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   Sep 21

Heart in her art and heritage

New Berrima contemporary Aboriginal artist Pamela Luke identifies as a Daruk descendant. Photo Ainsleigh SheridanWITH artistic inclinations since childhood, it took the birth of Pamela Luke’s son for her to connect with the art in her heart as well as her heritage.
Nanjing Night Net

Ms Luke identifies as a contemporary Aboriginal artist as a descendant of the Daruk people by her father’s great-grandmother.

The New Berrima artist has lived in the Southern Highlands for most of her life, now with her children Harrison, 12, and Issabella, 4.

It was Harrison’s birth that piqued her ancestral curiosity, which led to the issuing of Aboriginal identity papers and a whole art form.

But “with or without the papers, I’d still want to be involved in the Aboriginal community,” Ms Luke said.

“It’s important that modern Aboriginal people put forward a good representation of our people; that we achieve things in the community, that we better ourselves, that we stand up for our fellow Aboriginals and be somebody.”

Raised as an Anglo-Celtic Australian, Ms Luke said she still had much to learn about Aboriginal culture, and that impacted her art.

“We weren’t raised with the culture – I didn’t seek it out until I had my own children – and it’s hard to find out unless you’re brought up in it,” Ms Luke said.

“A lot of people, when they do Aboriginal art, they tell a story of where they went, who they met, what they tracked.

“A lot of mine are more like a patchwork quilt. They’re patterned, repetitious and overlapping, but not always telling a story.”

The patchwork simile is apt as it’s in op shops that Ms Luke hunts for creative inspiration, running her hands over fabrics and textures “until I feel something I like”.

“Then I just go with it. I don’t know if it’s an idea or the canvas telling me what it wants to be. I have to start quickly and it’s like watching a photo developing,” she said.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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