Crystalising NAIDOC Art for Voice. Treaty. Truth.

Art celebrating NAIDOC 2019
Our animated design honours our Burramattagal Custodians’ and their meeting–place at the head of the river where Sydney’s salt estuary met freshwater flowing from the north-east edge of the Darug Nation’s Cumberland Plain Woodland.

The 3–part expression of this year’s National NAIDOC theme 'Voice Treaty Truth' is a finely detailed colour-field of gold, black and blue. This sets a strong ‘tri–colour’ analogy for the call for ‘post–colonial’ treaty. Yellowclay and sandstone filters the freshwater, meeting the salty ionic–exchange as eels migrate up from the blue–river harbour.

The crystalising concept suggests focusing on both positive and negative impacts on the First Nations’ community, landscape and culture since colonisation, or “the Invasion of Parramatta” as Keith Vincent Smith writes. A dark central band, is the interchange, and a void like the absence of ancient white shell–midden monuments consumed to build the cities of Sydney. A quiet irony being some of our “PARRAMATTA” branded clay brick and Eucalyptus timbers were pre-fabricated and shipped downstream and across the Tasman Sea to build what became New Zealand’s Waitangi Treaty Grounds Treaty House (c.1834).

Concept: Original painting by Geoff Sellman “Saltwater/Freshwater – our living river”, 2017–19. GIF by Simon Alexander, The Social Canvas AU

Simon Cook