NGALIYA DABILBAN CAPEM NGALIYA JARA

SHIBUI Issue - - MEET THE MAKER - CU­RA­TOR KA­RINA EAST­WAY THE MAKER SAN­DRA DE­LANEY SUP­PORT­ING SALT­WA­TER MURRIS QUAN­DAMOOKA COUN­TRY AUS­TRALIA

SAN­DRA DE­LANEY IS A PROUD QUAN­DAMOOKA WOMAN AND ARTIST. SHE WAS BE­HIND THE FIRST SPEECH PER­FORMED IN ABO­RIG­I­NAL LAN­GUAGE AT BRIS­BANE’S PAR­LIA­MENT HOUSE AND CON­TIN­UES TO WORK TO SHARE HER CUL­TURE THROUGH ART AND STO­RY­TELLING.

TELL US A LIT­TLE ABOUT YOUR­SELF SAN­DRA?

San­dra De­laney – Noonuc­cal/Cooben­pil/ Goen­pul woman from Quan­damooka Coun­try. I am an artist and also the Chair­per­son of Salt­wa­ter Murris Quan­damooka. I have been pas­sion­ate about shar­ing Quan­damooka cul­ture through art and sto­ry­telling. I am a com­mu­nity lan­guage con­sul­tant and my Abo­rig­i­nal lan­guage is Jandai. I have been work­ing ac­tively for many years to share this knowl­edge and re­vi­talise Jandai for the com­mu­nity, in par­tic­u­lar the youth.

WHERE ARE YOU CUR­RENTLY BASED?

Dun­wich, Min­jer­ribah (Queens­land, Aus­tralia).

WHAT ARE THE CUL­TURAL TRA­DI­TION/S BE­HIND YOUR ART?

Quan­damooka peo­ple are salt­wa­ter peo­ple. I am a tra­di­tional owner who has blood­line con­nec­tions to North Strad­broke Is­land, More­ton Is­land, the bay is­land and the main­land op­po­site.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START WORK­ING WITH THE MA­TE­RI­ALS?

I started do­ing sewing and art and craft from high school and learnt ceram­ics in the 1970s and have been re­search­ing Quan­damooka his­to­ries since I was a child. My paint­ing and art stems from this knowl­edge. My fam­ily come from a long line of ar­ti­sans: my mother was a seam­stress and has been in­volved in art and crafts and paint­ing since she was a young girl, as well as my sis­ters.

DO YOU SOURCE THE MA­TE­RI­ALS FROM STRAD­BROKE IS­LAND AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TO WORK WITH?

It all de­pends on what I am do­ing. For ex­am­ple, I have just fin­ished a se­ries of ochre dyed silk scarves fea­tur­ing dilly bags scarves which were a ma­jor source of craft for Quan­damooka grannies.

WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR CRE­ATIVE IN­SPI­RA­TION FROM?

My El­ders, my an­ces­tors, the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and the sto­ries that have been passed down. From our past and the legacy left by our El­ders, the old peo­ple, we are in­her­i­tors to un­der­stand­ings and to in­sights into life and the na­ture of things. We gain knowl­edge and wis­dom from the El­ders to guide and mentor us in the con­duct of our busi­ness. As an artist, I sought to find the in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness among things to gain greater un­der­stand­ing.

IT MUST FEEL GREAT WHEN SOME­ONE FALLS IN LOVE WITH ONE OF YOUR PIECES. WHAT’S A FAVOURITE COM­MENT YOU’VE RE­CEIVED?

Love the pen­dants. Your book fea­tur­ing Quan­damooka Dream­ing sto­ries and the art is so beau­ti­ful… it’s amaz­ing.

HOW IM­POR­TANT IS IT THAT WE PRE­SERVE INDIGE­NOUS CUL­TURE?

Ngaliya dabilban capem ngaliya jara – our wa­ter our coun­try.

Art­work by San­dra De­laney

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