensure the cycle continues and balance within nature is kept. This print has both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designs that incorporate the land and ocean as I am of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. I hold strong connections with both the land and sea which forms the basis of my cultural identity.
As a Kabi Kabi Elder, this artwork reflects the spiritual aura and connection I felt to a place where our ancestors may have possibly gathered together to fish and hunt. They most likely would have followed tracks of the animals such as the tracks and faeces of wallabies, possums and other animals that gravitated to this place to feed on the lush sweet grasses under the mangrove trees. The face of the warrior hunter is mirrored in the image which automatically evolved into the etching along with the flowers of the mangrove, and the trees which bent over following the sun towards the west.
—Aunty Hope O’Chin