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Guulil

Hope Vale Arts & Cultural Centre

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Guulil, meaning Jellyfish in the native Guugu Yimithirr language, is a signifier of the Aboriginal belief that true harmony exists when every element of the natural environment works together. This is why “Guulil” is the Hope Vale x QUT fashion collection name.

Fitting in with the theme of the 2020 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, "Climate Change", this collection will display the Hope Vale artists work in the form of fashion to communicate the physical and spiritual harmony needed with our oceans.

Combining contemporary garments with digitally projected artworks, this collection carves out new ground in the presentation of "fashion".

Studio Photography: Photo Corner

Location Photography: Lovegreen Photography

Designers: Hope Vale Arts Centre

Daisy Hamlot
Daisy Hamlot (nee Bowen) is a senior Thuupi Warra elder. She was born at Cape Bedford in 1937 to Ted and Nancy Bowen.Her totems are the Waandarr (White Cockatoo) from her father's side and Ngamu Ngaagau (Dingo), mother's side.

Daisy was only 5 years old when her family were removed from Cape Bedford and interned at Wooribinda Settlement (west of Rockhampton) during WW2.  The Australian Government considered the Lutheran Missions in Cape York a threat to national security.Life was hard in Woorabinda and there were many hardships; however Daisy and her family made the best of it.  Daisy has fond memories of her time at school and making friends.

"Every day we would walk to school and on the road we would pass the same magpie sitting in a tree.  If we got too close, it would swoop us! So we would run for our lives! Poor Dumbia got pecked many times on the head".

Daisy recently discovered a love of painting.  She is well known for her whimsical paintings about “Guuda” (dogs). “My paintings are about my two pet dogs 7-O and Granny-Boy, they are cute and friendly.” Daisy belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.

Daisy loves participating in the art centre's many workshops, including natural dying on silk, lino print & textiles. She and the other gamba (old ladies) love to laugh and recall stories of the “Old Days”.

Gertie Deeral
Gertie is an important leader and elder from the Dingaal clan and is a traditional owner of the country around Lizard Island.

She was born in Woorabinda in 1944. Her family were interned there during WW2. Gertie and her family moved back to Hopevale when she was a young girl after the war ended. Gertie’s totems are Bunjarr (Owl) from her father's side and Walmbaar (Stingray), mother's side.Gertie's husband recently passed away. They were passionate about passing down their cultural knowledge to the younger generations.

Gertie only recently began painting and now belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the Gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.

Grace Rosendale
Grace Rosendale was born in Woorabinda after her family was interned there during the World War 2. Grace is a senior elder of the Binthi Warra clan.As one of the last fluent language speakers of Guugu Yimithirr, Grace takes her artwork very seriously to ensure inter-generational sharing takes place between community Elders and Youth.Grace's totems are the Gaalaya (Centipede) from her father's side and the Ngurraarr (Black Cockatoo) & Burriwi (Emu) from her mother's side.

Grace belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the Gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.

Grace completed her Diploma in Visual Arts through TAFE, Cairns.

Dora Deemal
Dora Deemal is a senior elder of the Binthi clan. Her husband was a traditional owner Elim Beach known for its unique coloured sands.Dora has six children and has eighteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.Dora's totems are the Gaalaya (Centipede) from her farther's side and the Ngurraarr (Black Cockatoo) & Burriwi (Emu) from her mother's side.

Dora  belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the Gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.

Dora exhibited her work as part of the Gamba Gamba exhibition in Sydney in 2013 that was sponsored by Tim Fairfax and opened by the NSW Governor Marie Bashir and made notable sales to Tracy Moffatt and other Australian art collectors. Dora has completed a Diploma in Visual Arts through TAFE Cairns.

Esmae Bowen
Esmae Bowen (nee Ford) was born in Hopevale, 1956. She is a historical member of the Hopevale community, meaning that more recent history has relocated her from her ancestral region. She is a descendent of the Stolen Generation. Her father was taken from Laura in Cape York to the Cape Edward Mission. Her mother is from Woorabinda in the Rockhampton area where her parents met. They later returned to Cape York and settled in Hopevale. Her clan is Gugu Thaypan.

