“Working on the Irukandjis branding and art has been such an exciting process.
Growing up in Newcastle, surrounded by surfers like my dad, the ocean has always been a big part of my life. While I’ve grown up by the sea, traditionally my bloodline ties me to the far western region of NSW along the Baaka (Darling river).
Being a contemporary Aboriginal artist a lot of my work comments on identity and place – traditionally I am a river person however I have grown up by the sea in Newcastle. The saltwater and freshwater of this country have always played a big part in my life and I used this as my inspiration while creating the art within the Irukandjis branding. To pay homage to where my bloodline runs I used lines within my work, which is a reference to traditional Barkindji art which is often quite precise, however for this particular work I wanted to reference the fluid movement of the ocean and the ripples within the water. To do this, my original sketch was an ink drawing which I then digitised in order to keep the wobbly hand-made lines and ink patches to create a more organic and free-flowing design.
It was special and important to know that the Yirrganydji people were working alongside surfing Australia and had gifted the name to the team. I felt this was a collaborative work that stretched all the way from far North Queensland down the coast to Newcastle and inland to Far Western NSW.”