This year, we wanted to do something a little different here at Cool Accidents for NAIDOC Week. We like to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists all year round, from legends like Thelma Plum, Baker Boy and The Kid Laroi to newcomers like Budjerah, Sycco and more, so this time we wanted to spotlight a different kind of artist - one who works with a paintbrush and pencil (okay, and on her computer).
To mark NAIDOC Week 2021's 'Heal Country!' theme, we enlisted Ngarluma, Karriyarra, Yawuru, Nyulnyul woman Bobbi Lockyer to create an artwork for us about what the theme really means to her which you can see in all its glory right here on Cool Accidents. Born and raised in Port Hedland, Bobbi works with a variety of art mediums including traditional painting, digital illustration, graphic design and photography, and as a mother of four boys, her children are her biggest inspiration and the reason for her strong connection to the themes of motherhood, land, people and health embedded in her work. Her connections to culture and family and friends have inspired her to use natural environments to create art in photography and painting, including her maternal grandmother's personal story of the Stolen Generation experience and her great grandfather's story of social activism and fighting for Country. Bobbi is passionate about Birthing on Country and seeks healing of intergenerational trauma as resulted from colonisation.
It's a stunningly detailed piece of art, full of vivid colour, lush references to the land she lives on and the rich, storied history of Aboriginal people. The more you look closely, the more you find. The detail of the flora juxtaposes the boldness of the colours of the river, altogether creating a beautiful encapsulation of the beautiful country we live on.
As told by Bobbi herself, "This artwork titled 'Healing Our Country' features native floral illustration with traditional storytelling of the connectedness Aboriginal people have with the land. Country is more than land to us, it is a part of who we are and it is an important part of our identity. I illustrated stories passed down by my mother and grandmother of the vibrant and thriving lands covered in wildflowers growing in the red dirt and combined the floral drawing with depictions of healing out on Country. Behind the native flowers, a river is depicted - water is essential to life and healing. Saltwater becomes rain, which becomes fresh water. I have also intertwined songlines into my artwork which represents an ancient song recording passed down from ancestors to the younger generation."
Bobbi's not just a digital artist - she also offers full service photography services and creative and digital branding, working with Nikon, BHP, WA Ballet and more, and even had her designs showcased at New York Fashion Week working with Deadly Denim!
Check out Bobbi Lockyer's incredible work on her Instagram and head to her website to contact her.
Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land.