She has fostered two children and now has five grandchildren. Esmae still doesn’t think of herself as an artist but she likes to be creative. She started working at the Hopevale Community Arts & Cultural Centre collecting the materials for the Gamba Gamba arts group (senior women). Esmae learnt to gather the natural materials and make traditional dyes from her elders growing up.  At the centre, she learnt to apply the technique to hold the colour and to work with paints and textiles.

She is inspired by the forms and colours she sees in the environment and her love of plants. “When you see plants and you’re so down and out the beauty of that plant can lighten your day. A flower can put a smile on my face for the whole day.” She often paints baby lady apples (also called bush apples) at the time just before the flower grows into fruit. Lady apples only fruit in the early part of the wet season. For Esmae, they remind her of Christmas’ spent at the beach in her childhood.

Esmae first exhibited at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2019, with nine works selected for the exhibition.

Madge Bowen
Madge was born in Yarrabah in 1944.  Her mother was part of the Stolen Generation who were taken away as children and sent to the Yarrabah Mission.Madge’s totem is the Mirrgi (Night Owl).  Madge moved to Hopevale from Yarrabah with her brother in 1950.  She was a young girl who had tragically lost her mother from a car accident. The Lutheran Church missionaries took Madge and placed her in the Hopevale Girl’s dormitory.

In her memoir, Madge describes life in the dormitory, explaining how difficult it was being taken away from her family and living under extremely controlling and oppressive rules.In her late teens, Madge was sent away to by the missionaries to work on a dairy farm.  She recalls a happy time, escaping mission life and that she'd been lucky to be sent to a loving and kind family. Madge married Edward Bowen in 1967 and had six children. She now has twenty-two grandchildren and great grandchildren.She worked at the Hopevale School as a teacher’s aide for 20 years, retiring in 2007.

Madge paints her traditional homeland, Bulgan (Kings Plains). Her richly painted landscapes convey her deep connection to Bulgan and special sites surrounding the area.Madge belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the Gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.

Madge has been a director and long term staff member of Hopevale Arts & Cultural Centre. She was honoured as a life member of the organisation in 2012.  Madge completed her Diploma of Visual Arts through TAFE in Cairns in 2013.

Wanda Gibson
Wanda was born in the Woorabinda hospital in 1946.  Her family had been moved from Cape Bedford and interned at Wooribinda Settlement (west of Rockhampton) during WW2.  The Australian Government considered the Lutheran Missions in Cape York a threat to national security. After the war, Wanda and her family were moved back to a new settlement in Hope Valley called Hopevale.

Wanda's totems are the Thuka (Goanna) on her father's side and the Waandarr (White Cockatoo), mother's sideShe is a fluent Guugu Yimithirr speaker and important elder for the Nugal Warra clan group.

Wanda belongs to the Gamba Gamba group (senior women) at the art centre. Artworks by the gamba draw on traditional Guugu Yimmithirr Warra culture and contemporary and mission time histories. The women hold deep cultural knowledge of family kinship systems, sacred sites, esoteric characters and totems and are passionate about recording language and traditional stories to preserve and hand down to the younger generations.She’s been one of the art centre's longest practicing artists. Wanda is also a gifted weaver and master dilly bag maker.  Wanda completed a Diploma in Visual Arts through Cairns Institute of TAFE.

Shane Gibson
Shane Gibson aka Dhuga is from the bulgun, Thuubi, Dhaarrba and Binthi clans of Guugu Yimithirr nation in Hopevale, Cape York, Queensland. shane received the name Dhuga from his great grandfather Ngamu-Dhuga, and now uses this pseudonym on all his paintings. Shane has been painting for close to a decade now.

Shane has been a long standing director of the Hopevale Arts and Cultural Center and his work has been exhibited in recent years at –

  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2010

  • Canopy Art Space Exhibition of Hopevale Art 2010

  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2011

  • Cairns Regional Gallery - Emerging Artist Exhibition 2011

  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2012

  • Kinship Art Market The Tanks 2013

Shane is a fulltime artist and father of two young girls. He uses synthetic polymer on linen to produce bold and vibrant paintings that tell stories of traditional uses of plants, relation to sacred sites, seasons and cultural responsibilities. 

 

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