Year 11 student Gabby Heaney is a proud, young Worimi woman from the eastern Port Stephens and Great Lakes regions of coastal New South Wales.

She’s also an emerging artist and has created this amazing artwork that speaks of her strength—of being a young Aboriginal woman in today’s society.

In collaboration with Elder and Woka Woka man, Uncle Paul Chapman, Gabby has also created an artist’s statement that explores the Songline of her piece.

It is a powerful exploration that gives context to Gabby’s work and connects it to the ‘Dreaming’ (nin-an-gur-u).

Here is a small taste:

“Because our woman are from the shadows, they are grounded by the earth colours of this land and waters: gold (creator), black (veil of darkness), silver (wisdom), white (water), brown (earth), green (nature), blue (salt) and yellow (sun). These colours represent the Elements of Life and Creation of this country.”

“So many Aboriginal people in this country will tell you, that for each afternoon, when the sun is going down and reflects itself back, it means that the sun is taking the Spirit of the ones who have passed from this land and waters…”

“Our women are giving those last blessings to the Spirit that is going home and it’s only right that they (the women) are facing towards the west, always from the brightness of the day, to see Spirit going home.”

Thank you so much for sharing your work and your culture with us, Gabby.