In this commissioned piece ‘Walking Together’, Jandamarra encapsulates Welcoming Australia’s mission statement that as a nation we are ‘Stronger Together’ and the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is essential to the core business of Welcoming Australia because that business is welcoming people to their land. The contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will help Welcoming Australia to create a shared sense of pride in being part of a culturally rich and vibrant community. All people should feel their culture is respected and valued by other members of the community and be given opportunities to learn about each other’s cultures. Without the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Welcoming Australia is not a representation of Australia and does not have the authority to lead in ‘Welcoming’.
Symbolism of the Artwork
The symbol to the viewers right with the ‘U’ shapes in the circle are representative of First Nations and non-First Nations people sitting together. Living alongside and learning from one another.
The young boy at the front that is painted up represents the innocence and also the future of the oldest living continuous culture in the world.
The two in ceremonial dance to the left are symbolic of the Storytelling, dances and ceremonies that have been a part of this landscape for over two thousand generations.
The white dots at the top of the space within the shape of Australia are symbolic of the stars and the ancestors that watch down. Energetically radiating out and calling for us all to be Custodians and support each other in walking together the proper way.
Jandamarra Cadd, the Artist
Jandamarra Cadd — a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Warung descendent, is an inspirational man with many stories to tell. With his vibrant and expressive portraitures, Jandamarra’s artwork is emotive and insightful — and is a powerful medium to bridge the story telling divide between Aboriginal and mainstream Australia.
Painting has been a way of life that has enabled him to express his creativity and storytelling and in many of his paintings of the human condition, he seeks to be a peaceful voice for unity. Jandamarra uses a variety of styles and mediums; with his unique blend of traditional aboriginal art techniques along with his own signature contemporary portraiture.