Proud Goenpul/Yuggera Man of North Stradbroke Island / Brisbane City. Also hailing from the ‘Wambia’ Tribe on the outskirts of the Northern Territory, the 'Brunette/Chapman families' is where my artistic flair descends from.
As a young Indigenous man I have had the privilege to travel to multiple countries devotedly expressing my cultural heritage through song & dance. My skin name is ‘BILLEN’ which means the Parrot & I now have the privilege to express myself through my Art.
‘Cultural Healing’ represents Mob coming together from vast areas. Tribal reunions to celebrate the land, animals and people. Through ceremony & song we express our love & respect for each tribe's individual country, carrying on this tradition is imperative for our younger generation, it’s their future and our responsibility, these are our traditions of Healing Country.
Many years ago there was a young warrior who was out hunting. He brought with him his children, and began teaching them to hunt. But before they left he had warned them not to hunt or harm the sand goanna which they called 'Maroon'. The children questioned their father and asked, why dad why? The father scolded the children and told them that it was their totem. After a while the children found themselves alone and found a sand goanna. One of the kids threw a nulla nulla at the goanna and killed it. Biami god saw this and was angered by this, so a powerful wind was sent down and the earth was lifted up and over the two children. Many of the Yuggera people believe that these children still lie at Mt. Maroon to this day and is a reminder to all that we must always listen to our elders.
The Maree (Kangaroo) roaming all four corners of “Minnjerribah / Terangeri” North Stradbroke Island and many other islands up and down Queensland's coast lines. Built for speed, these elusive animals are agile and as strong as the tribal warrior men of “Quandamooka” ; their trails can mark pathways from one end of main beach to another. To the traditional owners they’re a delicacy as they are all throughout Australia but they’re also deeply respected as they have shared the land with people for thousands of years.
Merrigimpa is the sea eagle in my language. Once a year there are migratory fish that come from southerly waters to the Morton Bay area, the Merrigimpa was always the first one to start hunting on the schools of fish that come into the bay, thus signally it's time to start fishing.
He also taught us another sign. You should never hunt the leader fish or pilot fish as you will scare the rest of the fish back out into deeper waters, therefore losing the rest of you catch.
Mibbin - Sea Eagle
The Sea Eagle soaring high above Amity Point tells a thousand year old story, helping visitors learn about the ancestral connections between Quandamooka people and the land.
The legend of the serpent. Amongst Indigenous people the Rainbow Serpent is a god-like figure. A giant snake spirit that is one with mother earth. Some tribes say when the ancient serpent travels from waterhole to waterhole you can see the rainbow left in its path. She reminds us to take care of our land and the land will take care of us.
Throughout Cape York, Australia, the pre-historical Salt Water Crocodile is a thriving custodian to this land - a force to be reckoned with, feared but respected as he sits at the top of the food chain perfectly adapted. He’s been by our side since the Dreamtime.
Never Take A Step Back
Never take a step backwards. This design holds a significant message reminding the original custodians that we are here, we are strong and we are moving forward. The kangaroo and emu are the only animals on country that can’t walk backwards.
Strong & Proud
Using the powerful words “Strong & Proud”, this design represents the enduring strength of First Nations People and their pride in culture.
This design reimagines the Custodian logo in a vintage decorative art style and is encompassed by hand-drawn Indigenous elements.
This design is a throwback to the 2015 NAIDOC theme “We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate”.
This design features the symbolic wedgetail eagle combined with the powerful statement “Always Was, Always Will Be”.
Speak The Truth
The central theme of this design is “Sovereignty was never ceded”. This must be acknowledged and the truth must be spoken.
This design pays homage to the original custodians of Australia.
This design 65,000 Years recognises how long First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent and represents the continuation and survival of the oldest living culture on the planet.
This design incorporates the strong statement “Always Was, Always Will Be” alongside a map of Australia featuring Indigenous communities, showing the true custodians of this land.
This design represents the excellence of many Indigenous Australians in sports today. The artwork depicts the iconography of a sacred gathering circle where separate clans would sometimes meet to hold tribal warfare games and resolve issues by battling it out with their strongest warriors.
Spirit Of Our Mob
‘Spirit of Our Mob’ is an artwork designed for the NAIDOC 2022 theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
The artwork depicts the fighting spirit of Mob. The iconic fist in the centre is a symbol of power, pride and perseverance, and the people featured at the bottom of the artwork represent First Nations families fighting for change, reform and recognition.
Journey Through Change
'Journey Through Change' designed in collaboration with Nathaniel Chapman, represents the NAIDOC 2022 theme Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!
In the artwork the elements around and within the hand print represent the journey of Australian Indigenous communities through important milestones of recognition and healing.
Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! are empowering words deserving of a powerful artwork. This year the elements in my artwork are strongly based on Mob uniting. In the centre is a fist which represents Mob, and a heart that represents passion and pride. In every state of Australia we gather in special areas that are connected by trails carved into the countryside, and we express our culture through voice, treaty and truth.
Uniting Mob is something First Nations people of this Country are very familiar with. As we have proven throughout history, we will always stand together as one to protect our cultural significance and keep it thriving for the next generations. We continue to come together and stand strong, even when we’re told not to. As a young Indigenous man, without my cultural identity I am nothing.- Nathaniel Chapman
My Culture, My Future
This Statement expresses the importance of Heritage. Our mob has always taken pride in our culture & moving towards a better future for our children is something that's taken very seriously.
Gather and Thrive
We gather together from all around in times of hardship & only then we really thrive to be heard. It's in our DNA to unite & stand as one mob.
Keeping bloodline strong is keeping culture strong, traditional ways are handed down from elders to us & from us down to our children for 65000 yrs now.
The Wedge Tail Eagle hunts a long the Coast line telling us when the shoals of fish are migrating into the bay.
The Salt Water Crocodile stallking the northern waters from creek to coast line, they're Ancient & they're Apex.
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