Australia Day 2016

Words on the art journal page are from Welcome to Country by Uncle Bill - William O'Brien of the Birpai Nation. I pay my respects to the Elders of this country both past and present.

My Country The first poem I ever learned at school, still my favourite.

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Kudditji Kngwarreye expressing his Story through the medium of paint. In this video you will hear Kudditji talk and sing about his homelands whilst viewing his colourful interpretations of said homelands in paint.

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Artist: Gracie Ward Napaltjarri Dreaming: Muntati - My Grandmothers Country

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

~ Dorothea Mackellar

Artist: Nellie Marks Nakamarra
Dreaming: Travelling Through my Country
Painted in Alice Springs 2011

I so love watching Nellie Marks paint this - it is like a moving meditation.