Art of the Skins: Digital Stories

Digitals stories featuring Melinda Serico, Uncle Nurdon Serico, Libby Connors, Aunty Joyce Watson, Judy Watson, Rani Carmichael, Carol McGregor and Glennys Briggs.

Melinda Serico

Melinda Serico is a descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi people from the Sunshine Coast region on her grandmother’s side, and the Iman people from Central Queensland on her grandfather’s side. She is a practising visual artist inspired by places in the landscape, nature’s beauty and her cultural heritage.

Melinda describes learning about cloak making through a historical newspaper article, which inspired her to research her cultural connections and traditional practices further. Her digital story reflects on the important intergenerational exchange that occurred during community collaborations and workshops that she participated in.

Melinda has shared her artwork and story as part of the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi Community Cloak.

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Digital story with Melinda Serico
Location: kuril dhagun, SLQ, 2016
A part of Art of the Skins exhibition

Uncle Nurdon Serico

Senior Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi Elder Uncle Nurdon Serico has worked extensively with Indigenous communities and the health system. After a long career in Radiography, including recognition with a Churchill Fellowship, Uncle Nurdon is now retired, devoting his time to sharing and preserving his culture.

Uncle Nurdon shares a personal account of possum skin cloak making traditions. Drawing on stories and cultural knowledge handed down from generations, he provides insight into the significance of these practices for Aboriginal people and how this relates to traditional methodologies of caring for Country such as resourcefulness and sustainability.

Uncle Nurdon has shared his artwork and story as part of the Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi Community Cloak.

Libby Connors

Libby Connors is a senior history lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland. She is the author of a number of Australian history books, including Warrior: A legendary leader's dramatic life and violent death on the colonial frontier (2015). Warrior revolves around the life of Dundalli, an Aboriginal leader and hero at the forefront of opposition to settlement of the Moreton Bay district the region around Meanjin, or Brisbane city, in the 1840s. This publication also provides valuable references to possum skin cloaks in the daily life of Aboriginal people in South East Queensland.

Libby discusses her research, mainly uncovered from pastoralists’ papers, Tom Petrie’s reminiscences and the historical account from Gaiarbau (also referred to as Uncle Willie McKenzie). During the 1950’s, Dr L P Winterbotham recorded a number of interviews with Gaiarbau which was compiled into a manuscript. This documentation provides a detailed understanding of Aboriginal culture in South East Queensland during settlement times

Aunty Joyce Watson, Judy Watson and Rani Carmichael

Aunty Joyce Watson, her daughter Judy Watson and grand-daughter Rani Carmichael are descendants of the Waanyi people of North West Queensland. Aunty Joyce and Judy are both practising visual artists, working across a range of mediums including print making. Judy is an internationally renowned visual artist, through her practice she explores and reflects a strong connection to land, culture and histories of Aboriginal people.

Aunty Joyce, Judy and Rani’s story celebrates family and pays tribute to their maternal connection. Together, they share how stories have been handed down through generations, inspiring their artworks for the Brisbane Community Cloak.

Glennys Briggs

Digital story with Glennys Briggs
A part of Art of the Skins exhibition.
Location: kuril dhagun, Qld, 2016